Sometimes simple really is better. As much fun as it is to spend hours in the kitchen creating fantastic desserts, it is also fun to use convenience products from the store and pull together something quick and easy, as well as delicious. Lemon curd is just about perfect straight out of the jar; in fact, it is hard not to eat it all by itself. But common sense prevails, so it is nice to have a recipe, such as these Mini Lemon Cream Pies, where we can use that luscious curd and whip up these tasty mini pies. What is lemon curd, exactly? Lemon curd (or cheese) is traditionally a British filling for cakes and pastries and a topping or filling for pies. Recipes dating back to the early 1800’s called for acidulating cream with lemon juice, then separating the curds and whey, creating something called lemon cheese. Over the years, the original recipe for lemon cheese, or lemon curd, evolved into one using butter and eggs, and along with being used in sweets, it is also served in sandwiches or scones for afternoon tea as an alternative to jam. Today lemon curd is made with beaten egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest with some recipes adding egg whites and butter. Fortunately, you don’t have to stand over the stovetop carefully stirring a mixture to get a perfectly smooth curd. There are some quality store brands, such as Stonewall Kitchen and Dickinsons, which deliver top-notch taste.
1 (11.5-oz.) jar high-quality lemon curd (such as Stonewall Kitchen)
4 mini graham cracker piecrusts (from a 4-oz. package)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
How to Make It
Divide lemon curd (such as Stonewall Kitchen) evenly among graham cracker piecrusts. Beat heavy cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; spoon over lemon curd in piecrusts. Top with lemon zest.