STRAWBERRY-LEMON ICEBOX CAKE º

Serves 9 to 12.

Note: The dessert also can be made in 8- by 4-inch loaf pans; you will have enough pudding and strawberries for two cakes. To remove the cake from the pan for serving, line it with plastic wrap before building the layers. This recipe must be prepared in advance. Adapted from “Icebox Cakes,” which includes a recipe for ladyfingers. We used store-bought ladyfingers.

• 1 c. sugar

• 1/4 c. cornstarch

• 3/4 tsp. salt

• 2 1/2 c. whole milk

• 3/4 c. heavy cream

• 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice and 3 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1/4 tsp. lemon extract

• 24 ladyfingers, or more as needed

• 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, thinly sliced

• Lemon whipped cream, see recipe

Directions

To prepare the pudding: Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk, cream, lemon juice and zest until combined. Add egg; whisk again. Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly. When the mixture begins to thicken and bubbles begin popping on the surface, turn heat to medium and whisk vigorously for 45 seconds. Remove pan from heat.

Strain pudding through a medium-mesh wire sieve into a heatproof bowl. Add butter and lemon extract; whisk until they are incorporated. You should have about 5 cups. Let the pudding cool slightly; it should still be warm and relatively pourable when you layer it with the ladyfingers. Prepare lemon whipped cream. (Recipe below.)

To assemble cake, spread a generous layer of pudding on the bottom of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Cover as much of the pudding as possible with a layer of ladyfingers, filling any gaps with broken ladyfingers. The pieces should touch; the goal is a solid layer of ladyfingers.

Set aside about 1/4 cup sliced strawberries for garnish. Layer some remaining strawberries over the ladyfingers. Continue layering in this order (pudding, ladyfingers, strawberries) until you run out or reach the top of the pan, no matter what layer you end on. Spread the top of the cake with lemon whipped cream. Gently cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 24 hours. Remove plastic wrap from cake; scatter reserved strawberries on top. Serve directly from pan.

Nutrition information per serving of 12:

Calories 295 Fat 14 g Sodium 212 mg

Carbohydrates 38 g Saturated fat 8 g

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 99 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

 

LEMON WHIPPED CREAM

Makes about 3 cups.

 

• 1 1/2 c. heavy cream

•3 tbsp. powdered sugar

• 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest

• 1 1/2 tbsp. limoncello, optional

• 1/2 tsp. lemon extract, or to taste

Directions

Pour cream into a chilled metal bowl; beat on medium with electric beater or in stand mixer until thickened.

Add powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, limoncello, if using, and lemon extract. On medium-high, whip cream until it holds stiff peaks that stand upright when the whisk is raised.

 

PISTACHIO-CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE

Serves 12-15.

Note: Of the three elements in this recipe adapted from “Icebox Cakes,” make the pistachio paste and wafers first. Then 24 hours before serving, whip the cream and assemble the cake. If you want to substitute a store-bought cookie, author Jessie Sheehan suggests a thin, crisp cookie such as Jules Destrooper Almond Thins. This recipe must be prepared in advance.

• 2 1/4 c. flour

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 c. sugar

• 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

• 1 tsp. almond extract, or to taste

• 2 tbsp. whole milk

• 1 tbsp. light corn syrup

• 1 c. pistachio paste, see recipe

• 1/2 c. coarsely chopped toasted pistachios

• Pistachio-chocolate whipped cream, see recipe

Directions

To prepare the wafers: whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar, butter and vanilla and almond extracts on medium-low speed until slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat. (You can also mix with electric beater or by hand.) Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

In a small bowl, whisk milk and corn syrup to combine. Add milk mixture to the butter-sugar mixture with mixer on medium-low speed; beat until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add pistachio paste; beat just until incorporated. Add flour mixture all at once. On low speed, beat until dough just begins to pull away from the bottom of the bowl and forms a cohesive mass. Scrape sides of the bowl to fully incorporate all ingredients.

Divide dough in half; place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Loosely wrap dough, forming each half into a log about 2 inches wide. Roll logs along the counter, still wrapped in plastic wrap, to shape into cylinders. Tighten plastic wrap around logs; freeze at least 2 hours or overnight. If dough is too soft to shape into logs, form into a disk (or loose log shape), wrap in plastic wrap, then freeze about 20 minutes or just until cold enough to shape into logs.

To bake, unwrap one log; cut into thin (about 1/8-inch) slices, rotating log as you cut to keep it from flattening. Place slices about 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet; freeze at least 10 minutes. Repeat with second log. (You should end up with about 60 slices.) If you need more room for slices, arrange on additional sheets of parchment paper, then layer dough-covered papers on top of each other on a baking sheet in the freezer, switching them out as you bake each batch.

Position a rack in the center of the oven; heat to 350 degrees. Bake one baking sheet of frozen rounds until edges begin to brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. With a stiff metal or plastic spatula, immediately press down lightly on each cookie to flatten it. Let wafers cool on the baking sheet, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Wafers should be very crispy when cooled. If not, return to the oven 1 to 2 minutes longer. Repeat baking additional sheets of dough rounds.

While wafers cool, toast 1/2 cup shelled pistachios on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven until they begin to brown and become fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir nuts midway through baking to ensure even toasting.

Store cooled wafers immediately in an airtight container. They will remain crispy at room temperature, tightly sealed, for about 24 hours. Freeze baked wafers in a resealable plastic bag up to 1 month; you need not defrost wafers before assembling cake.

To assemble cake, line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap hanging slightly over sides. Spread a generous layer of pistachio-chocolate whipped cream on the bottom of the lined pan. Cover as much of the cream as possible with a layer of wafers; fill gaps with broken wafers. The goal is a solid layer of wafers. Continue layering whipped cream and wafers until you run out or reach the top of the pan, ending with whipped cream. Gently cover cake with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, 24 hours.

Peel plastic wrap from top of cake. Place a serving platter over the cake and invert cake onto the platter. Carefully remove pan and plastic wrap; sprinkle cake with coarsely chopped toasted pistachios. Slice and serve.

Nutrition information per serving of 15:

Calories 440 Fat 34 g Sodium 79 mg

Carbohydrates 32 g Saturated fat 16 g

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 82 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

 

PISTACHIO-CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM

Makes about 6 cups.

 

• 3 c. heavy cream

• 1/2 c. pistachio paste, see recipe

• 1/3 c. powdered sugar

• 1/3 c. cocoa powder

• 1/4 tsp. almond extract, or to taste

• 1/8 tsp. salt

Directions

Pour cream into a chilled metal bowl; whip on medium speed until just thickened. Add pistachio paste, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, almond extract and salt; whip on medium-high speed until cream holds stiff peaks that stand upright when whisk is raised; the stiffer the cream, the more support it will give wafers in your cake. Use immediately.

 

PISTACHIO PASTE

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

 

• 2 c. shelled unsalted pistachios

• 1/2 c. sugar

• 1/4 c. water

• 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

Directions

Combine pistachios and sugar in a food processor; pulse until nuts are finely chopped, about 90 seconds. Do not overprocess or nuts will get too buttery.

Transfer processed pistachios to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add water and butter; beat on medium speed just until a thick paste forms. (Alternatively, beat with electric beaters.) Paste will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.