Another Special Springtime Dessert

This recipe takes a little planning ahead as it needs to cool between steps so plan on about 45+ minutes,  give or take.

This beautiful spring recipe is a wonderful Easter dessert.  It is richly delicious and pastel “Easter Egg” color. For spring get-togethers, I always serve some variation of this, but for our family gathering I use individual dishes for best presentation and ease of service on our Buffet for 12.

Lavish Lemon Parfaits      ~~~~~~~~~       Serves 12

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups cold butter, cut in cubes

Pulse cold butter into all-purpose flour in food processor until crumbly or a course meal texture.  Pour onto a baking sheet and pat gently to firm.  Don’t over press!  Bake in 350°F oven for 18 minutes until it starts to brown.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  When cool, using a fork, coarsely crumble the baked crust.  Measure out 3/4 cup of crumble and reserve for garnish.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  •   3/4 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 16 oz. cream cheese (softened)

Blend sugar with cream cheese and cream until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth and glossy.  Set aside in a cool area but do not refrigerate.

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 (2.9 oz.) packages of lemon pie filling (Not Instant*)  See Red Note!
  • 5 eggs (yolks only).  Reserve whites for another purpose by placing in a zip lock bag and freezing them for up to two months.  Be sure to label and date them so you can identify them later.

Prepare pie filling essentially according to package but reduce sugar by two tbsp., add the extra egg yolk (the boxes calls for only 4),  and add lemon zest.  When cooked, set aside to cool.

  • 1 pint Whipping Cream
  • 2 tsp. Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (or lemon extract+ zest if you want to go “all the way”
  • Mint sprigs or fresh cherries/raspberries for garnish (optional)

Whip cream to soft peaks, add  sugar and vanilla and continue to whip to stiff peaks.  Cover and refrigerate.

When all parts of the parfaits are finished assemble as follows:

~Set up custard or small parfait dishes on a tray.
~Sprinkle two tbsp. crumble crust into each dish.
~Top crumble with two tbsp. cream cheese filling.  Spread to cover the crumble.
~Spread a layer (two generous tbsp.) lemon filling over the cream cheese  filling.
~Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crumble.  Refrigerate   until time for service.
~Additional garnish of a mint sprig or fresh cherry/raspberry is beautiful (but optional)

I also sometimes  make it in a 9×13 baking dish as  “lemon bars”  to finish fish dinners.  Not everyone in my family loves fish as much as fish loves them, so it is the “treat” at the end for being polite and pretending to enjoy “something good for you”.

NOTE:  This recipe is easily lightened in fat and sugar calories by using lo-fat (not fat free) cream cheese and sugar-free “Instant” pudding mix.  Also, for the Parfait version, I just dollop on the whipped cream to keep the serving small, but it is harder to get away with skimping when you serve this as squares.

Love you all!

©Barbara Ziegler/ 2013

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