I’ve been dying to create something new with my lemon curd for a while now. I’m a massive fan of lemon meringue pie so I was thinking along the lines of a healthy meringue pie but wanted something more “puddingy”. So I decided to create a cheesecake-inspired layered pud instead and lo and behold this squishy, goey, sweet, lemony jar of goodness was created!
Not only do these taste heavenly but they’re full of goodness and I think they look pretty cool too! They’d make fab individual desserts for a dinner or lunch party.
It passed the test of my chief taster and lemon curd fiend Colette and even managed to please my friend Dee who’s a self-confessed full fat, full sugar cheesecake addict!
Here’s the proof – Colette savouring the lemony goodness ;)
There are three parts to this pud: the base, the filling and the topping. It does require a little preparation in advance (for the filling and topping) but it’s super quick to put together after that.
Now depending how much you want to make you can adjust the quantities below. I tend to make big batches of all 3 components and then put together a few puds but also eat the various components on their own too! It will also depend how large your pud containers are. All of these components can be made in advance – the curd will last several weeks in the fridge, the base will be fine for 1-2 weeks and the topping will last a week in the fridge. So you can always prepare all the bits a few days in advance and then pop it all together on the day! The puds themselves will last a good few days in the fridge (if you can resist eating them!).
For the topping:
You will be making a cashew cream (basic recipe here) – for this one though I leave out the sweetener. So you will need:
1-2 cups raw Cashews (depends how much you want to make)
Water (enough to cover them and then another cup or so)
(You will also need a few tbsp of lemon curd for the final construction)
First things first soak the cashews overnight (or for as long as you can) in water (so that they are well covered).
Drain and rinse them and then pop them in to the blender. Start by adding about half as much water as cashews to the blender and give it a blitz. Continue adding water until the cashews are smooth and you have the consistence of cream that you want – less water, thicker cream! You want it quite thick for this recipe. At this point you can pop it in the fridge while you do other bits.
For the filling:
You will need to make a batch of curd for the filling! I always have a jar in my fridge (I get palpitations when I start to run low ;) ) so this is always on standby for me. The recipe has been posted before (here) but here it is again for ease.
You will need:
1 1/4 cups of Lemon juice (I used 6 very large lemons)
Zest of half of the lemons used (freeze the rest of the zest for use later)
1/2 cup of Cold water
1 3/4 cups unrefined raw Sugar (adjust to taste)
5 tbsp Cornflour (corn starch)
2 tbsp non-dairy margarine
6 tbsp Almond milk (you could also use soya or coconut milk)
Juice and zest your lemons. You only need the zest from half of the lemons but it’s worth zesting them all and keeping the remaining zest in the freezer to use in other recipes later.
Place the lemon juice and water in a cold saucepan. Add the cornstarch and whisk to dissolve. Add the sugar and turn on the heat. Continue to whisk as you bring the mixture to a boil slowly. Once boiling allow it to boil gently for one minute without stirring.
Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking the whole time, and cook for 3 minutes. Have a little taste – if it’s not sweet enough for you then stir in some more sugar. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl or jars and allow to cool. Place in the fridge once cooled.
For the base:
You can adjust the quantities and types of fruit and nut to taste or depending on what you have to hand. You want to end up with a sticky consistency though so the dates are important. I used:
1/2 cup raw Cashews
1/2 cup raw Almonds
1/4 cup of Pecans
1/4 cup Raisins
1/3 cup of dates (if using dried dates then soak in warm water for 5-10 mins, keep the water to one side once soaked)
A good pinch or two of Lemon zest
Pop all of this lot into a food processor and pulse until blended and well combined. It will come together to form a sticky dough. If it’s not sticky enough add some more fruit and a little of the water from the dates. If it’s too sticky you can add some more nuts. Adjust the amount of lemon zest to taste.
Construction of the pud!
You will need some jars, glasses, ramekins, or whatever you fancy serving this in.
First take a few spoonfuls of the base mixture and press well into the base of your chosen jar. I like to have a depth of 2-3 cm, but obviously you can add more or less as you like.
Then add a generous layer of lemon curd – this curd is beautifully tart so you don’t need a huge amount – I used about 1-2 cm.
Finally take your topping and stir 2 – 4 tbsp lemon curd through it (adjust to taste) and then layer on the top – as thick as you want!
Finish with some lemon zest. Keep in the fridge until you’re ready to devour it!
You can even supersize this and make a massive one – for sharing… (Or not ;) )