I have a theory that if a handed down cookbook contains pages with folded down corners, then those recipes are keepers… or at the very least worth testing out. And so was the case with this Church Cookbook Layered Lemon Lush Recipe.
Found in the Istrouma Baptist Church community cookbook (circa 1979)- Cookin’ Somethin’ Special II, that was tucked in the very back of one of my grandmother’s kitchen cabinets, the cookbook (and all its hidden goodness of notes and folded down pages) was quickly headed to the Goodwill had I not intervened.
When your grandmother leaves behind adult sons, one of which (my father) who momentarily believed he should sell his home and live “gyspy style” in an RV with a tiny baby kitchen, it’s a really good thing there was someone like me to swoop in and save those buried treasures.
On the very first page, there’s a handwritten note “310 4 cup salad”, and on page 2 along with the cookbook committee lineup, another note for “Miss Mead pg. 289”.
Of course, I quickly went to both of those pages first. The “4” cup salad is actually “One Cup Salad” and worthy of its own post now that we are heading into the summer months and on page 289 while there’s no mention of Miss Mead, only a Callie McKenzie’s Three Layer Pie and Patsy Dufour’s Tollhouse Pie there was an “* Lemon Lush”.
A quick turn to the Lemon Lush recipe and there I found similarities between the Three Layer Pie and today’s Layered Lemon Lush by Janie Sue Byrd. One is chocolate, one is lemon.
Same exact pecan cookie crust and the same whipped cream cheese second layer.
- Layer One:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Layer Two:
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup (of an 8 ounce container) Cool Whip
- Layer Three:
- 2 packages (3.4 ounce) Jello instant lemon pudding
- 2 cups milk
- Layer Four:
- Remaining Cool Whip
- Layer One: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Combine ingredients and press into baking pan. Bake for 15 mins, cool thoroughly.
- Layer Two: In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with an electric mixer, combine the ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread over the pecan cookie crust. Place in freezer while you prepare the pudding.
- Layer Three: In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients until the pudding begins to thicken. Remove from freezer and spread over the cream cheese layer.
- Layer Four: Spread the remaining Cool Whip on top of the pudding layer.
- Chill or freeze until ready to serve.
Both recipes call for oleo which was easily replaced with an unsalted butter for the cookie crust. Layer two is a whipped cream cheese layer of pure deliciousness, followed by a third layer of lemon pudding. The fourth layer of Cool Whip was originally optional or “as needed”, but I went ahead and used the remaining tub of an 8 ounce container of Cool Whip for an entire fourth layer.
The recipe reminded me of a potluck dish, so I refrained from my signature whipped cream swirl topper. The recipe isn’t the prettiest in the pan (who the heck knows what’s in there?!), but boy is it delicious once you scoop out a slice.
Garnish with a little lemon wedge and zest and you’re all set for a light and refreshing treat to beat the impending summer heat. Page folded and granddaughter approved.
And if you’re in the mood for another one of my grandmother’s cookbook recipes, try out this Cajun Bundt Cake.