No Bake Lemon Curd Parfait Recipe

Lemon Pie Parfait Square

Lemon Pie Parfaits – An Update of Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie

My grandma’s lemon meringue pie was astonishingly good. It is one of my very favorite food memories. As a small child, I hoped and prayed that my grandma would make it every single time I went to visit.

It was her signature dish, and her secret to the powerful lemony tang was kept under wraps until a few weeks ago, when my mom entrusted me with the secret. Here it is for all our Apron Strings friends: when Grandma made the lemon curd for the pie, she let the lemon rind simmer with the curd in the pan and then discarded it before spooning the curd into the pie shell.

So, with the secret unveiled I was longing for that bright fresh taste. But, OK, it’s confession time: I’m not good at baking pies. Oh sure, I suffer through it during the holidays and make the same pies every year, which are a hit, but mostly because my family loves me and forgives my baking inadequacies.

So, I thought, since the best part of the pie is the lemon curd – why not make that and then serve it in a parfait with crumbled shortbread cookies and whipped cream?! And, I just zested one of the lemons and added the zest to the curd for that same bright, lemony taste.

I am proud to report that my creative avoidance of baking has once again paid off in a big way. These parfaits take minutes to put together, they don’t heat up your house like pie baking does, and they have that same powerful lemon tang that my grandma’s pies had. So, let me recap: Easy, Quick, Flavorful. A culinary trifecta!

Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie – Updated and Simplified

Lemon Curd Recipe (Makes enough for 4 large parfaits):

NOTE: This curd is better if refrigerated for at least 8 hours, or make it a day before you plan to make the parfaits.

4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice (juice from 3 large lemons)
Zest from one lemon
4 tablespoons butter

Whisk together eggs and sugar in a large glass bowl until very light yellow and fluffy. Place bowl on top of a pan of simmering water, making a double boiler.

Add in lemon juice and zest. Cook over simmering water, whisking frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until mixture is thick like a custard.

Remove bowl from heat and stir in butter. Let cool and then refrigerate at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours.

To assemble the parfaits: Layer in parfait glasses crumbled shortbread cookies, chilled lemon curd and chilled whipped cream.

Serve immediately.

Other no-bake dessert recipes from some of our favorite bloggers:

Chocolate Cherry Ricotta Grilled Pizza, Family Fresh Cooking
Rustic Peach Gallette, In Good Taste
Berry Fool, Zoe Bakes
Whipped Key Lime Curd Tarts, Barbara Bakes

— posted by Donna 


  1. Kia says

    I made this for the family …. Big hit! I’m making it again tomorrow for the New Year’s Eve party it is a great recipie and I strongly suggest this recipie to anyone who is curious to how it would be like to not cook a dessert for once!

  2. sasha says

    hi im willing to make this but i dont know if it will work out can someone please reply to me that has made it and tell me how it was please

  3. says

    this sounds utterly ideal. I adore lemon curd, but not the meringue topping so much. With this gorgeous parfaits…I get the best of both worlds!

  4. says

    I love lemon so much. It works in the summer. It works in the winter. I have to tell you, though, that now in addition to the parfait, I’m dying to know how to make the pie.


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