Nation Pie Day Lemon Pie With Animal Cracker Crust

This is just a lemon pie.

A delicious, easy to make, creamy, lemon pie.

It doesn’t use gelatin, like a typical meringue pie does. I stopped using gelatin altogether because it’s made form animal byproducts, so it isn’t kosher or vegetarian, excluding quite a few of my friends from enjoying my dessert.

It’s also made with a cracker crust, made with animal crackers instead of graham crackers, which pair nicely with lemon and give your a firm reminder of your youth. It’s like a Nostalgia Crust.

I love a really good graham cracker crust, and I’ve learned a few tips over the years that I’m going to share with you.

Wether you use animal crackers, graham crackers, shortbread cookies or my favorite: Girl Scout Trefoils, these are tips that will put your crust well above the rest. 

Tips for the Best Cracker Crust:

1. Add 2 tbs brown sugar to the food processor when you crush the crackers. This will give your crust a nice caramel flavor, as well as help it stay together. 

2. Assemble the sides first, then the bottom. This will help you to give the sides a professional look as well help your crust to be even. 

3. Press the crap out the crust. Really, really smash it into place. Use a coffee mug, a bowl, a glass measuring cup, to press it very firmly into place. This is the secrete to having crust that stays beautifully in place when you remove the slices from the pan. 

4. Brush with an egg wash (1 egg white, 1 tbs water, beaten) before baking. This only works if you are going to bake the crust and then fill it, but it will keep the crust from getting soggy when it sits. 

There you have it. The tips to make a perfect graham cracker crust. 


Deep Dish Lemon Pie with Animal Cracker Crust

Animal Cracker Crust:

4 cups animal crackers

2 tbs brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick of butter, melted

Lemon Curd:

3 tbs lemon zest (I use this super quick zester)

7 egg yolks (reserve one white for an egg wash)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

1 tbs corn starch

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Whipped Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a food processor, add the animal crackers, salt and brown sugar. Process until only crumbs remain. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined and it resembles wet sand. Dump into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan.

If you don’t have a deep dish pan, you wont need this entire amount. You can remove about 1/2 cup, spray the insides of a muffin tin make 2-3 small “mini pies” (remove from muffin tins before filling).

Starting with the sides, assemble to crust. Press very firmly into place. 

Put 1 egg white (use the yolk for the curd) plus 1 tbs of water in a small bowl and beat until well combined. Brush the insides of the crust with the egg wash. 

Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. 

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, corn starch and yolks to a bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the lemon mixture to a pan over medium/low heat along with the butter. Whisk until thickened, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. 

Add the curd to the crust and chill until set, about 4 hours.

Put all the whipped cream ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy and holds peaks, about 4 minutes. 

Top the pie with the whipped cream and serve. Chill until ready to serve. 



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15 Responses to Nation Pie Day Lemon Pie With Animal Cracker Crust

  1. Kim Bee January 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    This is a really wonderful and creative idea Jackie. I love animal crackers. Such a great use for them. I am bookmarking this one. It’s superb!

  2. Liz January 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Gorgeous pie, Jackie! And I love your crust tips…I always add a little white sugar, but will try brown next.

  3. Colleen Bierstine January 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    I absolutely love that you used animals crackers in your crust! I’m also happy to see this is vegetarian :)

    • Jackie January 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

      Is it ironic that I made it vegetarian by not using the gelatin and then I used animal crackers?! :O

      • Betsy January 25, 2012 at 6:55 am #

        I love the irony. Made me laugh :)

  4. Stephanie January 23, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    I love the animal cracker crust!! This pie looks so good!

  5. Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery January 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    What brilliance is this??!?!? Animal cracker crust?? YES!

    P.S. I found you on foodgawker and am now a follower. :)

    • Jackie January 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      YAY! Thank you :)

  6. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau January 25, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    This pie looks amazing, especially with an animal cracker crust! I remember making key lime bars from Cooks Illustrated and the base used animal crackers – those were to.die.for. I bet this pie is, too!

  7. Julie at Burnt Carrots January 26, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    I had no idea gelatin used animal byproducts! That is the grossest thing I’ve ever heard – I won’t even feed my dog food with byproducts.

    Back to the pie…… any excuse to use animal crackers and I’m in! Looks delicious!

    • Jackie January 26, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      I was shocked when I found out! A veggie friend of mine told me he couldn’t have Oreos because they weren’t veg and I laughed. Not so funny once I googled “Gelatin Ingredients” so yuck. Sort of ruined all jello related products for me. Although I will cave and have an Oreo from time to time! But I stopped using gelatin packets in cooking, like lemon meringue pie. Curd on it’s own is better to me anyway.

  8. BigFatBaker January 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    This looks so tasty! I’ll have to try the girl scout cookie crust next time I make a pie.

  9. fatpiginthemarket January 31, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Animal cracker crust is a genius move! Totally nostalgic. I’m trying this.

  10. Tiffany February 1, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    I bet this crust was to die for! :D

  11. amy @ fearless homemaker February 3, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    what a cute idea to use animal crackers for the crust. i love citrus in all forms, so i would love love love this pie. can you send over a slice, please? pretty please? =)

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