Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lemon Mascarpone Blueberry Trifle

On a hot humid day I open the fridge for a blast of cool air. And also to quell that devilish urge...the sweet-tooth imp that perennially prods me. Why is it that I need to sample, savor, munch on something sweet after a meal?? Why does my mouth crave sugar after salad?? What's the purpose of that salad if I have to give in to my cravings?? I can't answer for anyone who has had these feelings, but I give in sometimes, indulge the Cookie Monster and eat dessert without any remorse.  

Today is one of those days. I need that sugar shot like a hole in my head. Yet I go for it. I come across a modified recipe for cheesecake. Let me start by saying I am not a cheesecake addict. I can eat a slice and then I'm done for a while. This recipe makes light of cheesecake though!!! Really!! No cream cheese, no eggs and very little sugar. It also calls for lemon curd! Another favorite!! I have graham crackers. I have lemons. I have mascarpone cheese. Though the recipe calls for cream, I veto it. An easy decision as I do not have any in the house. 

The recipe tells me to make homemade lemon curd. Hah! Having never made it before I am nervous. Doubly so, as I am instructed to make lemon curd in the microwave!! So into the deep end I jump! But it really is a breeze making this lemon curd. Just stop the microwave, whisk and fluff for a few minutes and you have this amazing vibrant yellow thick custard, lemony and gooey. As I assemble the graham crackers I decide to sandwich blueberries in each layer. Lemon and blueberries..one of my tried and trusted marriages. The trifle comes together in minutes. It takes longer to set. Into the fridge it goes until I cannot wait a minute more.

Makes 4 servings

5 or 6 Graham Crackers
3/4 cup Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup Lemon curd (recipe below) or store bought Lemon curd
A pinch of Kosher salt
1/2 cup Blueberries
Lemon zest to garnish

Let mascarpone cheese soften at room temperature.

Beat cheese with a whisk to blend.

Add lemon curd and salt and whisk well till mixture is smooth and creamy.

Schmear some cheese curd on a plate.

Place a graham cracker on the schmear. This way the cracker will not slide on the platter. 

Take a heaping tablespoon of cheese curd and drop it on the cracker.

Spread the cheese curd across the graham cracker using a spatula or knife.

Slice blueberries in half if big. Or leave them whole.

Embed them in the cheese curd.

Place another graham cracker on top of this layer and repeat process.

Coat the four sides of the crackers with the remaining cheese curd, as you would ice a cake. 

Garnish with lemon zest.

Let it sit in the fridge to set for 1 hour.

Slice or spoon onto plates.

Lemon Curd

1/2 cup Lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Lemon zest
1/2 cup Sugar
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
1 Egg, at room temperature (important!)

Before you begin, let the egg come to room temperature or else you will get white flecks of cooked egg in your lemon curd. 

Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and stir well to mix.

Place bowl in microwave and zap for 30 seconds.

Remove bowl from microwave and stir to combine. 

Repeat process in 30 second increments till lemon curd is thick and fluffy. It should take about 3 or 4 minutes. 

Whisk well.

The lemon curd keeps in the fridge for a week.

I don't have to wait too long. My concoction looks like an icebox cake. Or an iced lemon loaf. Appearances are deceptive. I love the lightness of lemon and cheese. A tart blueberry is the perfect foil for the crunchy not too sweet cookie. I crumble forkfuls consoling myself that this is not a calorie laden cheesecake. Do I feel better having indulged in a sweet ending??? A lemon blueberry mouthful reveals to me that dessert is really not a trifling matter!