Every family has it's go to recipes, the ones with a totally retro vibe that make a steady appearance at dinner after dinner, but somehow never get boring. For some it is a classic cake or a kheer, but in my family that dessert is Lemon Velvet and the best way I can describe it is as an eggless lemon mousse. It is sweet, tart and utterly luscious. Like most things I like to make it is also a cinch to pull together and can be used in many ways.
We usually served lemon velvet in a square or rectangular dish, layered with salty buttery Tuc biscuits, stabilized with two spoons of dissolved gelatin and cut in to squares for serving. These days I love prettying it up by serving it in glasses and adding some attitude with crushed gingersnaps. You can also layer it with fruit, spread over meringue, use it as a tart filling - the possibilities are endless.
(between you and me, it's yummiest licked of the spatula ... shhhh)
1 cup whipping cream
⅓ cup lemon juice
300ml condensed milk
A few drops of yellow food coloring (entirely optional)
1 to 2 cups crushed gingersnaps (amount depends on serving dish - I used a little over 1)
Whip the cream till stiff peaks form and set aside. Beat the condensed milk for 5-6 minutes until it gets even thicker and a little fluffier looking, add in the lemon juice, food coloring (if using) and gently fold in the whipped cream. Taste, adjust lemon juice if necessary. That's it, you're done. Pile it in a bowl, top with some fruit and you have pretty and flavorful dessert.
If you want to fill glasses like I did then alternate layers of gingersnap crumbs (heaped spoon) with the lemon velvet cream and top with blueberries. The neatest way to fill the glasses is to use a piping bag for the cream and tap after adding each layer so that it settles well. Makes 14-16 glasses.