A Whole Lotta Lemon

As promised, here’s a recipe for the delicious dessert I made for Memorial Day! I love anything with lemons in it, and this recipe is full of em. This dessert is refreshing, and can be modified so many ways to make it lighter or richer, depending on how you’re feeling.

Lemon Eton Mess

Basically, this is a parfait of lemon curd, whipped cream, cookies, and fresh berries ( I used raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries). This recipe isn’t difficult at all, and comes together quickly, which is great on a summer night when you’re entertaining!  This recipe comes from my mom’s February issue of Southern Living, with tweaks made by yours truly.

Note: I made the lemon curd and the cookies the day before, which made my day-of cooking totally simple.  All I had to do was whip up some whipped cream (ha! Punny.) and assemble the messes. Which sounds awesome.

Start with the cookies.

You can either: 1) do the easy (and most time effective) thing, and buy a box of crunchy cookies.  I would recommend shortbread, meringues, or something else fairly plainly flavored and crunchy.  You don’t want it to get super soggy!  I, on the other, followed option 2) make your own! Mostly because I had a recipe for lemon shortbread that I just had to try.  It turned out delicious.

Find the recipe here.  It’s pretty involved, but makes some amazing cookies!

Quick and Easy Lemon Curd from myrecipes.com

  • 6  lemons
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4  eggs

Preperation: Grate zest from lemons to equal two tablespoons; squeeze the juice of the lemons to equal one cup.

This. Is. Hard. No one told me how labour intensive it is to zest and juice lemons! Especially without a juicer.  My hands look buffer now.

Step Two: Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add lemon juice to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition; stir in zest. (Mixture will look curdled.) Transfer to a 3-qt. microwave-safe bowl.

Step Three: Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes, stirring at 1-minute intervals. Microwave, stirring at 30-second intervals, 1 to 2 more minutes or until mixture thickens, coats the back of a spoon, and starts to mound slightly when stirred.

Step Four: Place heavy-duty plastic wrap directly on warm curd (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 4 hours or until firm. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  (It tastes great on yogurt, ice cream, berries…you name it!)

photo 2

It looks like this…yuuum!

Okay, so now that we have our curd and cookies…we have to have whipped cream! You could, of course, buy cool whip and be done with it.  But in my opinion there’s nothing like fresh homemade stuff.

Lauren’s Whipped Cream

Step 1: Pour in a carton of whipping cream to a medium sized bowl

Step 2: Add some sugar.  I think I usually stick to around 1/6 of a cup?  But really, it’s whatever looks and tastes good to you! I’ve never been afraid of a little sweetness.

Step 3: Mix with an electric beater on high till you get fluffy peaks. This is the best part.

Finally, the berries.  I left the raspberries and blueberries alone, but chopped the strawberries into quarters.  You might even want to go smaller if they’re chunky.

Now, it’s time to assemble! For our parfaits, I did a layer of lemon curd, followed by a layer of whipped cream, then cookies, and finally berries.  Then I did the whole process over again.  Feel free to expirement!  I was looking for a lighter dessert, so in my mess, I used more berries and only made one set of layers.  It was enough! Sweet, refreshing, and summery.

photo 3

How pretty is that?

For my parents, I went to town, adding big layers of everything! They absolutely loved it.

photo 4

The finished project…so pretty, and so delicious! Love the colors.

So there you have it.  A quick and easy dessert perfect for summer nights out under the stars…or, if you’re me, any time, and anywhere.  Happy sweeting!

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