This Lemon Cream Pie is so good and the combination of the tart lemon and spicy ginger crust is amazing. The idea for this recipe started when I discovered the Triple Ginger Cookies at Trader Joe's. The cookie by itself is delicious, but I thought they would make a great crust for a pie. Years ago, one of my sisters introduced me to a ginger cookie with a lemon cream filling and I've loved the ginger lemon combination since then. This recipe is great for year-round baking, but it is especially good for citrus season.
There are multiple things I love about baking, but two of them are learning new things and trying new flavor combinations. The Flavor Bible is my go-to book for jump-starting my experimentation, but some flavor combinations are just obvious. This ginger lemon combination is one of them. One of my husband's favorite drink combinations is ginger ale mixed with fresh lemonade. If you've never tried it, definitely give it a try.
How to Make the Lemon Cream Filling
I wanted a no-bake and quick filling for this pie. I succeeded in the no-bake part, but this pie was not quick because of the required chill time. But it was worth the wait. I spent a lot of time trying to decide the right filling for this pie. Then experimenting, I decided to use whole eggs for the lemon curd to save time and not waste the egg whites. A lot of times, I intend to use the leftover egg whites or egg yolks, but sometimes I just don't get to them or they end up at the back of the refrigerator where they are forgotten.
At the end of cooking the lemon curd, I strain the curd to remove bits of the cooked egg which leaves me with a smooth tart curd. I wanted to make sure that the filling is firm but still smooth. Since this is a cream pie, I obviously needed heavy cream. I wanted to make sure that the cream would not weep, so I did two things. I whipped the heavy cream in a food processor, which I learned from Serious Eats and I added gelatin.
Getting the cream right was definitely trial and error. I started out with 3/4 cups of cream but discovered that the food processor method doesn't work if there is not enough cream. Usually, when I use this method for heavy cream, it is ready in 30 to 60 seconds. This time the cream would not thicken as it normally does. I increased the cream to 1-1/2 cups and it whipped up perfectly. You end up with a thick whipped cream that has the texture of thick sour cream. The beauty of this cream is that it holds its shape, it doesn't weep and can be used for cake fillings.
Next step, when to add the gelatin and at what temperature. The first time I added the melted gelatin it was too cool and I ended up with a big lump of gelatin in the whipped cream. The whipped cream still tasted good, except for that big lump of gelatin. The next time I added the gelatin while it was still almost hot and it worked perfectly - no gelatin lumps. I use the gelatin to ensure that the pie will set up, but if you are vegetarian, you can try this dessert without the gelatin.
How to Make the Ginger Cookie Crust
I love cookie crusts. They are so easy to make and you get the added benefit of enjoying a favorite cookie in the form of a pie. There is a lot of flavor in these Trader Joe's ginger cookies and the ginger taste is unmistakable. I started out with 1/2 of the box of cookies and ended up using the entire box of cookies because I liked the thicker crust. I experimented with adding different spices and I really like the cinnamon. I encourage you to experiment with your favorite spices. The crust only takes 6-8 minutes to bake, so don't walk away.
I decorated the pie with more whip cream. But if you prefer you can serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries. The lemon cream filling is so good that it doesn't need a lot of extras. If you love lemon, you have to try this pie. You'll make it again and again.
For other lemon dessert ideas, check out these recipes:
Lemon Cream Pie with Triple Ginger Cookie Crust
Triple Ginger Cookie Crust
- 1 9 oz box Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookies
- 7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Lemon Cream Filling
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
- Lemon zest from 2 lemons
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons (114 grams) butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Whipped cream
- Fresh raspberries
Ginger Cookie Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place 220 grams (or all but 7 of the cookies if using the Trader Joe’s cookies) in the bowl of a food processor and with a metal blade and process until the cookies are crumbs and there are no large pieces left. Melt the butter. Pour the crumbs into a bowl add the salt and cinnamon and combine with a whisk. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and stir together with a fork until the cookie crumbs start to clump together. You should have 2-1/4 cups.
- Pour the cookie crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate press across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake the crust for 6-8 minutes, remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Zest the lemons directly into the sugar and then use your fingers to work the zest into the sugar.
- Combine the sugar mixture, lemon juice and eggs into a 3-quart sauce pan and cook over medium (high) heat whisking constantly until it is 180 degrees F, about 6-7 minutes. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl and cool to 150 degrees F.
- Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender add the butter and process until the butter is emulsified – about 20 seconds. The lemon curd should be smooth and slightly thicker.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill until completely cool, about 3 hours. Clean the bowl of the food processor.
- Place 2 tablespoons of water in a measuring cup or small glass bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Microwave the mixture for 20 seconds. It should be completely liquid
- Place 1-1/2 cups of the heavy cream and sugar in the clean food processor bowl with the metal blade start to process the cream. Slowly pour the still warm gelatin in a steady stream into the cream as it processes. Continue to process the cream until it is the consistency of thick yogurt or sour cream, about 1 minute. Watch the cream the entire time so you don’t overmix and end up with butter.
- Add the whipped cream to the chilled lemon curd and fold the whipped cream into the curd. You will have 4 cups of filling. Scrape the filling into the cooled pie shell. Use an offset spatula to spread and smooth the top of the lemon mousse.
- Decorate the top with whipped cream and serve with fresh raspberries.