Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meyer Lemon and Mascarpone Trifle

My husbands' family celebrates Christmas on January 6 and my husband roasts a pig for us every year.  I make plenty of side dishes but the party isn't complete without a couple of decadent desserts. 

Part of the pig gets shredded to make Tamales.  I made 5 dozen and they were demolished that night.  My daughter was a little peeved about that so I made another 2 dozen the next day so she could take some with her when she leaves to go back up to school.

I tried glamming him up by adding an apple to his mouth for you, come on it does make him a little bit cuter.

I made this chocoflan recipe I saw on Food Network.  It sounded great, it was pretty simple to make but taste wise it was a letdown.  I've had chocolate y flan cakes many times from the Mexican bakery and I think I'm just jaded by those.  Everyone grabbed a slice of the cake, but I saw a lot of it left on plates.

I also made a Meyer Lemon - Mascarpone Trifle that disappeared without a trace.

The trifle has a couple of components, but you can make them in stages and assemble the trifle the night before you need it.  Slip on that sequined mini-dress and stilettos and pull that gorgeous creation from the fridge like the rock star hostess that you are, or wear your sweat pants and slippers, who am I to judge.

I have this small Meyer lemon tree I brought with me from my old house, it sat in the front yard for 6 years and barely got leaves let alone lemons.  I didn't want to give up hope that one day this tree would come back and produce fruit.  A few weeks ago I was rushing by the tree on my way to the mailbox, looked down and saw a bunch of lemons, I couldn't believe my eyes.  See there really is hope after all.

Luscious Lemon Cake
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice - I used Meyer lemons, but feel free to substitute
1 cup low fat buttermilk (or 1 cup low fat milk + 1 teaspoon white vinegar)

Combine oil, butter, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, sugar, whole eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and buttermilk in bowl of a mixer and mix until combined.

Pour the batter into 2 - 8" round cake pans that are buttered and floured or sprayed with no-stick spray and lined with parchment.  I decided to use 8" inch pans because that size fit well inside my trifle bowl, if you have a larger bowl you can use a larger pan, just bake a little less time.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Set aside.

 Meyer Lemon Curd
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Fill a small pot with a couple inches of water and place a heat proof bowl on top of that and bring the water to a boil.  You don't want the bowl touching the water.

Place the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar into the top of the double boiler and whisk until blended. Add the lemon juice and mix well.  Reduce the heat until the water is at a gentle boil.  Whisk the mixture constantly for seven minutes until the mixture is very thick.   Don't let the curd boil.

Immediately strain the curd through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl.  Use a spatula to push the curd through and discard any bits.  Add the cold butter to the curd and whisk until melted. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.  Once completely cooled store in the fridge until needed.

Mascarpone Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest

Place the whipping cream in the bowl of a mixer or use a hand mixer to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In another bowl add the mascarpone cheese, sugar and lemon zest, mix till combined.  Fold the whip cream into the cheese mixture.

To assemble the trifle:

1)  Remove the lemon cakes from their pans and slice each cake in half.  Use a long serrated knife and make a cut half way down from the top of the cake, rotating the cake as you cut.  I placed the cakes on a baking sheet, so I could move them easier to the bowl.  Don't worry if they break because you are layering them anyways.  You will have 4 layers when you are finished.

2)  Place one of the cake layers on the bottom of the bowl.

3)   Divide the curd into four portions visually.  Spread a fourth of the lemon curd on top of the cake layer.

4)  Divide the mascarpone cream into four portions visually.  Spread a fourth of the mascarpone cream on top of the curd and make sure you push it to the edges.

5)  Add another layer of cake and top it with another layer of curd and then follow with the mascarpone cream.  Repeat.

6)  For the top layer I put the remaining mascarpone cream into a piping bag with a 1M tip and piped the top, and then I put a small amount of the curd into a piping bag and piped small dots on top of the cream to resemble flowers.

I served the trifle with a raspberry-lime coulis on the side, just to add another tongue tickling facet to this trifle.

Whoa - wait a minute there lady, you said there was 3 desserts.  There were 3 desserts indeed and the third one came out so spectacularly I'm keeping the recipe to myself for a while.  I will give you a hint though; it gives new meaning to putting the lime in the coconut.

