• Tommy Centola

Refreshing Lemon desserts wraps up good meal

Lemons are one of the more popular citrus fruits. It can be used to deodorize, remove grease and disinfect. Of course, lemons are often used in cooking, especially in desserts.

I find that a lemon dessert leaves you feeling refreshed after a meal. It’s tartness combines with a sweetener to perk up your taste buds. With that in mind, today I am sharing a couple of lemon desserts, Lemon Ice Box Pie and Lemon Ice. I am also including a Reduced Sugar version of the Ice Box pie, for anyone who tries to keep excess sugar out of their diet.

This is my take on a popular southern dessert. Having to add a New Orleans twist, I included pecan pieces with the graham cracker crumbs for the crust. The first time I made it was while my mother-in-law, Lorraine Anderson, was visiting my wife and I. It was a hot day and she wanted something sweet and cool. She enjoyed it and I think you will too.

Lemon Ice Box Pie

Crust

1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 cup Pecan Pieces

1/3 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Butter Melted

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor. Press into a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool before adding the filling

Filling

16 ounces Cream Cheese softened

14 ounces can Sweetened Condensed Milk

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Lemon Zest

In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add condensed milk, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

This next recipe brings back memories from my childhood. Many New Orleans Italian restaurants would offer Lemon Ice on their dessert menu. This dish is also used during large meals as a palate cleanser.

Lemon Ice

1 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon grated Lemon Zest

1 1/4 cups Sugar

1 1/4 cups cold Water

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and boil until the sugar is absorbed completely, to make a simple syrup. Place the lemon juice, zest, and simple syrup in the bowl of an ice cream freezer and churn for 20 to 25 minutes or until frozen. Pack into covered container and place in the freezer to harden completely.

Roughly 9% of Americans have Diabetes. I have had Type 2 Diabetes since being diagnosed in 2000. Since there is no cure for this disease, I have adjusted my eating habits to live a good live. The following recipe is the result of adapting to my lifestyle without sacrificing flavor.

Reduced Sugar Lemon Ice Box Pie

1 tub Sugar-Free Lemonade mix ( enough to make 2 quarts lemonade)

2 (1 ounce) packages Sugar Free Fat Free Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix

3 1/4 cups Skim Milk

2 tablespoons Nonfat Sour Cream

Grated zest and juice of 1 medium Lemon

12 ounces Sugar Free Whipped Topping

2 (8-inch) Graham Cracker Pie Shells

Combine the lemonade mix and pudding mix in a bowl and mix well. Whisk in the skim milk until thickened. Stir in the sour cream, halt the lemon zest and lemon juice. Fold in 1/4 of the whipped topping. Spoon the lemon filling evenly into the pie shells. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator until set. Spread with the remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest.

End your next meal with the tart taste of lemon. You should feel refreshed and a little less full. Remember, when life gives you lemons, make a Lemon Ice Box Pie.

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