Every Friday, I fix lunch for my two daughters.  I leave lunch on the kitchen table for my oldest daughter (who lives with me and works at home) and pack a picnic basket with lunch for my youngest daughter and myself to take to her home.

I make four servings so she can have something extra to squirrel away for later.  Lunch is always simple – a main dish salad or casserole plus a light dessert.  I came up with this dessert today, using what I had on hand and basing it loosely on one of our favorites, The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford.  The crust is so good in this dessert and the lemon filling is light and tangy.  We all loved it.

LEMON PECAN DREAM CUPS

Crust:

  • ¼ cup all -purpose flour
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Filling:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup frozen topping, thawed
  • 3.4 oz pkg lemon instant pudding (4 servings)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1-½ tsp. lemon juice to enhance flavor (optional)

Topping:

  • ½ cup frozen topping, thawed (divided)
  • 4 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Have four oven-safe custard cups at hand
To prepare the crust:

Place the flour and butter cubes in a small bowl.

Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips.  Stir in chopped pecans.

Divide this mixture between the four custard cups and press mixture down in the bottoms of the cups.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Place cups on a wire rack to cool.

To make the filling:

Place cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl.

Stir until smooth.  Stir in ½ cup frozen topping until blended.  Spread this mixture on top of cooled crust in custard cups.

In the same medium bowl, place instant pudding mix and milk.

Beat until pudding starts to thicken – about one minute.   Stir in lemon juice.  Spoon the pudding mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture in the cups.

Swirl 2 Tblsp. of  topping on each cup and place one pecan half in the center.

Cover and refrigerate for at least ½ hour.

4 servings