Confession - I hardly ever want cake on my birthday.
I blame this on the fact that my birthday is at the beginning of July when it is hot, humid and I just don’t feel like turning on the oven. That combined with my love of frozen desserts usually leads to celebrating my birthday with froyo or ice cream sundaes.
This year things were different. When my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday dessert I just couldn’t get the thought of the Lemon Curd Ice Cream Pie had on vacation (at Trio Bistro) out of my head! You remember that photo, right? I believe I deemed it the “best dessert I’ve ever eaten”.This pie combines two of my favorite things – lemon curd and ice cream. It is so light and refreshing that I knew it would be the perfect dessert for a hot summer birthday. So since I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and since Jackson is approximately 2,336 miles away from home (not like I looked it up or anything) I set out to make my own version.
I combined a few recipes from my favorite places and came up with the perfect combination. This was seriously just as good as the original! There are quite a few components and a lot of steps to put this together but it is definitely worth the effort!
Lemon Curd Gelato Pie [Printable: Lemon Curd Gelato Pie]
Makes 1 Pie
For the Lemon Curd (From Baking BItes)
- 2/3 cup strained, fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
- 10 tbsp sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
For the Meringue (From FoodNetwork’s Baked Alaska Recipe)
- 1 cup egg white (about 6 large eggs), at room temperature
- pinch of cream of tarter
- 1 cup sugar
For the Crust
- 1 cup crushed graham cracker
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 TBSP melted butter
Optional – lemon – sliced into rounds and then in half
Make the Lemon Curd
- In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine sugar and lemon juice.
- Add zest and stir until sugar is dissolved completely.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisking constantly (or with an electric mixer on low), very slowly stream the hot lemon-sugar syrup into the egg. Beat vigorously for 1-2 minutes, then transfer back into the saucepan by pouring the mixture through a sieve.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the curd just comes to a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Transfer to a small airtight container and chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 2-3 hours.
Make the Gelato Base
- In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally so a skin doesn’t form, until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges and the mixture reaches a temperature of 170°F.
- Meanwhile, in a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is well incorporated and the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
- Temper the egg yolks by very slowly pouring in the hot milk mixture while whisking continuously.
- Return the custard to the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and it reaches a temperature of 185°F. Do not bring to a boil.
- Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, stirring every 5 minutes or so. To cool the custard quickly, make an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water and placing the bowl with the custard in it; stir the custard until cooled. Once completely cooled, cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make the Lemon Curd Gelato
- Remove lemon curd and gelato base from the fridge and whisk lemon curd into the gelato base until well combined.
- Freeze gelato in your ice cream maker as directed.
- Transfer to a tupperware container and chill in the freezer until you are ready to assemble the pie.
Make the Meringue
- Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until foamy, about 2 minutes.
- Gradually beat in the sugar on high speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.
- Keep chilled in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the pie.
Make the Crust
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a bowl and mix well.
- Gently press mixture into the bottom of a well greased springform pan and chill.
- Assemble all the components for the pie.
- Line lemon slices around the edge of the springform pan (so that it looks like there is a line of arches around the pan)
- Spread gelato evenly over the crust being careful to keep lemons slices press up against the edges of the pan.
- Spread meringue on top of gelato and swirl a design on the top of the pie.
- Store pie in freezer until you are ready to serve.
- Before serving let thaw for 10 minutes. If you desire, brown the top of the meringue with a kitchen blowtorch.
Try this sweet, tart and perfectly refreshing dessert this summer! It’s a must if you like lemony treats!
Do you have the same dessert for your birthday every year?
What is your favorite frozen treat?