What to Make for Easter – DESSERT Edition: Lemon Silk Pie with Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookie Crust
Easter dessert doesn’t have to mean carrot cake, although carrot cake is delicious…. If your Easter meal is filled with traditional fare like ham, lamb, and scalloped potatoes, then a big heavy piece of cake probably doesn’t sound too appealing. So how about a slice of light and fluffy lemon silk pie? The zing of lemon gives this spin on silk pie a refreshing twist. And that crust?? I knew I wanted to infuse some of the classic carrot cake flavors into a sturdy crust that contrasts nicely with the tang of a lemon filling. This crust is part oatmeal cookie and part crust. But not just any oatmeal cookie… This oatmeal cookie has some special inclusions like shredded carrots, dried coconut, and finely chopped pecans – making it reminiscent of carrot cake!
Are you familiar with silk pie? Its usually chocolate flavored and sometimes its called French silk pie. Its fluffy mousse-like filling that has a richer and butterier taste. Lemon is so classically spring, that I wanted to create a more creative spin on the typical lemon desserts (i.e. lemon bars, lemon merengue pie, lemon tart). Combined with my desire to create a carrot cake flavored crust, lemon silk pie seemed like the perfect option. And, it was. I can hardly get over how good this was. Why are more people not making lemon silk pies???
So why should you make this for easter dessert? Other than because its crazy delicious, you should make this for Easter because it can be made up to 48 hours ahead of time! I recommend making the whipped cream topping the day of, but cover and refrigerate the rest of the pie until you are ready to serve. Desserts that make Easter day, easier are the best kind! Basically, anything that leaves more time for Easter egg hunts. And friends. And family. And eating jelly beans…
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut shreds
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 tbsp. pecans finely chopped
- 1/4 cup. unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. finely grated carrot, with excess liquid removed
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup. sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup. fresh lemon juice
- 3 eggs, yolks and whites divided
- 2 tsp. lemon zest divided.
- 8 oz. whipping cream
- 2-3 tbsp. super fine sugar (caster sugar)
- lemon zest for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Spread out grated carrot over several layers of paper towel. Then place a few more layers of paper towel over the top. Then place something heavy on top (like a heavy cook book) and allow to sit while measuring and combining the crust ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the crust except for carrot and melted butter.
Remove the carrot from between the paper towels and add to the bowl. Stir to combine, then drizzle in butter and mix until evenly moist throughout. It will not form a wet cookie-like dough. In an 8" spring form pan, press the mixture into the bottom and up about 1" of the side of the pan. It will be a relatively thin layer compared to other press-in crusts.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden and set.
Remove from oven and cool completely before adding the filling.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until frothy. Then add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer beaten egg whites to a clean and dry bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl combine remaining sugar with lemon zest with the tips of your fingers. This will release oils from the lemon zest and infuse the sugar! (Since we will not be baking the filling, this is an important step!)
In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and lemon zest infused sugar. Beat until very light and fluffy! Scarping down Then add egg yolks one at a time and beat on high until thoroughly combined and fluffy - about 30 seconds after the addition of each yolk. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, slowly add lemon juice in a steady stream. Then increase speed to high and beat for about 1 minute, scrape down sides if needed.
Using a spatula and being careful not to deflate the egg whites, gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the mixture. Stir in this fashion until thoroughly combined. If it looks a bit runny, that is ok, it will set up in the fridge.
Spread the lemon mixture over the top of the cooled crust to form an even layer. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but overnight is preferred!
Prior to serving, use stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment to whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Then with mixer running on low speed pour in the superfine sugar in a steady stream. Then increase the speed and beat until stiff peaks form - but be careful not to over beat! Use a spatula to spread topping in an even layer over the lemon silk filling. Garnish with lemon zest. Refrigerate until ready to serve, or serve immediately. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and release the pie from the spring form pan. Slice and serve.
Total time includes minimum recommended chilling time of 4 hours - although an overnight chill is recommended.