Pie Crust: Whisk flour with a fork while still in the bag or cannister. Gently spoon out flour into measuring cups. (This reduces flour by as much as 1/8 to 1/4 cup).
Then sift flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add shortening and cut into pea sized bits with pastry blender. Add cold water gradually until just dampened. Place on waxed paper and gather into ball from the outside corners. Press dough into a 6-inch pancake shape. Wrap with plastic wrap.
Chill at least 30 minutes and then roll out between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Remove 1 side of plastic wrap, lightly flour, if necessary, and place into a 9-inch clear glass deep dish pan.
Remove plastic wrap and flute edges. Prick bottom and sides with a fork. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Use extra pastry for cut-outs in the shapes of lemons, stars, etc. for decoration.
Bottom Layer: In saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix with wire whisk; blend in lemon juice and cold water; then add egg yolks and blend until smooth. Add butter and gradually stir in boiling water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; boil 2 minutes; remove from heat and add lemon extract, zest/peel, and food coloring. Partially cool for 30 minutes, and pour into the baked pie shell. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before adding second layer.
Second Layer: In a small bowl, cream sugar and cream cheese with spatula until smooth. Add milk and stir until well blended. Add pudding and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes until thickened. Pour on bottom layer. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Top Layer: Cream together the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in the whipped dessert topping and spread on top of cooled lemon pudding. Garnish with extra pastry cutouts, citrus or mint leaves. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.