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Lemon Meringue Cassata

Prep time 20 mins
Other time 2 hrs, 30 mins
Yield Makes 8 servings
"Cassata" is Italian for "in a case or chest." This tart and refreshing frozen dessert is encased in a loafpan until serving time when it's cut into multilayered slices. And, the wonderful thing about this dessert is you can cut a slice or two as you need it for a small family and keep the rest in the freezer for later. It's traditionally served at weddings or on special occasions.


  • Meringue
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
  • Lemon Curd
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 pint lemon sorbet, softened
  • Garnishes: lemon rind curls, fresh mint leaves

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Meringue.

  2. Line a 9- x 5-inch loafpan with nonstick aluminum foil, allowing edges of foil to extend over sides of pan. Press foil smoothly into corners and along sides of pan. Spread ice cream in prepared pan. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare Lemon Curd. Pour curd over ice cream, spreading in a smooth layer. Freeze, uncovered, 1 hour or until firm.

  4. Top frozen Lemon Curd with 1 meringue rectangle. Return cassata to freezer.

  5. Stir lemon rind into lemon sorbet. Spread sorbet mixture in a smooth layer over meringue layer in pan. Top with remaining meringue layer. Gently press meringue slightly into sorbet mixture. Freeze, uncovered, 1 hour or until firm.

  6. To serve, cut cassata into 8 slices. Garnish, if desired. Store, covered, in freezer.

  7. Tip: To quickly soften ice cream or sorbet: uncover container, and microwave at HIGH 20 seconds. Spoon into a medium bowl, and beat at low speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

  8. Tip: An electric knife works especially well to slice through the different layers of this dessert.

Southern Living Cook-Off Cookbook