Lemon Parfaits

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My family loves meringue cookies, but making meringues leaves me with lots of leftover egg yolks.  What to do with the leftover yolks? Lemon curd!

It so happens that lemon curd is delicious spread on meringue cookies, but it is also very useful in other refreshing lemon desserts. One of my favorite lemon desserts is lemon angel pie, and the lemon mousse from that recipe is also very nice layered as a parfait.

Here is how I made my lemon parfaits for Passover. I bought small dessert cups known as “tasting cups” and filled them with layers of the lemon mousse, plain whipped topping, small dabs of lemon curd and Passover lady fingers.

You don’t have to use lady fingers for this recipe; cubed sponge cake will work just as well. In fact, if you have leftover bits of stale sponge cake, making parfaits is a great way to use them up. If you don’t want to make lemon curd, you can make raspberry mousse by mixing raspberry jam (to taste) with whipped topping. Or you can make chocolate mousse by whipping cocoa powder and sugar into whipped topping. You could layer leftover bits of brownies with cocoa mousse, whipped topping and chocolate syrup.

 

Lemon Parfaits

One recipe lemon curd
pint non-dairy topping whip, whipped
one 3 ounce box Passover lady fingers or sponge cake cut in 1″ cubes
8-12 small 4 ounce dessert cups (aka “tasting cups”)

To make the lemon mousse, mix about 2/3 of the lemon curd with half of the whipped topping (about a cup of lemon curd mixed about 2 cups of whip).  The lemon curd will be stiff, so the easiest way to combine the lemon curd with the whipped cream is to first soften the lemon curd by mixing it well with 1/3 of the whipped topping. Once the lemon curd has been thoroughly mixed with the first portion of whipped topping, fold in the remaining two-thirds of the whipped topping.

Layer the mousse with the plain whipped topping, the cookies (broken into thirds) and the leftover lemon curd. First put a layer of lemon mousse, then a piece of cookie, then a small dab of lemon curd, then a spoon of whipped topping. Repeat to fill the cups, ending with a layer of whipped topping and a dab of lemon curd.

Lemon Curd
Makes 1 1/2 cups. Adapted from Martha Stewart. The amount of egg whites is flexible: you can use all yolks, or use two whole eggs and four yolks, or you can use four whole eggs and two yolks.

4 yolks (or you can use 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks if you don’t want too many leftover whites)
2 eggs (or can use just 2 yolks if you need the whites for something else)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
lemon zest from 2 lemons (optional–obviously, you have to zest the lemons before juicing them)

Combine and cook over low heat in a saucepan until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly  (or cook in a bowl set over a pot of hot water, stirring regularly, for about 15-20 minutes). Cool thoroughly before using.

Note: I find that it is best to whisk together the sugar and lemon together first, and then whisk in the eggs.

Bonus:

Mocha Mousse
1 pint whipped topping or heavy cream
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (you will need less sugar if you use whipped topping instead of whipped cream because the pareve whip is pre-sweetened; start with 2-4 Tbl. and add more as needed)
1-2 Tbl. coffee powder, dissolved in 1 Tbl. hot water

Mix and whip. For plain cocoa mousse, leave out the coffee. For plain coffee, leave out the cocoa and use 2-4 tbl. of sugar instead of the amount listed above (start with no sugar, and add sugar as needed after the coffee is dissolved in).

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