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


Book Signing and Pie Sale at KIDO on 11/5/2022 from 2 PM to 4 PM.

Roosevelt Collection – 1137 S. Delano Court, Chicago




Growing up in Chicago, summertime meant sticky weather, festivals, block parties every single weekend, and hours spent hanging out on the lakefront, cracking open the fire hydrant to create a makeshift water park, and eating Italian ices.

Italian ice is a frozen, tart dessert typically served in a Styrofoam cup with a straw and a spoon. It is made with simple ingredients including water, sugar, ice, chunks of fruit, and lemon rinds.

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

The tanginess of this pie, mixed with the brightness of strawberries, makes it an absolute hit during the summer.

4 large egg yolks

2 (14 oz/396g) cans 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

Adjust an oven rack to 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 combined—the sweetened condensed milk will thin out. While whisking, slowly pour in the lemon juice until completely combined.

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

Set the graham cracker pie shell on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.

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

Once the pie is completely chilled and you’re 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 box and refrigerate for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Remove the pie from the freezer and allow it to thaw for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

BONUS: The hand-painted menu board at Mario’s Italian Lemonade displayed so many potential flavor combinations. Try switching out the strawberries for fresh blueberries prepared in the same fashion as they are in Blueberry Banana Pudding Pie (page 33).



1¾ cups (227g) 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 the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter until the crumbs are well combined with the butter and there are no dry crumbs visible. Transfer the crumbs to a pie pan or baking dish and tamp down so that the crumbs form a solid layer across the bottom and up the sides of the pan or baking dish. Consult 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 method of purchase is required (e.g.,,, or any online bookseller of your choice)Please send a link once materials posted.