I always look forward to Meyer lemon season. I buy them bags at a time to make lemon curd, vinaigrettes, salads, drinks, and desserts. For a long time now, I’ve been wanting to make this Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake from the April 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. My family loves crepes and I’m trying to get better at making them. I love the idea of a cake stacked tall with eggy crepes and tangy Meyer lemon curd mousse. At first glance the recipe seems to be really time consuming, but once it’s broken down into smaller steps, it’s nothing more than making the crepes and lemon curd, mixing it with whipped cream and layering everything into a cake. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake
Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours
Layers of eggy crepes filled with tangy Meyer lemon curd mousse makes an elegant dessert that is easier to prepare than you might think!
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan
1/4 cup whipped cream, for serving
For Meyer Lemon Curd Mousse:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon cold water
4 large whole eggs plus 6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 5-6 lemons)
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
For Candied Meyer Lemons:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Meyer lemons (do not peel), preferably organic, washed well and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour through a sieve into a large pitcher or measuring cup. Discard the lumps. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, put all of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.)
2. Lightly coat a non-stick skillet or crepe pan with butter. Heat over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Remove from heat and pour 2 Tablespoons of the batter into the pan. Swirl and tilt pan to spread the batter evenly over the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and return pan to heat. Cook until edges are golden and center is dry, about 30 seconds per side.
3. Slide the crepe onto an overturned plate. Repeat with remaining batter, coating the pan with butter as needed. Stack the crepes on the plate and let cool.
For Meyer Lemon Mousse:
1. Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to soften the gelatin.
2. In a non-reactive saucepan with a heavy bottom, whisk together eggs and yolks, sugar, lemon juice, and zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly, until the curd is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Add gelatin to the curd. Stir until smooth and gelatin is dissolved. Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time.
4. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any bits of egg or undissolved gelatin. Press a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly onto the surface of the curd. Let cool slightly then place in fridge to chill for several hours or until very cold.
5. Once curd is properly chilled, stir to loosen it and fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate for one hour before assembling cake.
For Candied Meyer Lemons:
1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan, and heat until sugar dissolves. Add lemons, and cover surface with parchment. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until rinds are translucent, about 30 minutes. Let lemons cool in syrup.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemons to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Let stand for allow excess syrup to drip off.
1. Place one crepe on a flat serving dish. Spread about 1/4 cup of the mousse onto the crepe. Top with another crepe and another 1/4 cup of mousse. Repeat layering crepes and mousse. (Use 15 crepes, ending with a crepe on top.) Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
2. Top crepe cake with 1/4 cup whipped cream and 3 or 4 candied lemon slices. Cut into wedges and serve.
*Crepes can be made ahead and refrigerated up to one day.
*Mousse can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
*Candied lemons can be made ahead, refrigerated in the syrup, for up to 3 weeks.
*I did 1 1/2 times the recipe for the crepes because my small non-stick skillet is 8-inches. They were also a little thicker. Knowing my difficulty turning the crepes in my skillet from previous attempts, I felt like that was the way to go for me.
*I made all of the components the day before and then put the crepe cake together. It does benefit from some time in the fridge to set up before cutting.
*Use regular lemons if you can't find Meyer lemons, or use part lemon juice and part orange juice to mimic the unique flavor of the Meyer lemons.
*Use plenty of butter for the skillet so the crepes are easier to turn.
*I always, always, always layer the crepes with waxed paper so I can get them apart later.
Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2010
Everyone LOVED this cake! Such a big hit with my crepe and lemon curd-loving family. My husband felt like the crepe recipe itself was fantastic – really eggy and buttery. Better than the recipe I usually use. I’m still perfecting the delicate art of crepe making, so this is actually a great recipe for a novice crepe-maker like myself. It didn’t matter if I tore a few, it was covered up by another layer of crepes and mousse. I did get the edges a little bit brown (okay, black), but it wasn’t the recipe’s fault.
Yes, it seems pretty time consuming, but it was worth it! It’s actually much easier than I thought, which was part of what took me so long to make it.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Yes! It’s really a great springtime dessert. And though it’s not maybe as pretty as traditional layer cakes, I really thought the candied lemons made it special. Spring is on it’s way in a few weeks, so it was a great way to start getting excited for more sunshine and warmer weather. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious. Worth every indulgent calorie!