If someone asked what my favorite dessert is, I’d be seriously hard pressed to say, but pies would definitely be up there in the top five, and when they’re made into cute little bit-sized tartlets, they quickly soar to the top of the list. These Lemon Curd Mini Tarts are nearly as much fun to make as they are to eat, and judging by how quickly they were gobbled by my co-workers, that’s pretty darn fun. You will notice in the pictures that I also have a red-ish filling in some of the tarts shells (blueberry on top). That’s a raspberry curd filling that I found at World Markets, the brand name is Harrowgate. Oh sooooo good! I was short on time and knew I wasn’t going to be able to make another curd filling, so I used this “cheat”. Gotta love it when “shortcuts” work out this well! Of course, there’s nothing that says you can’t cheat on the lemon curd, too; I haven’t tried it, but no doubt theHarrowgate lemon curd is just as delicious as their raspberry version. Enoy!
Ice cream has to be my favorite summer time dessert (you’ll be surprised to hear that chocolate is my go-to flavour…), but every now and then a body needs to put down the ice cream bowl and pickup some other creamy delight, and so I bring you…No Bake Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake.
There’s no heating up the kitchen or yourself with this lightly sweet treat. Now, I should tell you that the flavor emphasis is more on the lemon than the raspberry, so if you prefer it to lean a little more toward raspberry, reduce the lemon juice and zest by a teaspoon each and add in another half cup of raspberries. Either way it’s delicious, and so easy – just like a summer dessert should be!
For the crust:
- 3/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (10 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, mashed slightly
- Stir together the chocolate wafer crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar and melted butter. Divide the crumbs between your serving dishes; press crumbs into the bottoms of the dishes to form the crust.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and lemon zest. Add cream cheese and beat with a stand or hand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla and lemon juice mixing to combine. Fold in the whipped topping with a rubber spatula until thoroughly incorporated, then fold in the raspberries.
- Spoon or pipe the filling into the prepared serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Barely adapted from: My Baking Addiction
Almost all of the desserts I make for this blog are shared with my co-workers and a week or so ago one of them requested Lemon Bars. I was happy to oblige, kind of excited because it was my first request (it’s the little things…), and a little relieved too because sometimes I think that without intervention, most of the desserts I would make and share here would be made of chocolate or have chocolate in them somewhere. Not that there’s anything really wrong with that, but as strange as it may seem to us chocolate lovers/addicts, there are people out there who really don’t care for chocolate (they say it tastes bitter). To the rescue…Lemon Bars! I’ve tried a number of recipes over the years with varying degrees of success, but just recently I discovered Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s perfect Lemon Bar recipe. It has just the right ratio of tender, buttery crust to creamy, tangy, lemon custard filling. Look no further Lemon Bar fans! Oh, there will be some lip smackin’ goin’ on.
For the Crust:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, (plus additional to sprinkle on bars):
- 1/4 cup cornstarch:
- 1/2 teaspoon salt:
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), (dice small and put back in frig until ready to process):
For the Filling:
- 4 large eggs:
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar:
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour:
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest:
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 or 4 lemons):
- 1/3 cup milk:
- Pinch of salt:
Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
- Mix together the flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt (I used a food processor but you can also use a large bowl and a whisk to mix by hand). Add diced, cold butter and process in the food processor for 15-20 seconds; then a couple times more (the butter should be the size of small crumbs). (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a pastry blender).
- Sprinkle the crust mixture into the prepared pan and, using your fingers, press into an even layer on the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. On the middle rack of your oven, bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- For the filling, whisk together eggs, sugar, salt, and flour in a medium bowl; add in the lemon zest, juice, and milk, whisking until combined.
- Pour the filling onto the warm crust. Lower the oven temperature to 325º. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the middle of the filling jiggles slightly when lightly shaken.
- On a wire rack, cool the bars to room temperature, dust with more powdered sugar and cut into squares or bars.
I don’t recall when I first made this recipe or where I got it (it’s scribbled on an old index card with way too many splatters and spots…), but I’ve made this Lemon Layer Dessert many times for potlucks and family gatherings over the years. With Easter on the way, and especially for the kids out there, I decided to decorate the whipped cream top with pastel coconut “nests” and jelly bean eggs. Yes, it’s a wee bit on the sweet side, but any other time you can substitute some lemon zest or a light sprinkling of toasted coconut on top for a more “adult” version. This is my first post to include preparation pictures; I hope they make the process just that much easier for you. Happy Easter everyone!
[fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-coffee” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Ingredients”]
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 (3 3/4 ounce) packages instant lemon pudding
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
- 3 cups milk
- 1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip or Tru Whip, for a more natural alternative
[fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-spoon” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Directions”]
Preheat oven to 375°
- Process flour, butter, and pecans or walnuts for a minute or two in a food processor.
- Press into a 13×9 inch baking dish.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown; cool completely.
- Beat powdered sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy.
- Spread evenly over nut crust.
- Stir together pudding mix and milk (and lemon juice, if using); when thickened, spread over the cream cheese layer.
- Spread container of Cool Whip or Truwhip evenly over top.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Decorate as desired.
If you want to decorate with the coconut nests and jelly bean eggs, divide 2 cups of shredded coconut into four ramekins or small cups, put 1 drop of food coloring onto each 1/2 cup of coconut and stir until the color is well distributed. Spoon small mounded circles, 2″ – 3″ wide onto the whipped cream layer. Place jelly beans on top of the nests. Festive and fun!
Any flavor instant pudding can be substituted in this recipe. I’ve tried chocolate and butterscotch and they’re both delicious!