Meyer Lemon Icebox Bites

Remember when I was gifted that slew of citrus a few weeks ago? Well, I never got around to sharing one of my most favorite recipes from all the experimenting, so here they are, Meyer Lemon Icebox Bites.

I originally made this recipe as part of my Oscars Viewing Party for “The Help” as a nod to the traditional Icebox cakes of the South (I couldn’t bring myself to whip up a version of Minnie’s “famous” chocolate pie). Well, last week came and went but I didn’t want this recipe to go unnoticed. These sweet, tart, floral mini pies are perfect finger food for a cocktail party or anytime you just want a bite-sized dessert.

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Meyer Lemon Icebox Pie Bites

  • Makes: 48 mini icebox bites
  • Total Time: 20 minutes, plus 3 hours baking and setting time
  • Hands-On Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
  • 8 ounces vanilla wafers or graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • For the custard:
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly-squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (14 ounce) container sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, softened
  • Pinch salt
  • For the garnish:
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Candied citrus or ginger (optional)
  • Thinly sliced mango or kiwi (optional)

Instructions

Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

  • For the crust:

Place wafers or graham crackers in a food processor and process until broken up (you want 2 cups total). Add butter and pulse until moist. Divide mixture among two (24-well) mini muffin pan and press mixture evenly in the bottom and up the sides of the muffin wells. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 5 minutes, then remove from oven.

  • For the custard:

Whisk or blend remaining ingredients together until smooth then divide among prepared crusts. Place in 350°F oven and bake until edges are set but center is still a bit loose, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Cover and freeze until chilled and set, at least 2 hours or overnight. When frozen, run a small butter knife dipped in hot water around the perimeter of each tart and remove. Cover and return to freezer until ready to serve. (Can be done up to 2 weeks in advance.)

Serve frozen or chilled, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and, as desired, a piece of candied ginger or citrus or a slice of fresh kiwi, and serve. (Tarts are best eaten when still frozen or chilled.)


Notes: Tarts should be eaten within 30 minutes of removing from freezer for best texture. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, substitute it with equal parts orange and lemon juice.


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