Alan Jackson lemon icebox pie
Rich Pedroncelli, File and Amy Sussman/Invision/AP

Merle Haggard Reacted Harshly to Alan Jackson's Mama's Lemon Icebox Pie


Alan Jackson's inclusion of Merle Haggard tribute "That's the Way Love Goes" on new album Where Have You Gone gives one Country Music Hall of Famer ample excuses to share old stories about another.

The most delightful example of this came when Jackson told the Tennessean about the Hag's strong reaction to "Mama Ruth" Musick-Jackson's lemon icebox pie.

During a tour with Haggard as Jackson's opening act, Jackson hired caterers to prepare such family favorites and Southern comfort foods as the before-mentioned pie.

"It was one of my favorites but not everybody likes it, you know," Jackson told the Tennessean. "I just remember one time we came into catering and Merle's sittin' in there and the guys said, 'Merle, how's the food today?'"


"[He said], 'Oh, it's pretty good, but don't eat that god---n yella pie!'" Jackson recalled while laughing about the awkward exchange.

"I never did tell him that was my mama's pie," Jackson added. "He was just that way. He was crazy. He was funny."

Back in the day, Jackson's mama would've wanted a family recipe on hand for a chilled desert that requires minimal--or zero--baking during a hot Georgia summer. It was a treat on sweltering August days in Newnan on par with homemade ice cream, which is among the things Jackson longs for in new song "Back."

Read More: Gary Morris: Country Music's Renaissance Man of the 1980s


Wide Open Eats ran a list of icebox cake recipes that include a different kind of lemon dessert. In an electric mixer, whip together butter, heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until peaks form. Layer graham crackers, lemon curd and the lemon whipped cream in a pan and refrigerate. You can also make this in a springform pan. Read more about the lemon cake--and a comparable chocolate peanut butter icebox cake recipe-- here.

For a recipe more similar to Mama Ruth's, try this one and its handmade graham cracker pie crust. The pie filling can be made with just three ingredients: Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and cream cheese.

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