I was surprised recently with this great dessert with two different names in Internet recipes ... Lemon Lush and Lemon Lust. Yes, this dessert is remarkably tasty with multiple textures by layer that go together exceptionally well. It is lush and I can easily understand someone lusting after it. The amazing part for me is the use of instant pudding, which I typically avoid like the plague. You do have to use instant pudding in this recipe.
My sweetheart, Peggy, wanted to make some type of dessert using lemons to take to a party, as one particular individual there loved lemon flavored pastries and other lemon flavored desserts. She recalled having a delicious layered lemon dessert in the past and she decided to make it. She looked at a variety of Internet recipes and selected one that appeared best to both of us. The results were wonderful, and she most recently made the dessert a second time for a Super Bowl party, and added an extra whipped cream topping layer, and it was a real hit.
Food Nirvana was created to bring best recipes for really tasty foods to lots of people. So the recipe for Lemon Lush simply had to be added. I hope you make it, for you and your friends and family are guaranteed to love it. It is actually quite simple to make.
Peggy and I decided the second time around to enhance the dessert by putting on an additional topping, a layer of whipped cream. That was a very nice addition but not required. You decide what you want and then do it.
Overall, this is a layered dessert with a shortbread base, a sweetened, flavored cream cheese layer, a pudding layer, a whipped topping layer and optionally a final whipped cream layer.
Ingredients: (makes 12, 2"x3" servings)
2 cups of flour
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of finely chopped pecans or walnuts (we prefer walnuts for this dessert)
1/4 cup of sugar for the shortbread crust
2, 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup of sugar for the cream cheese filling
1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
2, 3.4 ounce packages of instant lemon pudding
3 1/2 cups of milk
1, 16 ounce container of whipped topping like Cool Whip®, thawed
1 cup of heavy cream, whipped, with 2 tbsp. of sugar and one tsp. of vanilla (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flour, butter, 1/4 cup of sugar and the chopped pecans or walnuts to create the shortbread dough. I suggest using an electric mixer on low to medium-low speed as it eliminates the labor of hand mixing.
Press the shortbread dough into a 9" by 13" glass baking dish evenly and then bake it for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is light gold in color. You now have a shortbread crust, which is the base layer of the dessert.
Cool the shortbread crust to room temperature.
Use the electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and the lemon juice until the mixture is completely smooth.
Spread that mixture on top of the shortbread crust.
Again use the electric mixer, on low to medium speed, to combine the instant pudding mix with the milk until it starts to thicken, which will take roughly three to five minutes.
Pour the pudding onto the cream cheese mixture and then refrigerate the dessert until the pudding is set, roughly one hour.
Spread the Cool Whip® or a different brand of whipped topping on top of the pudding.
If you want to add the whipped cream topping then use the electric mixer to beat the heavy cream at medium to medium high speed until peaks form, then add the sugar and the vanilla and continue mixing for about a minute. Do not overmix or you will make a weird kind of butter. Spread the whipped cream on top of the Lemon Lush as the final layer.
Keep the Lemon Lush chilled in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until you serve it.
The easiest way to serve it is to cut it into 12 rectangles and use a spatula to lift each piece from the baking dish.
Enjoy ... And that is guaranteed to be the result.