Try this lemon cream cheese pie, then check out our lemon posset, effortless madeleine baba, raspberry chocolate pots and more effortless entertaining recipes.

What is effortless?

Whether you’re cooking for a partner, friend or family, these easy recipes are special but simple to make thanks to shop-bought ingredients and no fiddly techniques. These recipes can be made ahead, or require 30 minutes or less to prep. They’re go-to ideas for entertaining special guests.


  • 325g puff pastry sheet (we used Dorset pastry)
  • 500g soft cheese
  • 2 lemons, zested and 1 juiced
  • 7 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  • STEP 1

    Cut the puff pastry in half and use it to line the base of a 24 x 19cm tin – you can gently roll out the pastry if you need to make it larger. Prick the base all over with a fork. Bake for 15 mins in an oven heated to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. When the pastry base is baked, press it down carefully to release any air, then cool.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, mix the soft cheese with the zest and juice of 1 lemon and 5 tbsp of the caster sugar until smooth. Let it stand for 5 mins – the acid in the lemon will thicken the cheese slightly.

  • STEP 3

    Scoop the soft cheese filling over the cooled pastry base and spread it to the edges. Top with the other pastry half and tuck in the edges to enclose the filling. Brush the top with the melted butter.

  • STEP 4

    Mix the zest of 1 lemon with the remaining 2 tbsp of caster sugar, and sprinkle this over the top.

  • STEP 5

    Bake for 30 mins, then leave to cool and chill until cold. Cut into six squares or 12 fingers. Will keep chilled for a week.


Lulu GrimesManaging editor

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