You know how when September rolls around everyone is squawking about her love for pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin parfaits,…. (I swear I was not trying to be like Bubba from Forrest Gump, but alas I was)?
Well, it is time to give lemon her turn in the sun. Lemon is the new pumpkin. You heard it here first, folks.
I have a strange affinity for all things lemon. I kid you not. My favorite Starburst is lemon.
I just started busting out and trying some new lemon concoctions a couple of weeks ago, and the treats that follow are pretty easy to make especially the lemon curd, which is so ridiculously delicious that is should be a dessert on its own (seriously, it’s that good).
After trying out and changing some recipes, I am sharing with you the recipes for Lemon Curd Cookie Tarts and Easy Lemon Cheesecakes. Whenever I can, I like to throw in whole wheat flour and coconut oil, and cut sugar amounts– these recipes reflect these changes. I do this, so I can feel relatively better about what my little kiddos are consuming– whatever makes you sleep at night.
The cookie recipe for the Lemon Curd Cookies is the same for the Easy Lemon Cheesecake, so I usually make both at the same time. Go Hard or Go Home, that’s what I always say (actually, I don’t, but I guess I better start…).
Lemon Curd Cookie Tarts
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 c honey (slightly less if you want a tarter curd)
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 egg and 4 egg yolks
- Zest of one Lemon
Directions for the Lemon Curd
- Put the lemon juice, honey and butter, along with a pinch (or two) of salt into a double boiler or a glass bowl nested in a pot with water (make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl)
- Heat until the butter, lemon, and honey are fully blended and melted.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg and yolks lightly with a fork.
- Move the pan off the heat and stir the beaten eggs into the warm lemon mixture.
- Return to the double boiler and cook, stirring regularly until mixture becomes thick and custard-like. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes. (The curd should be smooth and creamy.) I usually stand by the stove with my whisk and whisk for 30 seconds on and 20 seconds off. Once the curd is thick, remove immediately from heat (Do not delay on this because the curd can turn lumpy).
- Remove from the heat and stir occasionally as it cools.
- Pour into a clean jar and chill in refrigerator (I usually put it in a mason jar, and I always marvel at how sweet and quaint it looks).
Ingredients for the Cookie Cups
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/2 cup Coconut Oil (you can use Vegetable Oil, but I prefer Coconut Oil)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup lemon curd (recipe above)
- powdered sugar or Faux Meringue
Directions for the Cookie Cups
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine the flours, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar in a small bowl (I whisk my ingredients. I saw it on The Chew, and have just went with it.)
- Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the oil, egg and vanilla and zest. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and stir until combined.
- Take a tablespoon of the dough and roll into balls. Place each ball into each cup of a greased mini muffin tin (I greased mine with Crisco, but I have also lined my cups with parchment paper).
- Bake for about 8 minutes
- Remove from oven and using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
- Return to the oven and bake for an additional 4 minutes, or until cookies are firm and lightly browned on the sides.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
- Fill each cookie cup with Lemon Curd
- Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar or Top with Faux Meringue (recipe follows).
*** The dough should make about 36 cookie cups, but If you are going to make the Cheesecake below, you will only make 24 cookie cups, and keep the rest of the dough for the crust of the Cheesecake… ya, dig?
Easy Lemon Cheesecake with a Faux Meringue Topping
The curd and dough for the cookie cups are used for my Easy Lemon Cheesecake with the Faux Meringue Topping. I usually make them both at the same time just because I can’t get enough of lemon and there is always plenty of curd!
Ingredients for the Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat kind), softened slightly
1/2 of an 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk (So, a 7 oz can if you can find it)
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
Directions for the Lemon Cheesecake Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a glass pie plate a lot (I use Crisco), but because this crust is thick, I suggest lining the bottom of the plate with parchment paper.
3. Smush (so, technical) the dough from the recipe above in the bottom of the pie plate and slightly up the sides. Place it in the oven for about 10 minutes. If you want a crunchier crust, cook the dough for a bit longer.
4. Put the all ingredients in a stand mixer, and beat together for about a minute or until the mixture is relatively smooth (I always have a few lumps). Pour the mixture into the par-baked crust. Sprinkle the additional dough on top of the filling mixture.
5. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the center is set.
6. Allow the cheesecake to cool, and then place a layer of the lemon curd on top of the cheesecake.
7. Dollop a layer of faux meringue topping on top of the lemon curd. I use this recipe for the faux meringue topping–it’s ridiculously easy and reminds me of a mixture meringue and marshmallow.
Here are the directions from http://www.blessthismessplease.com:
“White Cloud Icing
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Use a stand mixer. It will change your life. You can make this using a hand mixer, but it just takes time. In a clean bowl (any grease on your bowl or utensils will ruin the icing, egg whites hate grease!) beat the egg whites and salt on high speed until foamy. While the mixer is running, slowly add the sugar. Beat mixture until soft peaks form (when you pull the mixer out of the white mixture you should get a little point that bends over).
Bring the corn syrup to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. When the corn syrup comes to a boil, remove from heat. Slowly pour the hot corn syrup into the egg mixture while your mixer is mixing on high. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Use the frosting right away and eat any leftovers, it doesn’t store well.”
These desserts are so cheery, you can’t help but want to smile and simultaneously gobble them up.
Am I right? or Am I right?