Monday, September 23, 2013

Lemon Cream Pies

My youngest (soon to be middle!) daughter, Sophie, requested these Lemon Cream Pies for her birthday instead of a cake.  That's how good they are!

Tender chewy lemon cookies filled with a lemony cream cheese roux-based frosting.  
Soooooo good!  I've also made these for a semi-fancy party, and they were the biggest hit of the spread! 

Lemon Cream Pies

Lemon Cookie:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, egg and egg yolk. Mix with an electric mixer on high until creamy. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined on low speed with the mixer. Add juice and zest and blend on low until combined.

Spoon small mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto your parchment covered baking sheet.   Bake just until the edges barely begin to turn golden brown, 8-12 minutes, depending on size. Do not over bake!

Remove from the pan immediately and dust with powdered sugar while warm. Cool completely and chill, preferably overnight, before consumption.

Avoid judging the taste and texture of these cookies warm from the oven. They will seem too mild, soft and cakey. After they cool for a half day or so, they will set up as a thin chewy wafer with intensified flavor. I prefer mine to be chilled in the fridge for a day before use, and they are especially delicious eaten straight from the freezer.

Lemon Filling:
6 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
6 ounces (2/3 block) cream cheese, room temp

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together flour and milk. Whisk constantly until it is really thick and smooth (this will take some elbow grease). Remove from the heat.

Place your pan in a bowl of cold water with ice to cool quickly. Once cool, whisk in lemon juice.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest. Blend in cream cheese until well mixed.

Beat the milk paste into the butter mix on high for about a minute until the frosting is gooey and smooth. The longer you mix, the lighter (more airy) it will be.  You can go up to 2 full minutes for a nice light frosting.

To assemble the Lemon Cream Pies, squish your filling between your cookies and chill for an hour before serving. Best served chilled. Enjoy!


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