Although I love my creamy lemon layer pie more than I could ever possibly explain, it’s got far too much sugar, fat and calories to eat on a regular basis. But, not wanting to deprive myself of generous slices of deliciously creamy and wonderfully zesty lemon pie – especially now it’s spring! – I decided to come up with a lighter alternative that I could indulge in a couple of times each week without feeling like a total pig afterward.
This lemon cream pie is based on the Weight Watchers creamy lemon pie and it’s absolute heaven! The base is made from low-fat graham crackers (low-fat honey maid graham crackers are a great alternative) mixed with just a tiny bit of butter, so you’ve still got that wonderfully crunchy, buttery base with every bite. I tried experimenting with oats and applesauce to make a healthy dessert pie base, but it just didn’t work. Like, at all. So please, don’t bother or you’ll be sorely disappointed!
The filling in this lemon custard pie is made from fat-free sweetened condensed milk, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice. You’d never think you’d be able to get such an amazing flavor and texture from four simple ingredients stirred together, but you do! Since the lemon pie only bakes in the oven for 15 minutes, it doesn’t set fully, leaving it somewhere between a baked cheesecake and a no-bake cheesecake in terms of texture. It’s the same technique I use in my Best Ever Skinny Cheesecake Recipe and it really does give incredible results, so remember not to over-bake!
My favorite kind of recipes to post on the blog are low-calorie healthy recipes which are packed full of nutrients and this…isn’t really one of them. It is low in calories (less than 200 calories for a pretty generous slice!) but it’s not particularly low in fat, low in sugar or nutritious. Check out the nutritional data table below the image for the exact percentages. I was thinking about leaving it off the website, but an ordinary piece of lemon dessert pie can easily weigh in at 800 calories and this healthy creamy lemon pie is just so amazing that I simply couldn’t keep it to myself any longer!
I serve the pie as it is on its own – a buttery graham cracker crust and a creamy lemony filling is more than enough to satisfy any set of taste buds. But if you’re looking for low-calorie and healthy accompaniments, I think Greek yogurt, frozen yogurt, raspberries and strawberries would all work really well with the pie and make it look a bit more professional if you’re serving it to guests.
vegetarian – high in calcium
- 3 reduced-fat graham crackers
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5 oz /156g fat-free sweetened condensed milk
- 1 medium egg
- juice of 3 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and crush the graham crackers in a food processor until you've got crumbs. Alternatively, place the graham crackers into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin until crumbs form if you don't have a food processor.
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe dish and stir in the graham crackers until they've absorbed all the liquid.
- Press the buttery cracker crumbs into the bottom of a 7" silicone cake pan and set to one side. This will be your pie base.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the condensed milk, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Pour the pie filling on top of the pie base and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the cake pan for 30 minutes then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing into 4 and serving.