sweet tea icebox tart with a gingersnap crust

by Amy on 19 July 2011

despite having grown up in boston, after 11 years in tennessee, i feel pretty darn southern. the culinary traditions of the south, particularly fried green tomatoes + fresh collard greens, make me incredibly happy. the one food/drink tradition i haven’t gotten into? sweet tea. we grew up drinking unsweetened tea with a little lemon, + that’s still what i enjoy now. the crazy sweet stuff my husband drinks? my teeth start quivering in fear as soon as it approaches.

however, when i saw a recipe in southern living for a sweet tea icebox tart with a gingersnap crust, i was willing to give sweet tea another chance. the ingredient list was free of massive amounts of sugar, so i figured this might be the one way i’d like sweet tea. luckily, i was right!

this tart is so bright + fresh, with a subtle hint of tea flavor. because the filling is so light, the gingersnap crust is a perfect match for it. a rich shortbread crust, for example, could easily overwhelm the summery lightness of the filling, but the bite of the gingersnap perfectly complements the other flavors. a little dollop of whipped cream adds the bit of richness needed to perfect round out this dessert. whether you’re a born-and-raised southerner, a transplated northerner like me, or just someone who likes new + delicious desserts, you’ve gotta try this sweet tea icebox tart!

sweet tea icebox tart

makes 12 servings, adapted from southern living


for the tart filling:
1/4 cup freshly-brewed unsweetened iced tea (or 2 tablespoons instant unsweetened ice tea mix)
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
garnishes: lemon slices, fresh mint sprigs

for the gingersnap crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


stir together all ingredients for crust – cookies, butter, brown sugar + cinnamon. press mixture into a 9” tart pan with removable bottom.

preheat oven to 350°. pour tea (or iced tea mix + 2 tbsp. water) in a large bowl. whisk in sweetened condensed milk + next 5 ingredients until blended. place gingersnap crust in tart pan on a baking sheet; pour in milk mixture.

bake at 350° for 20 – 25 minutes or just until filling is set. cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). cover + chill 4 to 24 hours. remove tart from pan, + place on a serving dish.

beat cream + sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. pipe or dollop on top of tart; garnish, if desired.

note: you may also bake this tart in a 14- x 4-inch tart pan with removable bottom; increase bake time to 25 – 28 minutes or until filling is set.

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amber @ Caleigh's Kitchen July 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

Looks and sounds delicious! Sweet tea is for sure a southern tradition!

2 amy July 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

thank you! i’m happy that i’ve finally found a way that i love sweet tea! =)

3 jessie July 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I loooove sweet tea, so I am really excited to try this recipe! I’ve never made a tart but I think I’m ready to try. :-) Thanks for sharing a fun idea!

4 amy July 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm

woohoo, you can do it! make sure you take pics when it’s all done – i’d love to see it!

5 sheila @ Elements July 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I’m not a sweet tea drinker, but I’m sure I’d love this tart! I’ve never heard of such a dessert before, but it sounds amazing and I love how you decorated it! It’s so pretty! :)

6 amy July 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

thanks for your kind words! i had never heard of a sweet tea dessert either + that’s why i had to try it. i was shocked by how much i loved it, since i’m not a sweet tea drinker i was pretty pleased that my decorating didn’t turn out too shabby, either! =)

7 dana @ my little celebration July 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Can you say GENIUS?! I’ve been oogling over Paula Deen’s icebox pies on the Food Network this week, but I must say this recipe tops ALL of hers on the creativity scale :D.

8 amy July 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm

aww, you are too sweet! i had never made an icebox pie/tart before this one + i have to say, it was a piece of cake! (ha – i just made an accidental pun.) i also was super impressed that i liked the flavor as much as i did, as someone who doesn’t love sweet tea. you’ll have to try it! =)

9 Lesley July 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Beautiful Amy!!! Plus it looks like it would be super easy to make! I do love my sweet tea, but I also know people that shudder when the super sweet stuff comes around. You are not alone! :-)

10 amy July 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm

thanks, girl! it really was super easy to make. if you like the sweetness of sweet tea, feel free to play around with adding sugar to the filling, or adding sweet tea to the filling rather than unsweet tea. this version has a subtle tea flavor + you might like it punched up a little sweeter!

11 Maris(In Good Taste) July 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm

What a pretty tart! I am bookmarking this to make asap!

12 amy July 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm

yay! i think you could really do some nice adaptations playing around with different tea flavors / garnishes. can’t wait to see what you do with it – i know it’ll be fab!

13 ErinsFoodFiles July 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

This looks delightful!

14 amy July 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

thank you, darlin’! you’ll have to try it. =)

15 Ally Garner July 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I have been dying to try this since i first saw it in my Southern Living. Agreed-i bet the gingersnap crust makes this pie.

I’m a 5th generation Southerner, born & raised, and i don’t drink the real sugary sweet tea either. It’s just too much. My ratio is always 1 cup of sugar to 1 gallon tea. Try that & see what you think. It still might be too much for your palette though.

And hon, in my book you’re Southern through & through 😉

16 amy July 21, 2011 at 7:03 am

ha, you are too cute! i’ll definitely try out your sweetened tea recipe – it sounds like it might be more my speed than the super sweet stuff. let me know what you think of this tart if you try it – it’s delicious!

17 Cait's Plate July 21, 2011 at 8:50 am

Oh my that looks amazing! The things you create in the kitchen are just incredible :)

18 amy July 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

aww, you are too kind. i was surprised by how delicious + beautiful this turned out – it was so easy to make that i wasn’t expecting it to turn out so perfectly!

19 Rachael July 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I loooove sweet tea! I always have a gallon in my fridge! I am trying this out for sure, it looks so yummy!!

20 amy July 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm

yay – let me know what you think of it! =)

21 Chrissy July 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I have to say I was a little skeptical when I first saw the name of this (being an unsweetened-drinking Yank myself), but after scanning the ingredients list, I might just have to give this a try!

22 amy July 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm

sweet tea does nothing for me either, but this tart does all sorts of glorious things. the hint of tea is super subtle + not sugary at all – i think you’ll dig it!

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