With their delicious ability to combine sweet and tart, I crave lemon sweets all year round. But they're especially welcome in the spring, when my taste buds are craving light, refreshing treats after a winter of heavy eating. The bakeries of Los Angeles are in tune with my thinking. Everywhere from cupcakeries to pie shops have lemony sweets on their menu. Here are 7 that we love.
'lemon desserts' on Serious Eats
When I finally get around to writing my memoirs, I'm going to title the chapter in which I move to San Francisco "They Promised Me The Weather Would Be Good." See, on the East Coast, we tend to conflate SoCal and NorCal, to imagine that California is all palm trees and surfer dudes and fabulous bikini weather. This lie is mainly perpetrated by TV and film. I certainly don't remember any episodes of Full House where Uncle Jesse said, "Gosh, it's pretty cold out" and then encouraged D.J. to put on a coat.
A perky cupcake with sunny personality is the perfect mid-afternoon bite. This particular lemon meringue treat takes a cue from the classic icebox pie. The zesty cake gets a spring in its step with a vibrant lemon curd filling and a jaunty meringue bouffant with a toasty touch that mirrors the sun-kissed tan of all those pretty girls in tropical bikinis laying out by the crystalline swimming pool.
These zesty cakes get a spring in their step from a vibrant lemon curd filling and a jaunty meringue bouffant.
Lemon meringue pie is perfect for whenever dessert time calls for something light and sunny, and I think that is twice as true in the dead of winter, when seasonal, local fruit is on the decline. I can't think of a better foil for cold and darkness than tangy lemon filling, crisp flaky crust, and of course, bruleed clouds of meringue. It's the kind of dessert that warms the soul with memories of summer.
This is a great recipe for a classic lemon meringue pie, with just a slight twist. Instead of a raw French meringue topping, it has one made of Swiss meringue instead. I think the texture is better with the Swiss Meringue, but it's important to only make the meringue just before you plan to serve it, or else it will get rubbery on top.
Nothing beats the sharp tang of lemon for a refreshing summer dessert. And it's so versatile—perfect in pies and tarts, cakes and cookies, ice creams and soufflés. Here are 23 of our favorite lemon desserts, in which the tart fruit meets everything from poppy seeds to rosemary to ginger and more.