Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Layered Lemon Dessert

Here is the criteria you have to meet to be able to make this dessert.
If you don't meet the criteria then you aren't allowed to make it.
I'm serious.
Are you ready?
Number 1 - You have to love lemon. Not like it. LOVE it. If you just like it then you won't fully appreciate the lemony lemon-ness of this dish.
Number 2 - You have to have patience because you will dirty up a lot of dishes. Unless you enjoy doing dishes... then don't worry about it.
Number 3 - You have to have someone around to share this with. I say this for your own health. If you make this and don't share it then you will eat it all yourself and, while it would be great at the time, it would just not be good for you in the long run.
Do you meet the criteria?
Okay.... then carry on...

Layered Lemon Dessert
(slightly adapted from Taste of Home )

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp butter
 grated peel and juice from 2 large lemons
(about 2 tsp grated peel and 1/2 cup juice)

1 cup  flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter, cold

Cream Cheese Layer
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar

Pudding Layer
2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp vanilla
1 tub (about 3 cups) Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Lemon Filling - In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Slowly stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks to temper the eggs; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and lemon peel and juice.
 Refrigerate until cool.
Crust - In a bowl, combine flour and nuts. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press firmly onto the bottom of prepared 9 X 13 pan.  Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Layer - In a bowl, beat cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth; carefully spread over crust.

Spread with cooled lemon mixture.

Pudding Layer - In another bowl, beat milk and pudding mixes on low for 2 minutes; beat in vanilla. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Spread over lemon layer.
Its a little thick - it helps to drop spoonfuls of the pudding mix over the lemon layer and then gently join the drops together.

Spread with remaining whipped topping.

Chill for at least 4 hours before cutting.

So light and fluffy and lemony. 5 layers of deliciousness.
This reminded me of Sue and my Sex in a Pan recipe. Except, obviously, being lemon instead of chocolate. This really is a nice finish to a heavy meal.
The only issue I had with this was that I didn't cook the lemon custard quite long enough and it was a little runny. It would have been perfect had I made this in individual serving dishes because then being runny wouldn't have mattered.
It still cut well and I was able to serve it BUT the lemon layer kind of oozed out as it sat on the plates.
Not to worry though, we managed to still eat the whole pan of it.

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