FOOD FOR THOUGHT—Favorite April Desserts

By on April 1, 2018
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By Lydia Bolen

 

Favorite April Desserts

 

Spring is in the air! I’m eager to have full sunshine several weeks in a row. As I plan the colors of my patio plants, I also start scouring my cookbooks for fresh and light desserts to make.

 

Chocolate Meringue Pie is my husband’s favorite. This recipe compares well to the chocolate pie he frequently buys at our new pie store, Buttermilk Sky.

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crepes are my favorite this time of year. Crepes are fun and easy to make. Your children can even make them. Try a tutorial online and purchase a good crepe pan—then everyone can request their own fillings.

 

Everyone will love Lemonade Custard Pie. This is an easy recipe and your children can make this also!

 

Enjoy these new, as well as old, family recipes this spring!

 

Chocolate Meringue Pie

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 can (12-ounce) evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 piecrust (9-inch), baked

 

In a saucepan, place cocoa, 1 cup sugar (reserve 1/4 cup), and flour. Mix well. Stir in just enough evaporated milk to make a paste, dissolving cocoa, sugar, and flour.

Beat egg yolks, add to chocolate mixture, and beat well. Add remaining evaporated milk, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat; mix in vanilla, butter, and salt. Pour custard into baked piecrust.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.

Spread meringue over custard. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven until lightly browned.

Serves 6 to 8.

(Adapted from The Crown of Southern Cooking)

 

 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crepes

For Crepes:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

For Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients for crepe batter. Blend until smooth. Cover and refrigerate an hour.

Slowly heat a 10-inch nonstick pan or an 8-inch crepe pan. Spray pan with cooking spray or use a little oil.

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into pan. Tilt to completely coat the surface of the pan.

Cook 3-4 minutes, flipping once, until golden. Tilt the pan and loosen the crepe, then slide onto a wire rack.

For filling, combine strawberries and sugar and set aside. In mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

Fold in strawberry mixture until combined.

Put 1 to 2 tablespoons of mixture in each crepe. Roll up and serve with sliced strawberries and whipped cream on top.

 

Lemonade Custard Pie

 

For Crust:

  • 15 graham crackers
  • 10 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (6-ounce) frozen lemonade concentrate
  • Zest of one lemon, divided

 

To make the crust, in a Ziploc bag or food processor, crush graham crackers until fine, and then transfer to a large bowl.

To the bowl, add butter, sugar, and salt and mix until evenly combined. Pack tightly in a pie dish and bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 8 to 9 minutes. Let cool.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add heavy cream and beat until soft peaks form. Mix in condensed milk, lemonade concentrate, and half of the zest.

And beat until smooth.

Pour pie mixture into crust and top with remaining lemon zest. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

Serves 8.