As much as I enjoy making this Christmas, I sure am glad when it's over and I'm able to put away all the decorations and clear out all the calorie laden treats.  At least for a couple of weeks anyways, come Valentine's Day - all bets are off.




  1. That pig is somthing else; you guys are such perfect foodies. Wish I lived close to your place so I could smell and taste what was happening in your home. Loved this post Gina. Everything was picture perfect as always.

  2. Great minds think alike! I posted lemon bars with Meyer lemons today, isn't it so cool when your lemon tree produces lemons, sort of like a chicken laying eggs,lol! You crack me up with the roasted pig and the apple in his mouth, nice try to make him look cute, maybe a scarf around his neck???
    Your desserts are the bomb as my son would say, too bad about the cake but I know you'll figure it out and come up with a recipe you love!

  3. Love Meyer lemons...and love cake, so this is a PERFECT combo for moi!

  4. yummm..Yummmmm... yummmmmm.. I really love desserts with cream + lemon = simply heavenly delicious. I am already drooling over the meyer lemon mascarpone trifle. I am sure this will go in minutes to seconds in my home too. Calories? Now let me see, that is definitely not in my books since I blog about sinful treats. Hahahah.. Gosh! Chinese New Year is about 1 1/2 weeks away and then Valentines day.. talk about baking up a storm in my home. Miss ya!! Hugggssss

  5. What a fun tradition of roasting a pig, my husband would be very jealous! The tamales would win him over too :)
    The trifle looks rich and decadent, perfect ending to the meal!

  6. First off, that pig is outstanding :) And I am very appreciative that you put that apple in it's mouth. Classic.

    Second, that trifle looks amazing enough to make me go out and hunt around Value Village for a lovely little trifle glass. Lemon and mascarpone is one of my favourite combos - especially now that there are Meyer Lemons out and about.

    Thanks so much for sharing all these treats (and that little piggy!)

  7. Rita yes you should be my neighbor, we'd have lots of fun.

    Patty you are hilariou, he is totally getting a scarf next year.

    Thanks everyone, I have one more crazy day of work tomorrow and then I can enjoy some reading.

  8. So yeah your desserts are outstanding, truly Gina, honestly, but...well theres a cooked whole pig on your table and that really takes the biscuit! How did he do it, I smoke a lot of meat (brisket tomorrow) and have always wanted to do a whole pig..
    Take care

  9. Was the last Lemon cheesecake? 3 gorgeous desserts! Chocoflan looks pretty adorable. Beautiful colours.

  10. WOW. Love the roast pig, reminds me of home in Germany.
    The trifle looks wonderful, but may I humbly inquire instructions for the chocolate flan? That is one of my absolute weaknesses!

  11. What a feast, Gina! I would love to be a guest at your holiday table! The lemon trifle is so glorious, gorgeous, and each of the other 2 desserts, equally stunning, and super delicious!
    Wow, I am so impressed with your line up of amazing treats:DDD

  12. Kiri if you click on the word chocoflan it will take you to the recipe I used. Gerry I will send you an email on how to cook the pig, but if anyone else wants it, look on the recipe index tab and there are instructions for whole roasted pig. Elisabeth you are welcome any time.

  13. it sounds incredible.....I am such a tamale lover....I was craving them so much this year. Thankfully my aunt got some from a lady who visits her work, and they were heavenly. I would love to learn to make them some time soon, we have several people on my husband's side of the family that make them....it's on the bucket list :) and my goodness....for the love of chocolate....chocoflan??? I can only imagine. But best of all, I can't take my eyes off the meyer lemon trifle...I have never had meyer lemon, but i love lemon, i love marscapone, and i loooooooooove trifle, so I'm totally in. Gonna flag this to try :)

  14. I don't even know where to start. Your husband roasted that pig? And he does it every year? I'm way impressed. I also feel avenged. The chocolate dessert didn't work because it was chocolate. Come to the light side, Gina. Chocolate bad; citrus good. Apparently, citrus awesome. It looks fantastic. Both do. You're really going to hold out on that last recipe??

  15. Whoa!! I don't know what caught my attention more, the pig or the trifle. Wait...what am I saying?! Desserts always conquer and this trifle looks stunning!

