Lemon Berry Creme Gateau to LiveStrong For

I’ve been a serious slacker about this blog, but to be fair, it’s because I’ve been cooking and taking pictures.  I know — liar.  Well, not completely.  I did cook, but I’m also planning our Mother’s Day extravaganza, so also did some general cleaning, and planting, and enjoying the completely gorgeous weather we’re having.   So I’m going to slam out two or three of these posts today and be more responsible.  I promise.  Besides, I have to get this thing all gussied up with the new banner I made.  Writing first, then banner.  At this rate, it may be in the wee hours of my morning.  Right now, it’s a quarter after lunch time.

A good place to begin is at the end of the weekend and my entry in support of LiveStrong Day and amazing people who are battling cancer.  In particular, Barbara, author of Winos and Foodies (boy do I fit in there…) has organized A Taste of Yellow.  And I know the rest of you have already turned in your drooliscious entries, but I read that Barbara gave the rest of us slackers a few more days while she’s vacationing, and that means I get to creep under the finish line with my creation of this Lemon Berry Cream Gateau.  I know, it looks more red than yellow, but oh my goodness, this thing really tastes yellow!

I’m a sucker for food porn photos, and the March edition of Sunset magazine didn’t let me down.  Thanks to Sunset and E. Shulman in Arizona for her inspiration and her “Cream Puff Gateau.”  I used her recipe for the pastry, but from there, I morphed a few other things together.  What the heck is new, right?  The good thing is, you’ll always know whether my family liked the end product, and if not quite to our liking, some modifications I could make the next time — if there is a next time.

In this case, most certainly, I think the possibilities are endless.  And often I’d like to make a beautiful dessert without a tremendous amount of fuss, and find myself digging through cookbooks, or doing Internet searches.  I can keep this one, and change it however I wish, just as long as I remember to write down my variations so they can be used again.  I know.  You probably already do that.

Oh, and I apologize profusely to all the Daring Bakers who suffered through their Martha Madness last month for their baking challenge.   I know this gateau looks suspiciously like those crepes, and you are probably running for cover right now.  But don’t go.  It’s really very uncomplicated.  And I think you’ll agree that there are lots of ways to modify this one.  If the rest of you haven’t checked out their results, you have to!

Lemon Berry Cream Gateau

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fit 3 baking sheets with parchment and coat with cooking spray.

For this recipe, you will need about 12 oz. strawberries, sliced, and:

Pastry Ingredients
1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces
1 c. all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
5 eggs at room temperature

Pastry Directions

  1. In a  medium pan over medium heat, melt 1/2 c. butter with 1 c. water, bringing mixture to a simmer.
  2. Turn the heat to low and add flour, sugar, and salt to the mixture, stirring quickly until it comes away from the side of the pan — about 1 minute or less.  Remove from heat.
  3. Add 1 egg and stir quickly.  The mixture will become sort of blobby at first, but will then come together as you continue to stir.
  4. Repeat with each addition of an egg until all eggs are completely mixted and the dough resembles a smooth paste.
  5. Divide the dough evenly among the 3 prepared baking sheets by using a spatula to spread each into a fairly flat 8″ wide circle.
  6. Bake pastry for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until browned — about 10-15 minutes more. You may need to switch racks at this point for even browning.
  7. Remove from sheets when done to cool on racks.

Lemon Filling Ingredients

1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 T. butter, melted
juice & graded rind of 2 lemons

Lemon Filling Directions
While the pastry is baking…

  1. Put all ingredients in a double boiler together.
  2. The water in the lower portion of the double boiler should be kept at a low simmer with the water NOT touching the bottom of the upper pan.
  3. Beat the ingredients in the upper pan well and stir until the mixture becomes quite thick — about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.

Creme Filling

1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. mascarpone
1/2 c. creme fraiche

Creme Filling Directions

  1. In the large bowl of a mixer, beat heavy cream until just beginning to thicken, then add the powdered sugar.
  2. Beat until stiff peaks form when pulling beater out of the cream.
  3. Mix creme fraiche and mascarpone together in a separate small bowl until smooth.
  4. Working in thirds and using a whip, incorporate mascarpone-creme fraiche mixture into whipped cream until all is incorporated and is fluffy.
  5. Measure out separately 1 c. of the mascarpone creme and combine gently with the reserved lemon filling until well incorporated and smooth.

Gateau Assembly

  1. On a platter you wish to serve the gateau, place one pastry round.
  2. Spread 1/2 of the lemon creme over the pastry round.
  3. Top with 1/3 of the mascarpone creme mix.
  4. Place sliced strawberries over the creme.
  5. Repeat steps for next layer.
  6. Place remaining pastry round on the top and cover with mascarpone creme and berries.

Can assemble up to 1 hour before serving, or refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • I would pipe the pastry layer next time because it would give the finished product a bit of a different look.
  • The addition of the cream to the lemon mixture was an after thought to cut down a bit on the tartness — although delicious, mouth-puckeringly tart!