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!