Pies & Tarts

No-Bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

This summer has been slipping away! I had a recipe all planned to share with you for the Fourth of July, but suddenly it was the week before the holiday weekend and I hadn’t cooked or photographed it yet.

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

I knew I couldn’t let the week pass by without providing some holiday-worthy red, white and blue inspiration so I grabbed everything I needed, whipped it together and snapped some photos. All for you. Don’t you feel special?

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

I first made this No-bake Red, White and Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie back in college. The recipe was actually in a Kraft ad in my Food Network magazine that summer and with my newly discovered lemon obsession I knew I had to make it for Matt and I.

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

The pie was light, refreshing and super simple to put together.

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

Somehow I forgot all about it until I was racking my brain for a creative red, white and blue dessert idea.

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you remember my Summer Berry Trifle blog post from the other year I am always looking for new spins on the traditional flag Fourth of July cake I used to make every year with my grandma.

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

This No-bake Red, White and Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie is perfect and will make you the hero of your barbecue! Plus, did I mention that there’s only 8 ingredients and NO BAKING? Enjoy!

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

No-bake Red, White & Blue Lemonade Cheesecake Pie
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 10 graham cracker squares, crushed into crumbs (about 1.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed
  • Halved strawberries, for topping
  • Blueberries, for topping
Directions
  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a medium mixing bowl until they come together and resemble coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom and sides of a lightly greased 9-inch pie pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to make sure the crumbs are packed down tightly. Refrigerate for 2 hours before using.
  2. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until whipped and creamy.
  3. Slowly add the ½ cup of lemonade concentrate (be sure not to add the whole can!) and beat after each addition. Once well combined, fold in two cups of the Cool Whip. Pour the mixture into the crust and refrigerate for four hours.
  4. When ready to serve, top with the remaining Cool Whip, strawberries and blueberries. You could top with the fruit beforehand, but the red juice from the strawberries might run on the Cool Whip.
Notes
If you want to skip the first step simply use a pre-made graham cracker crust. I use light cream cheese and light Cool Whip, but regular or light works for this recipe. This pie (and crust) both freeze well.

Recipe slightly adapted from Kraft Recipes.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thanksgiving is almost here! Only a few more days until we get to say thanks for all the good events and people that graced our lives over the past year. Of course, our thanks would not be complete without an all-day marathon gorge fest.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

After the glorious turkey, mashed potatoes lathered with gravy, piping hot biscuits, tart cranberry sauce and 23 other dishes, the great finale of any traditional Thanksgiving meal are the pies. Along with the pies comes the great pie debate. Apple pie or cherry pie? Pumpkin pie or lemon meringue pie? Blueberry pie or the ever mysterious chess pie?

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorites is the classic pecan pie, although it is usually missing a very important key ingredient. Chocolate! Once you experience pecan pie loaded up with chocolately chip goodness you will never want to settle for regular, plain old, chocolate-lacking pecan pie again.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

How pecan pie minus chocolate chips is the standard completely boggles my mind.I found a mini pie pan at Christmas Tree Shop last year and have been itching to bake up some cuteness.

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini pies are fantastic because they take less time in the oven, are adorable and you can have a whole pie all to yourself! Thanksgiving is all about sharing, but when it comes to dessert… just don’t get your fork too close to my pie…

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Mini Molten Chocolate Pecan Pies
 
Yield: 5 mini pies
Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1¼ cups pecan halves
  • ¾ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 sheet unbaked pie crust, pressed into mini pie pans
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pre-bake the pie shells, making sure to use pie weights, for 7 minutes.
  2. Combine the eggs, brown sugar, flour, vanilla extract and corn syrup in a medium mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and stir. Add the pecans and chocolate chips then stir. Distribute evenly into the prepared mini pie shells.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes with a sheet pan underneath to catch any dripping.
Notes
To make one pie instead of mini pies, press the pie crust into a 9" pan. Pour all the filling into the pie shell then bake for 50-60 minutes. Cover the crust with aluminum foil partway through baking so the crust doesn't get burnt.

Recipe slightly adapted from Patrick & Gina Neely.

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight  |  Lemon & Mocha

We are still in the peak of peach season. Although it varies based on the year’s climate, peach season is at its peak during July and August. So it’s not too late to squeeze the most out of this juicy sweet fruit!

