Lemon Trifle

Lemon! One of our family’s favorite flavors and in one of our favorite forms: a trifle. I personally love how easy trifles are to make. Its pretty layered look is easy to assemble, and also easy to serve.

We’ve made this recipe for years, and it’s always a HUGE hit whether for holidays, birthdays, or catered events. It has a shortbread crust layer, a tangy lemon layer, and lastly a cheesecake-like layer. Individually they are all are good , but even better combined!

We actually have recipes for two sizes. One yields about 9 servings and the larger yields about 15 servings. The pictures show the 15-serving option, and it’s massive. I made it for a family gathering of 12 people and we had about half leftover.  You’ll find the basic recipe for 9 servings first and the one for 15 at the bottom!

RECIPE FOR 9 SERVINGS

CRUST:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter, melted

FILLING

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

TOPPING

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 oz Cool Whip, thawed

In a small bowl, combine flour and butter. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and flour. Stir in water until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in the lemon juice and butter. Transfer to a large bowl. Cool to room temperature without stirring. Cover surface with waxed paper and refrigerate until chilled.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Break shortbread into small pieces. Alternate layers the shortbread, filling, and topping into the trifle dish. We set aside some shortbread to make sure there’s enough to go on top!

RECIPE FOR 15 SERVINGS

CRUST:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted

FILLING

  • 2  1/4 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 and 5/8 cups water
  • 4 or 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter

TOPPING

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4  1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 18 oz Cool Whip, thawed

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