Edible Monterey Bay

Frozen Lemon-Gingersnap Pie

Courtesy Michelle Lee, sous chef, C restaurant, InterContinental The Clement in Monterey

This dessert features one of my all-time favorite flavor combinations, lemon and ginger. The base of this recipe is a French parfait, which is a light frozen mousse. This parfait is basically lemon curd with whipped cream folded into it. I love parfaits because they’re easy to make and the result is ice cream like without the hassle of churning in a machine. You can use pretty much anything as a mold—a 7–8-inch pie pan, a cake pan, a loaf pan, even a small bowl will work fine.

When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and garnish last minute with whipped cream, candied ginger and pomegranate seeds. If you’re feeling fancy, top with bits of baked meringue and edible flowers.


1 cup sugar
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
6 egg yolks
¼ cup Meyer lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
Pinch salt
1¾ cups heavy cream


1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
(I love the Triple Ginger Snaps from Trader Joe’s and use about 12 of those)


Whipped cream
Candied ginger, cut into slivers
Pomegranate seeds

Grease pan lightly with cooking spray, then line with plastic wrap, pressing wrap into corners and allowing extra overhang for easy removal. Set aside in freezer.

Using your clean hands, rub the lemon zest into the sugar well to help release the fragrant oils from the zest.

Whisk together the yolks, zesty sugar, lemon juice and salt in a bowl until well combined. Rest the bowl on top of a pot of simmering water, and whisk constantly until thick. (You’re gently cooking the eggs and whipping air into them at the same time. This process should take several minutes.) When the mixture is thick and the sugar is dissolved, place into a larger bowl of ice water, whisking occasionally until cold. Remove from ice water and set aside.

Whip cream to soft peaks. Fold into egg mixture with a rubber spatula until homogeneous, being careful not to deflate the mixture too much. Spread half the parfait into prepared frozen mold, sprinkle a thin layer of crushed gingersnaps on top then top with remaining parfait. Freeze until frozen, at least 4 hours, overnight if possible.

Press remaining gingersnap crumbs into the top of the parfait (once inverted, this will be the bottom). Return to freezer to set. Once set, to unmold parfait, loosen with the help of the plastic wrap overhang, and invert onto serving plate or platter. Return to freezer.

When ready to serve, pull parfait out of freezer and garnish with some whipped cream, slivers of candied ginger and pomegranate seeds. Serves 8.