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love cooking and baking with in season ingredients because they are at the pinnacle of their deliciousness. When I was down in Delaware for my annual family reunion a couple weeks ago my Aunt Dottie grabbed some local peaches at a farmer’s market and asked me to make a peach dessert for dinner.

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight  |  Lemon & Mocha

I realized I didn’t have a go-to peach dessert so I quickly started scouring the web for a recipe that would help the fresh peaches shine. When I stumbled across this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe I knew it was the one. Just reading the recipe made me drool as I imagined how light and refreshing it would taste. I also loved that it looked simple to whip up.

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight  |  Lemon & Mocha

This peaches, blueberries and cream delight is aptly named. We know from my browned butter peach ice cream with graham cracker crumble that peaches and graham crackers are a tasty pair. This dessert starts with a subtly sweet and buttery no-bake graham cracker crust. Then a sturdy whipped cream is made and folded into the fresh peach slices and blueberries.

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight  |  Lemon & Mocha

You can adapt this dessert to whatever fruit is your favorite or in stock at your local farmer’s market. Strawberries, plums or any other stone fruit and berries would work well. The next combination on my list is peaches and raspberries… mmm. Enjoy!

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight  |  Lemon & Mocha

Peaches, Blueberries & Cream Delight
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
for the crust
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 2 sleeves of graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter (1 ½ sticks), melted
for the filling
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 5 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Directions
for the crust
  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until combined. Reserve ⅓ of the crumb mixture for topping the dessert. Press the remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9” by 13” pan. Refrigerate while making the filling.
for the filling
  1. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until light with a hand mixer or a stand mixer. Beat in the vanilla.
  2. Carefully pour in the heavy cream and beat on low. As the mixture starts to come together bring the speed up to medium-high and continue until the mixture is thick and airy.
  3. Take the crust out of the fridge and spread a thin layer of the cream over the crust. Layer the sliced peaches on top, followed by the blueberries.
  4. Scoop large blobs of cream onto the fruit and carefully bring together with your rubber spatula to cover the fruit. Continue adding the cream until the 9” by 13” pan is filled to the edges.
  5. Sprinkle with the reserved graham cracker crumbs and cover with plastic wrap before returning to the fridge. Let sit in the fridge for 2-12 hours before serving.

Recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.

Lemon Curd Tart with Fresh Berries

I have made a terrible mistake. Truly awful, really. You probably already noticed and have been secretly scolding me, but I will confess anyway. I have been posting on Lemon & Mocha for six months and have yet to post a full-blown fresh lemon recipe. Whew, ok, now that the elephant in the blogosphere has been addressed I already feel a lot better. I know I was moments away from protest forums and lemon-lover blog trollers taking over so this recipe was posted just in time.

And I know once you taste this lemon curd tart with fresh berries you will forgive me because your mind will be so overloaded with delicious and joyful thoughts that you will forget I kept this recipe from you for so long. Lemon, like many other ingredients and flavors, took a while for me to cozy up to, but once I did, I fell madly in love. A romantic my-eyes-light-up-at-the-mention-of-its-name love, not an obsessive have-its-name-tattooed-on-my-chest-and-we-aren’t-even-exclusive love, just to clarify.

This tart is not only stunning, but incredibly easy, amazingly fresh and positively simple! If you’ve never had lemon curd, don’t let the name scare you away. It has the texture of pudding and will make you want to eat it with a spoon in the pantry closet so you don’t have to share. The lemon curd is sweet, but the tartness of the lemon flavor definitely pushes through to the forefront of your tastebuds. Paired with the flaky puff pastry, the sweetness of the berries and the light dusting of powdered sugar, this treat is the perfect fresh ending to a big holiday meal.

Lemon Curd Tart with Fresh Berries
 
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients
for the lemon curd
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
for the tart
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted according to package instructions
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
Directions
for the lemon curd
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and eggs. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir in the pieces of butter. Whisk the curd frequently until the curd is thick enough that it keeps the mark of the whisk when you touch it to the curd in the saucepan.
  2. Transfer the lemon curd to a small bowl to cool. If there are small lumps of egg you can push the curd through a fine mesh sieve, but I typically skip this step. Cover the surface of the lemon curd with a piece of plastic wrap so that it’s completely touching the curd. Place in the fridge to cool.
for the tart
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry and lay on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  3. Let the baked puff pastry cool. Once the puff pastry is cool top generously with the lemon curd. Place the berries on top of the lemon curd then lightly dust with powdered sugar. To serve, cut into squares.

