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Charlotte Russe, Lemon (D, TNT)
Source: My mother
Serves: 16

Lemon Layer:
6 egg yolks
2 2-3/4 ounce packages lemon pudding or pie filling mix
1 cup granulated sugar
4-1/4 cups cold water, divided
1/4 cup lemon juice

Cake Layer:
2 3-ounce packages ladyfingers, 24 divided

Whipped Cream Layer:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Layers:
1 cup heavy cream
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make Lemon Layer:
Break egg yolks into 3-quart saucepan. Using wire whisk, beat until smooth.

Add pudding mix, granulated sugar, and approximately 1/2 cup of the cold water. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and remaining cold water (approximately 3-3/4 cups).

Cook over medium-high flame, stirring almost constantly with wooden spoon, until mixture comes to a full, rolling boil.

Turn off flame under pot. Set aside to cool until lukewarm (1 to 1-1/2 hours).

Make Cake Layer:
While lemon filling is cooling, line pan with ladyfingers:

Split all 24 ladyfingers in half lengthwise (yielding 48 ladyfinger halves). Line sides of ungreased 9-1/2" springform pan with 22 of the ladyfinger halves, standing them upright with the curved sides facing outward (against the pan). Place 13 of the ladyfinger halves on bottom of pan, curved sides facing downward (against the pan). Set aside.

Make Whipped Cream Layer:
Pour 1 cup of the heavy cream into small mixing bowl. Beat until consistency of whipped cream. If you used the small bowl of the electric mixer, transfer the cream to another bowl. Set aside for cheese layer (but don't wash the beaters).

Pour remaining 2 cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla into small mixing bowl. Beat until consistency of whipped cream. Place in refrigerator. (Do not wash the beaters.)

Make Cream Cheese Layers and Assembly:
Put cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla into medium-sized mixing bowl. Cream until soft and fluffy. Stir in one-fourth of the reserved unsweetened whipped cream. Gently fold in remaining unsweetened whipped cream.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the ladyfinger halves in the pan. Add layer of remaining 13 ladyfinger halves, rounded side facing upward. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Place in refrigerator until cream cheese layer is somewhat firm, and lemon filling is lukewarm.

Add Remaining Layers:
Pour reserved lemon filling over cheese layer. Spread reserved sweetened whipped cream over lemon layer. Place in refrigerator until lemon layer is completely cool. (Overnight is fine.)

Shortly before serving, remove sides from springform pan and place pan on cake plate.

Although this calls for a 9-1/2" springform pan, other sizes can be substituted if this is not available ... It will just be a little lower in a larger pan (unless you double the sweetened whipped cream), and you'll have some left over (e.g., for custard cups) if using a smaller pan.

Poster's Notes:
Ladyfingers can prove difficult to locate ... I buy them when I see them, and store them in the freezer.

This was a recipe my mother often made at this time of year--and always to great acclaim. Although it is quick and easy to prepare, EVERYONE loves it and wants the recipe.

This is always a huge hit. It is very easy to make, and can be made a day ahead of time (which I have always done). My mother got the original recipe from a friend, but halved the number of ladyfingers, doubled the filling, added ingredients (such as egg yolks and lemon juice), et cetera.

Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A