Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Spring is in the air and a warm night is the perfect time to indulge in something sweet and refreshing. This frozen lemon torte takes minutes to make, but is always a crowd pleaser. I typically go to a locally owned Italian market (Sofo's) to buy the gourmet lady fingers. These should not be confused with the yellow, cake like lady fingers sold in most chain grocery stores as 'lady fingers'. They are NOT the same thing. The Italian version looks pretty with the light glaze and dusting of extra fine sugar on one side, and their crunch holds up during baking.
2 (3 oz.) packages of ladyfingers
2 (14 oz.) cans of sweetened condensed milk (OK to use 1 low fat can)
8 egg yolks
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
8 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 thin lemon slice (twisted) or one large strawberry for garnishing the top of the finished dessert
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a greased 9 inch spring form pan with some of the ladyfingers, trimming the lady fingers to fit if needed. Stand the remaining lady fingers around the edge of the pan, with the pretty side facing out. You will need to cut the bottom ends so the tops of the lady fingers are EVEN with the top of the edge of the pan. This is important! I missed this little clue the first time I made this and it just looked silly to have the tops of the lady fingers towering over the lemon part.
Whisk the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into the lemon mixture. Spoon into the prepared pan. I've always found that this recipe makes more filling than you need...so maybe you can use some leftover ladyfingers and a small souffle pan to make a mini tart? Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top of the torte is light brown.
Cool pan on a wire rack. Freeze, covered with foil, for up to three months.
To serve, remove the side of the pan and place the torte on a cake plate. Dust lightly with confectioner's sugar and arrange the lemon slices in the center of the torte. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. I like to fan a strawberry on each plate. Leftovers may be refrozen.
Gotta be honest about that picture of the torte...I don't suppose I'm fooling anyone that the photo is a half a torte! I used it as the end of a dinner party before remembering that I wanted to put this lovely dessert on the blog. Oops.
“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".