Lemon Curd from Sketches and Scribbles.

Stracciatella Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie

“What is this vision of deliciousness I see before me?” you ask? A chocolate hazelnut gelato pie in name, but it is so much more than that. There are layers involved and layers make things scrumptiously complex. The base of this pie is a lightly sweetened chocolate cookie crust. Resting on top of the crust lies a creamy stracciatella chocolate hazelnut gelato. Stracciatella is the Italian version of chocolate chip ice cream except there are no chips or chunks, just wispy bits of hardened chocolate throughout the gelato. The subtle hazelnut flavors breaks through the richness of the rest of the pie and brings it to a new level of decadence and addictiveness. Finally, the fudgey ganache topping speckled with toasted hazelnuts. Since my keyboard is still recovering from drooling on it while describing this ganache on Tuesday I’ll just say yum.

A couple months ago I brought this pie to a barbecue at my parents’ house. Having sampled the gelato I was excited to try the pie. The dessert received rave reviews, which I’m sure you guessed based on the uncharacteristically long description of it in the beginning of the post. The surprise of the night was that my dad claimed, and continues to claim to this day over two months later, that this was the best dessert he has ever eaten. That’s right, not one of the best, but the best.

Now my dad has a healthy ice cream obsession as is family tradition so you might be thinking well of course he liked it, it’s gelato. But you have to know that my dad is a creature of habit. Yes he might eat ice cream every single night and yes there were 12 half gallons of ice cream in his house on my last count, but they were all of the same three flavors. God forbid he run out ;-). He also has this extraordinary skill to pick through a dessert and consume only the ice cream portion, so the fact that he ate this pie in entirety and claimed it as the best dessert ever? That is what we call a food victory.

Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato Pie
 
Yield: 10 servings
Ingredients
for the crust
  • 6 ounces chocolate wafers
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
for the gelato
  • 1½ cups toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
for the topping
Directions
for the crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add the butter, sugar and salt pulse until well combined.
  3. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pans.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
for the gelato
  1. If the hazelnuts are not toasted, bake them in an even layer on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Rub the hazelnuts to try and get rid of as much of the skins as possible. Use a food processor to finely chop the toasted hazelnuts.
  3. In a medium sauce pan heat the milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar and salt until warm. Once warm remove from the heat.
  4. Add the chopped hazelnuts to the warmed mixture, cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  5. Place the milk chocolate in a large bowl.
  6. In a medium saucepan heat the remaining 1 cup of cream until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the milk chocolate.
  7. Stir the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  8. In the medium saucepan used to heat the cream, place a mesh strainer over top then pour the hazelnut mixture through the strainer into the medium saucepan. Push on the hazelnuts with a wooden spoon to try and get as much liquid as possible. Discard the hazelnuts.
  9. Rewarm the hazelnut liquid over medium heat. While the liquid is heating whisk together the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Once the hazelnut liquid is warm, slowly pour the liquid into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Pour the warmed eggs and liquid back into the saucepan.
  10. Still on medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
  11. Place the bowl with the melted milk chocolate mixture over an ice bath and set a mesh strainer on top. Pour the egg mixture through the mesh strainer into the large bowl. Add the vanilla and stir until cool.
  12. Once the mixture is cool chill in the refrigerator completely. Once cold, pour into your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's directions.
  13. While the mixture is in the ice cream maker, melt the bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler and stir until it's smooth. Transfer the chocolate into a measuring cup with a pouring spout.
  14. During the last couple minutes of churning in the ice cream maker pour the melted bittersweet chocolate into the ice cream maker in a thin stream to create the stracciatella.
  15. When the gelato is done churning carefully spoon it into the prepared crust and smooth the top. Freeze until no longer soft.
for the topping
  1. Take the pie out of the freezer and carefully pour the prepared ganache over the top of the gelato. Smooth the top with a spatula then sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts.
  2. Freeze for several hours or overnight. Remove from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.
Notes
I use Ghiradelli chocolate bars.

Crust from Martha Stewart.
Gelato from The Perfect Scoop.