Lucious Lemon Icebox Cake

Lemon is one of my absolute favorite flavors! Lemons are so versatile and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Last Sunday was Easter, and I hosted our family meal at my home. When planning the menu I decided one of the desserts absolutely MUST be something lemony. I thought about making a lemon cheesecake, but that was too predictable & I wanted to do something extra special for Easter (don’t get me wrong, CHEESECAKE is FABULOUS, but it seems I make cheesecake for almost every holiday and family gathering). I looked through my cookbooks, but didn’t really find any inspiration; so, I turned to the World Wide Web! 🙂

As usual, my online search was very fruitful & provided TONS of new ideas. I settled on a recipe for a traditional lemon icebox cake from Finecooking.com (the original recipe can be found here). This dessert seemed like the perfect Easter dessert for our family dinner. My family & I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this perfect, lemony custard covered cake–it was truly a hit with everyone (including my finicky Hubby–he’s not normally a big lemon fan).  I must say, however, this dessert has several steps & takes a bit of time, so be prepard.

My low carbified version of this delectable dessert is below:

Luscious Lemon Icebox Cake

Lemon filling ingredients:

1 1/2 finely grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons worth)
3/4 cups egg yolks (approximately 12 eggs worth)
6 Tblsp granulated Splenda
2/3 cups lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons worth)
6 Tblsp softened butter
1/2 Tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream

Lemon filling how-to:
In a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan, whisk the egg yolks and Splenda. Add the lemon juice, butter, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened but pourable, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. (Don’t boil or it will curdle.) Mix in the zest. Cool, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

When the lemon curd is cool, beat the cream with an electric mixer on medium speed just until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With a large whisk or spatula, fold in the lemon curd. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Meringue Ingredients:
2 tsp. powdered unflavored gelatin
1 cup plus 3 Tbs. granulated Splenda
3/4 cup egg whites (approximately 6 eggs)
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Meringue how-to:
In a small, microwaveable bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 3 Tblsps. water & allow to set for 5 minutes. Microwave on high to melt the gelatin, 15 to 30 seconds.

In a heavy-duty nonstick 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup of the Splenda and 6 Tblsp. water and stir constantly until the syrup is bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Beat egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy, 45 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form, 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the remaining 3 Tbs. Splenda until stiff peaks form, approximately 2 minutes.

Have ready a 2-cup or larger heatproof liquid measure. Return the pan of syrup to medium-high heat and boil until a candy thermometer registers 248°F (firm ball stage). Pour the syrup into the measure to stop the cooking and then immediately pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. Lower the speed to medium, add the gelatin mixture, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Decrease the speed to low and continue beating until the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, about 10 minutes.

Use a large whisk or spatula to fold one-third of the meringue into the lemon cream. Repeat twice more until all of the meringue is folded into the lemon cream.

Sugar-Free Angel Food Cake:
I purchase a sugar-free angel food cake from the bakery department of my favorite grocery store. 🙂

How to assemble the cake:
Freeze the angel food cake for at least an hour. Remove cake from the container carefully–run a knife along the edges of the container. Once the cake is free from the container, use a large, serrated knife & cut the cake into 4 equal layers. Place the first layer of cake on a lovely cake plate & liberally spoon the lemon cream onto the first layer. Stack the second cake layer on top of the first, and spoon the lemon mixture onto the second cake layer. Repeat this process until all four layers of cake are assembled. When the cake layers are reassembled onto the cake plate, be sure the hole in the middle of the angel food cake is filled with the lemon cream filling. Use the remaining lemon cream to ‘ice’ the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator for about 4 hours (until the lemon cream sets), then cover the cake with a lid (I don’t use plastic wrap because the lemon cream sticks to it). I refrigerated the finished cake overnight & served the next afternoon. So very delicious!!! 🙂

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