Bruce's Grandmonther's Lemon Crisp

My husband Bruce's grandmother Daisy was a farmer's wife and cooked tasty, hearty food. She made a cookbook of these recipes, which I inherited. Written neatly in her own hand she has made a living history of what people ate between the two world wars. Her white Christmas cake is still a family favourite, and her knowledge of food from other cultures amazed me, too. This recipe is probably from the thirties.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup butter, softened


Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form cake pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks (reserving remaining 2 whites separately) in a medium heavy pot. Stir in sugar, lemon juice and salt. Place over low heat and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 15 minutes or until lemon mixture has thickened (don't allow it to boil or the eggs will curdle). Remove from heat, strain into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it right onto the top of the lemon curd mixture. Leave until fully cool.

Whip reserved egg whites until they form soft peaks. Set aside.

Whip cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold whites and whipped cream together, then fold into cooled lemon curd.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and softened butter in a bowl and use your fingers or a pastry blender to mix until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle three-quarters of crumb mixture into prepared pan, pressing it down to form a thin crust. Spoon in lemon mixture and sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Freeze lemon crisp until firm, about 4 hours. Serves 8, refreeze leftovers.