Versatile Lemon Dessert

AMANZIMTOTI, South Africa around 1998. GRRRHHMMM…My husband closes his eyes and groans in ecstasy. We’d just met and I’m trying to impress him with food. I’m succeeding. “This is the best dessert I’ve ever eaten,” he says, and I fail to tell him how ridiculously simple it is to make. It becomes his favorite and after 19 years of marriage, he still claims it to be his favorite. The recipe will follow at the end of this blog entry.

I remember my mom taught me to make it, but I couldn’t remember where the recipe came from. When I asked her, she said she invented it. Go figure. Something simple and wonderful from my mother’s South African kitchen.

I’m not a great lover of baking and making dessert, so whenever we have dinner parties, this is my go-to dessert. Eventually I will tweak it into all kinds of miracle lemon or lime creations. The basis-sweetened condensed milk-will remain the same, but I will go on to omit the pre-made crust & cream & will play with other ingredients to make it different. I take out the cream and replace the lemon juice with key lime juice for a no bake key lime pie. I add eggs and turn it into a baked key lime pie. The no bake pie tastes so much better. I will add tequila and eggs and turn it into a baked tequila lime pie. Then I will use either the lime or the lemon juice, depending on my mood, add some fresh fruit on top and call it tropical fruit mousse. When I add only passion fruit on top, I will call it A Passionate Dessert. I use the condensed milk and key lime juice, mix it together and serve it as a dip with strawberries. I will add coconut flakes, freeze it, serve it with fruit salad and call it tropical fruit with coconut ice cream. I will add some finely chopped chocolate mint, put it in jam jars, decorate it with home made candied limes and call it key lime pots. You can use your imagination and tweak it to make it your own. Here is the basic recipe for you to enjoy.


  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pre-made Graham cracker pie crust


Make sure to chill, but not freeze, all ingredients well before starting. Whip cream in large glass mixing bowl with electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and mix well. Add condensed milk and mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated. Pour into pre-made pie crust. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Serves 6

I would love to hear from you if you find it as delicious and addictive as I do.

The recipes for some of the altered desserts mentioned above appear in my book Have Food Will Travel for sale at



1 thought on “Versatile Lemon Dessert

  1. GRRRHHMMM…is an understatement, it was heavenly the first time and continues to be my absolute favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

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