  16. I remember the roasted pig post from last year...startled this veggie a bit ;) So I was prepared this year, then you threw me with the apple, lol.
    All three of these desserts are gorgeous...too bade about the flan cake, but it looks great. Your trifle however, holy smokes!
    Congrats on your tree making a happy comeback, hugs

  17. This sounds fantastic! I'm also a little jealous of your lemon tree. I wonder if it would like to live in NJ???

  18. Where do I begin? I remember the pig from last year:)These desserts are all incredible. So in love with the lemon flavors. Yay for your first lemon on the tree:)Happy New Year xo

  19. WHOA! That is amazing!! I love lemon flavored desserts...they are my favorites! Such beautiful lemons too

  20. Oh, what a spectacular trifle!!! A show stopper for sure! And can't wait to see the recipe for your lime/coconut beauty!!! Have a wonderful weekend, Gina!

  21. The pig was a shocker, but a cute one. He wouldn't last long at our house. This gorgeous trifle would be gone in a flash also. Looking forward to the line/coconut post and Congratulations on Top 9!

  22. That pig is amazing and I’ve been inspired to feature it in my Friday Food Fetish roundup. And I'll be sharing on Pinterest. Please let me know if you have any objections and KEEP IT COMING!

  23. Thanks, I've been looking for the perfect thing to do with these Meyer lemons I bought, and this is it!Looks soo delicious too!

  24. We're actually headed to Florida right now to visit my sister in law and she has a Meyer lemon tree in her back yard!! I'm so excited, this recipe looks incredible! love your photos!

  25. This makes me want to run out and pick all the Meyer lemons dangling on trees in my neighborhood. So pretty!

  26. hehehe You know what, first time when i found your blog was over at Nancy's site for YBR recipe..you had eclairs..
    started reading post after post when roasted pig popped out on the screen..
    My dad's side of the family also celebrate it on a Jan. 6 and we had every year roasted pig..real treat and make me smile!:)
    Congrats on top 9, your trifle look more than amazing!!!

  27. Thanks everyone for Top 9, way better than a scary surprise on Friday the 13th, lol.

  28. Your lemon trifle is gorgeous, as well as the pics of your lemons, outstanding.
    However, the pig is pretty impressive, too, especially with the apple in his mouth. That's quite a party. I hope that you get to rest soon.

    Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  29. I think I prefer the truffle to the pig :) Meyer lemons are one of my favorites lately...in fact I have everything necessary in my fridge to make this. Trouble! PS: I have a giveaway going on that I think you'll be in to!

  30. I love your piggy shots ;) Your Meyer Lemon trifle is a winner - congrats on the Top 9! I love (dark)chocolate but after a big meal, always prefer a refreshing citrus dessert. Will be on the lookout for the lime in the coconut recipe!

  31. Oh my goodness....how did I miss this?!!! WOW to all of it!!! That pig is perfect too! I've been buying meyer lemons like crazy lately...ah, to have a meyer lemon tree! No such luck here! I will be making that trifle...if I could only jump into this screen and devour it!
    It really isn't fair of you not to share the recipe for the lime coconut beauty! Beauty...all of it!

  32. Hi Gina, Sorry I thought I had stopped by to congratulate you on the well deserved top 9. A little late but congrats! I've never tasted roasted pig, hubby tells me it's amazing. Can just imagine how great the tamales taste. All of your desserts look amazing, even if the chocolate one was disappointing. Those lemons look perfect and right from your yard, how cool!

    ps, I'm behind on my email. But will write back soon :)

  33. What a fabulous sounding & looking dessert... love the combination of flavors... not surprising considering what a sucker I am for citrus flavors... congrats on the lemons :):) and that little piggie looks very impressive! looking forward to the "lime in the coconut" dessert too! it is gorgeous... :)

  34. A fantastic trifle! The flavor of meyer lemon is so special!

  35. Un postre de lujo con sabores agradables una combinaciĆ³n ,perfecta,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  36. i can not wait for that coconut lime cake! I love anything coconut and coming from you I know it's going to be delicious!
    the lemon trifle looks great! and the roasted pig, wow, you've had some test testing to do!

  37. Happy New Year Gina! Your trifle looks so tasty and perfectly light. I am impressed that you roast a whole pig - I have eaten one, but never made one. Stay dry this weekend!!!! :-)

  38. these look amazing. I would love someone to make a dessert like this for me.