With summer days approaching, we look for simple, quick, and delicious desserts to bring or serve for our weekend gatherings. Delicious combinations made with lemons are always a crowd pleaser for their bright citrus flavors and are always wonderfully refreshing on hot summer days.
My Lemon Cream Cheese Tart, baked in a fun animal cracker crust delivers its generous citrus punch from the use of a whole lemon, lemon juice, and zest. Blended with a soft, smooth cream cheese, which offers a nice balance for this wonderfully bright, silky, lemony tart. The buttery animal cracker crust provides the right amount of vanilla flavor and light brown sugar adds caramel notes. Combining a sweet and crunchy contrast to the citrus filling.
All the ingredients come together quickly in the food processor, even the animal cracker crust! Just process and pour directly into the baked crust for this smooth, creamy and dreamy dessert.
A taste of sunshine
Meet ya in the kitchen
For the Lemon Filling:
2 lemons, divided (about 5-6 oz. each)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. cream cheese, quartered, room temperature
For the Cookie Crust:
2 1/2 cups animal crackers (5 oz)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
Zest of a lemon
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
For the Crust:
Using your food processor, process the crackers, sugar, and salt until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add lemon zest and melted butter and pulse until combined, about 8 pulses. Sprinkle the crumb mixture into a tart pan, pie pan or a springform pan.
Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup, press crumbs firmly into bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust until it begins to brown, about 12-14 minutes. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
For the Tart Filling:
Place a washed lemon in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water and boil for 20 minutes, or until soft. Drain and leave to cool. When lemon is cold, cut off ends, and cut in half and remove any seeds. Roughly chop the lemon and place in food processor with sugar, salt, and lemon juice, process until pureed, about 3 minutes. While the food processor is running, add the eggs, one at a time, and then, when they’re incorporated, add the cornstarch followed by the melted butter and vanilla, pulse for 30 seconds. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, add the cream cheese and process until smooth. Remove the bowl, and rap it against the countertop a few times to pop some of the bubbles in the mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared crust.
Bake 325 degrees for 18-24 minutes, until the filling is puffed and lightly browned. Tap the side of the pan to see if the filling is firm. If it jiggles just the least bit in the center, that’s fine. Transfer the tart on a baking sheet to a cooling rack. Leave until it reaches room temperature, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours. The tart can be served chilled or at room temperature. Just before serving, dust the top with confectioners’ sugar.
Thanks for stopping by.
Bake some love!