Lunch Break: Strawberry Lemonade Pie | WGN-TV

Chef Maya-Camille Broussard, Owner, Justice of the Pies


Dedication and sale of pies at KIDO on 05/11/2022 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Roosevelt Collection – 1137 S. Delano Court, Chicago




Growing up in Chicago, summer meant sticky weather, festivals, block parties every weekend, and hours spent hanging out by the lake, opening the fire hydrant to create a makeshift water park. and eat Italian ice cream.

Italian gelato is a frozen, tangy dessert usually served in a polystyrene cup with a straw and a spoon. It is made with simple ingredients including water, sugar, ice, fruit pieces and lemon zest.

When the Chicago humidity proved too much to bear, one of my favorite childhood memories was driving down Taylor Street in Chicago’s Little Italy to get Italian gelato at Mario’s Italian Lemonade. The line for Mario’s was always at least three quarters of a block long. Their all-natural Italian gelato was available in flavors such as cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, cherry, banana, and, of course, lemon. My favorite was a combination of lemon and strawberry, and that’s the inspiration for this pie.

The acidity of this pie, mixed with the burst of strawberries, makes it an absolute success during the summer.

4 large egg yolks

2 cans (14 oz/396 g) sweetened condensed milk

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

¾ cup (187g) lemon juice (from 3 or 4 large lemons)

Graham cracker crust (page 238)

1½ cups strawberries, hulled and quartered or thinly sliced ​​lengthwise

Set an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lemon zest until completely blended – the sweetened condensed milk will thin out. While whisking, slowly pour in the lemon juice until fully blended.

The mixture will begin to thicken as the acids in the lemon juice react with the proteins in the sweetened condensed milk. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken further.

Place the graham cracker pie crust on a baking sheet and pour the filling.

Bake pie until tiny bubbles emerge on surface of pie filling, about 15 minutes. Remove pie from oven and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to cool and set.

Once the pie is completely cooled and you are ready to serve, top the pie with the strawberries. There is always an option to enjoy the pie without strawberries too.

To store, place in a pie or cake tin and refrigerate for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Take the pie out of the freezer and let it thaw for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

PRIME: Mario’s Italian Lemonade hand-painted menu board displayed so many potential flavor combinations. Try replacing the strawberries with fresh blueberries prepared the same way as Blueberry Banana Pudding Pie (page 33).



1¾ cups (227 g) graham cracker crumbs, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick / 113g) unsalted butter, melted

In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter until crumbs are well combined with butter and no dry crumbs are visible. Transfer the crumbs to a pie pan or baking dish and press down so that the crumbs form a solid layer on the bottom and sides of the pan or baking dish. See the recipe for how to bake the crust.

Credit line “Reprinted from Justice of the Pies” Copyright © 2022 by Maya-Camille Broussard. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Dan Goldberg. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House. For online, a link to the method of purchase is required (eg,,, or any online bookseller of your choice) Please submit a link once material is published .

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