Translated from Hungarian, this lemon dessert is truly dreamy with a texture reminiscent of tiramisu, but with a zesty and refreshing twist. Despite its luxurious taste, it requires only a few simple ingredients that you likely already have in your fridge or pantry. For optimal results, prepare it a day in advance.
While this may not have been a dessert favored by our Hungarian ancestors, it has gained popularity since the mid-90s. Whether or not Attila the Hun was a fan remains a topic of debate among historians. One of the main ingredients, soured cream, explains why “Lemon Dream” has become a recent favorite.
- 300 ml [1¼ cups] heavy whipping cream [US heavy cream] chilled
- 300 [1¼ cups] ml soured cream [US sour cream] or crème fraîche, minimum 20% fat
- 10-12 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 3 – 4 unwaxed lemons (you will need all the juice plus the zest of 1 lemon from these)
- 400 gram [14 ounces] store bought sponge fingers
- a splash or two of orange liquor, dessert wine or alcohol of your choice (optional).
- Whisk the chilled whipping/heavy cream with half the powdered sugar in a glass or stainless steel bowl until soft peaks form. The cream will whip up faster if your bowl and beaters are chilled as well. Place in the fridge until use.
- Grate the zest of an unwaxed lemon and set aside, you will use it in the next step.
- Combine in a separate mixing bowl the soured cream with the remaining half of the sugar, now in goes the juice of 3-4 lemons then the zest of one lemon grated earlier.
- Fold the previously made whipped cream into the sour cream sugar and lemon mixture.
- Line a 22 cm / 8½ inch square dish (or similar) with a layer of sponge fingers.
- Drizzle the sponge fingers with a little liqueur or alcohol of your choice if using.
- Spread half of the lemon cream mixture on top of the layer of sponge fingers.
- Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers, drizzle with alcohol if using then top with the remaining mixture.
- Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. The cream is a bit runny at this stage, but will magically set during the resting time.
- When ready to serve, decorate with lemon slices, also nice dotted with raspberries in the summer or sprinkle with roughly shopped pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds in winter.