In a mixing bowl, combine the dry pudding mix and half & half milk. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes so the pudding can get nice and thick. Once thickened, spread 1 1/2 cups of the pudding into the pie crust. Set aside the remaining pudding.
In a separate mixing bowl, using a handheld blender, beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar until it's creamy and combined. Using a spatula, fold the cool whip in and mix until combined. Add half of the mixture into the remaining pudding mix. Spread into the pie crust to form the 2nd layer.
Spread the remaining cool whip/cream cheese mixture on top of the pie, or use a piping tip and bag to pipe it on as wanted.
It's best to let the pie refrigerate overnight OR at least for 6-8 hours so that it can firm up, come together, and get nice & cold.
When ready to serve, garnish with fresh lemon slices if wanted.
The granulated sugar will dissolve into the cream cheese. I know some may worry about it being grainy, but I promise it won't. Just make sure the cream cheese is softened well so it can all mix together.
I use this Wilton 1A piping tip and these piping bags. Put the tip in, cut the corner and then put the piping bag into a tall cup. I then use a spatula to put the cream cheese/cool whip mixture into the bag and then pipe it onto the pie as wanted.
I put the cream cheese, unwrapped, onto a microwave safe plate and the microwave it for about 25 seconds or so. You want the cream cheese nice and softened so it blends in easily with the sugar.