For Ben’s birthday I made Peanut Butter Pie – no baking, no heating up the kitchen. For Joe’s birthday last week we enjoyed another cool sweet for the birthday “cake.” I found a recipe for this layered dessert in the most recent Food and Wine magazine, titled Lemony Layered Cheesecake. It does have mascarpone cheese, but is more light and fluffy than any cheesecake . It looks complicated and would certainly be elegant enough to grace a table for guests, but by some clever application of plastic wrap, it turns out like magic Oh yes, it is absolutely delicious! This combination works well especially when berries are in season, but other combinations are great, too.. Try using the cream paired with raspberry preserves spread between layers of chocolate wafer cookies, or mix apple butter with the mascarpone, layer with ginger snaps, and sprinkle with minced crystallized ginger.
Lemon Cream and Berry Delight
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup homemade* or purchased lemon curd
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
20 whole graham crackers
Berries for topping’- blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries
Line a 9X5 inch loaf pan (I used pyrex) with plastic wrap, leaving 5 or inch overhang on all sides. In bowl of electric mixer, combine mascarpone and cream and beat on medium speed until smooth and beginning to be firm . Don’t over beat. Fold in lemon curd and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt.
Spread a thin layer of lemon cream over the bottom of plastic wrapped pan. Arrange a layer of single graham crackers on top of this, breaking some to cover. Repeat the layers of cream and graham crackers 5 or 6 times until you have just enough cream to spread on top.. Wrap the dessert with overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator, unwrap top pieces of plastic wrap, place flat serving dish on top and invert pan. Remove all plastic wrap, decorate with berries as you wish, and serve, adding berries alongside.
*see my recipe for lemon curd in a November 3, 2011 post