Easy Lemon Pie with Coconut “Cloud” Cream

lemon pieWhoever thought of biscuit crusts is a genius. I mean, it’s fun and challenging to make a tart base from scratch but when you don’t have the time, a biscuit crust will always make you look good. No kneading, no blind baking, just crush the biscuits and you are almost done. As simple as it may be, a cookie crust doesn’t have to be boring. Adding ingredients like cocoa or nuts elevates a simple dessert to a spectacular one.

lemon pie 3This is the case. A gorgeous lemon pie, fit for a dinner party with the boss, is an easy yet decadent dessert, thanks to a few tweaks to a simple recipe. I added almonds and desiccated coconut to the crust and it worked like a dream. For the cream layer I used sweetened condensed milk. And finally I added coconut cream to the topping, which gave it an incredible flavour and taste. I call it “cloud” cream because this is what it reminds me of. It’s lightened with beaten egg white so it’s fluffy and airy like a cloud.

Thinking about it this pie is so easy; my son could put it together without the help of an adult. The great thing is no one would ever guess.

For the base

  • 1 ½ cup crushed biscuits (I used Mcvities“digestives”)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, coarsely ground
  • ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the lemon cream

  • 1 X 397 grams can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs + 1 large yolk (you will use the egg white in the topping)

For the coconut “Cloud” cream

  • 1 cup cream
  • ¼ cup coconut cream (from a can)
  • 2 Tbs “Philadelphia” type cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 Tbs granulated sugar

Method

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 175 C. Put crushed biscuits, coconut and almonds in a bowl. Mix briefly and add the melted butter. Mix again until all dry ingredients are moistened. Put mixture in a 23 cm glass pie pan (a 23 cm cake pan with removable sides is also fine, but I prefer not to transfer my pie for serving). Press biscuit mixture on bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Make the lemon cream: Reduce oven temperature to 150 C. Put sweetened milk, cream, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a bowl (you can do this in a mixer bowl or a food processor). Mix until combined. Pour in the lemon juice and mix well. Mixture will thicken slightly. Lightly beat the eggs and the yolk and add them to the bowl. Mix until everything is combined and smooth.

Pour lemon cream into the cooled crust. Bake for 30 minutes at 150 C. Gently shake the pan. The cream should jiggle slightly in the centre. That’s how it should be. Cool cream to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Make the coconut “cloud” cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, put the cream, coconut cream, cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar. Whisk until thickened to a “whipped cream” consistency. In a separate, clean mixer bowl, whisk the egg white until foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and keep whisking until soft peeks form. Fold the cream mixture into the meringue mixture in two batches. Mix gently until combined

Spread the “cloud” cream on the chilled lemon cream. Sprinkle with the coconut and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

2 thoughts on “Easy Lemon Pie with Coconut “Cloud” Cream

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