This week's Sweet Melissa Sunday's recipe was chosen by Carmen of Baking is my Zen: pumpkin bread pudding with caramel-rum raisin sauce. While I generally try to bake along no matter what, I'm just not much of a fan of bread pudding and I didn't have anyone to take it off my hands if I did make it. Carmen will have the recipe posted on her blog today if you'd like to give it a shot. Also, you can stop by the SMS blogroll to see what the other bakers thought of the bread pudding!
Instead of completely skipping this week, I decided to rewind and try one of the recipes I missed. Last May the group made a lemon icebox cake and it received rave reviews so it was an easy decision to give it a shot. I baked a lemon icebox pie back in January and it was spectacular so this cake definitely had competition. The main difference between the two recipes is that the one from the Sweet Melissa book has you cook the filling over a double boiler and then pour it into a prebaked crust, while the one I made a few months ago pours the filling into an unbaked crust and relies on the oven to cook both at the same time. The Sweet Melissa recipe also calls for making meringue and folding half of it into the lemon filling and using the other half for a topping on the cake.
I made one third of the recipe, which yielded 2 mini (4-inch) cakes. I also substituted graham crackers for vanilla wafer cookies in the crust because that's what I had on hand. The recipe is a simple one - the only thing that gave me any trouble at all was trying to spread the meringue over the filling. In fact, I really couldn't get it to spread at all so I just spooned the meringue on and left it at that. The meringue browns briefly in a hot oven (I left mine in about 6-7 minutes) then the cake cools to room temperature and is popped in the freezer where it stays until being served.
The verdict? This cake was just as good, if not better, than the one I made a few months ago! Both had a slightly tart filling with lots of lemon flavor that paired beautifully with the buttery crust. The filling was more fluffy and light in the Sweet Melissa version thanks to the addition of the meringue. That said, I didn't think the meringue topping added much to the cake and I'd probably skip it next time, serving my cake with a bit of whipped cream instead. The recipe for the lemon icebox cake can be found on Jennifer's site, Keep Passing the Open Windows. Glad I finally got to try this one, it's a keeper! Thanks Jennifer! We're off to the zoo today and I'm super excited - I haven't been in ages :) Hope you're all enjoying your weekends too!