You’re looking for a lemony dessert you can share with guests. You’re tired of cakes. (And cookies. And pies.) You need options for gluten free and vegan guests. Oh, and you’d like this sweet treat to be pretty. This lemon fondue with an assortment of dippable fruits and confections is our new favorite party dessert.
One of the best things about this dessert is that you can decide how much or how little to make from scratch. You can make a yummy lemon dip from store bought lemon curd or vegan pie filling if you are pressed for time or need to accommodate vegan guests. Or you can mix up lemon custard as we’ve done here. You can bake cake or cookies for dipping, or pick some up at the bakery. Any of these choices will make a delicious, fun dessert!
Take a dip
The first thing to consider is what you’d like for dippers. If you’re a fan of chocolate fondue, you’ll find that some of the goodies for dipping in melted chocolate are just as good with lemon. Strawberries, bananas, and pound cake are familiar sweet fondue options that are delicious in lemon fondue, too. Other tropical fruits would also be a good choice. Of course meringues seem to belong with lemon, too, and these tiny meringue cookies are also gluten free. Pie crust baked into bite-sized pieces also makes perfect dippers.
While we used bakery pound cake for our fondue, of course you could use your favorite recipe (or mine–this recipe for pound cake from King Arthur Flour is delicious). I did make the meringue cookies using Sugar Spun Run’s recipe, piping half of them in plain white and adding food color to the other half for pink meringues. Ours were vanilla, but you could make them in different flavors, as well.
You can make the pie crust “chips” from store bought pie crust or from scratch. We used this recipe:
Pie Crust Chips
1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 Tbsp cold water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and add the shortening, using a fork and mixing until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until you can pull the dough in a ball. Roll out to desired thickness and cut into shapes, or use a pizza cutter to cut strips or triangle shapes. Move shapes to the baking sheet. If you’d like, you can brush the crust pieces with milk or water and sprinkle with sugar before baking. Then bake until crusts are lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool before serving.
Once you have your dippers selected and prepared, you are ready to put together the fondue. Ours is adapted from a lemon pie recipe.
2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups water
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook over medium heat while stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in the butter. Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl, then whisk some of the hot sugar mixture into the yolks. Add egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture, whisking until combined. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until custard has thickened. Remove from heat and pour into serving bowl or fondue pot to serve warm.
Wash and slice your fruit, cube your cake into bite-sized pieces, and arrange all of your dippers for your guests to select their favorites. Then pass the fondue forks and enjoy!
If you’re making the custard ahead, you can refrigerate for a day or two. To serve, whisk in a bit of milk if necessary to thin to a dipping consistency, then warm before serving. (It’s good chilled, as well!)
Do you enjoy fondue? What else would be good dipped in lemon fondue?