Today’s Lovely Lemon recipe is one I have had in my file for over a year. It was given to me by my brother’s mother-in-law, Marilyn. Last year when we were together for my nephew’s birthday, Marilyn told me about this amazing dessert she had made for Easter dinner. It was a lemon recipe so of course I had to have it. Marilyn graciously emailed me a copy of the recipe. I printed it off and stuck it in my file.
I pulled the recipe out this week because you see, last week, I attended Marilyn’s funeral. The last time I saw Marilyn was a year ago when she shared this recipe with me so I thought it was fitting that, in memory of Marilyn, I tried the recipe this week.
Marilyn was small in stature but large in spirit. She was a successful entrepreneur who loved beautiful things, fashion, good food and most importantly her family. We did not see Marilyn often but when we did she always made us feel welcome and took the time to talk with us and find out what was happening in our lives.
Marilyn’s recipe was originally called Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie in Toasted Pecan Crust. It is from Jamie’s Restaurant in Pensacola, Florida. Marilyn was right – it is amazing. In fact as I tucked one of my girls in bed last night she commented, half asleep, “That dessert you made tonight was really good.” Later as I climbed in bed with sweet hubby, he too commented, “I really liked that lemon dessert you made tonight.” So it is a keeper, but from now on it will be known, at least at our house, as Marilyn’s Lemon Curd and Ice Cream Pie.
LA Notes: Be sure and use quality ice cream. I used my ice cream of choice, Haggen Dazs. The pie is made in stages and needs freezing between each stage so make sure and allow yourself enough time.
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
3 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened, divided
4 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch of cream of tartar
6 Tablespoons sugar
For Lemon curd: Whisk eggs and egg yolks in medium bowl. Melt butter in medium metal bowl set over large saucepan of simmering water. Whisk in sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt; gradually whisk in egg mixture. Whisk until thick and thermometer inserted into curd registers 178-180 degrees; about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Press plastic wrap on top of curd, chill 4 hours (Do Ahead: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled)
For Crust: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix pecans, sugar, and butter in medium bowl until moistened. Press pecan mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9 inch diameter glass pie dish (mixture will be crumbly). Bake until crust is lightly toasted, about 12 minutes (crust will sip down sides of dish as it cooks). Use back of spoon to press crust back into place. Cool on crust on rack. Freeze crust 30 minutes.
Dollop 1 1/2 cups ice cream over crust; spread into even layer. Spread lemon curd over ice cream; freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Dollop 1 1/2 cups softened ice cream over lemon curd, spread into even layer. Cover and freeze until firm, about 2 hours
For Meringue: Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until frothy. Beat in cream of tartar. With mixture running gradually add sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon meringue over pie, spreading to seal at edges and swirling decoratively.
You can freeze it again at this point if you want or you can cook the meringue and serve. To toast the meringue you can either use a kitchen butane torch, toasting meringue until golden in spots or place pie in a preheated 500 degree oven until meringue is golden in spots, watching to prevent burning, about 5 minutes. Cut pie into wedges, serve immediately.