Monday, January 28, 2008

Did Someone Say Lemon Meringue???

Lemon Meringue..Yup thats right, the Daring Bakers January challenge was Lemon Meringue. And I have to say I was most excited. I do love to make pies, but never really get the opportunity. Getting the hubby to eat fresh fruit is hard enough, and well he is not fond of pies. So why make them? This gave me the perfect excuse, and best of all I have always wanted to make Lemon Curd just really never have. Of course I waited until days before this post, 5 days before to be exact. Come Wednesday about 5pm I thought, ok time to tackle the challenge.
I started with the dough. As I measured out the ingredients, I thought to myself, my this is an awful lot of sugar but went with. As the water incorporated I realized it was much more like a pastry dough than a pie dough, I felt like I was putting together a puff pastry or something, with all the wonderful flakiness and specks of butter going through it. (I really need to remember to take pics during the process, I seem to focus on the end than the up to process lol). Beautiful it was. So into the fridge to chill. While I look over the rest of the recipe and start dinner. I loved the little steps in this, I was able to accomplish other little things. I rolled out the dough with no trouble, and still loved seeing all my specs of butter, mm this was gonna be tasty I thought to myself. And back in the fridge to chill. The shell baked while we ate dinner, making it simple to cool while I prepared the filling.
I measured everything out, and started slowly, having slight worries of reading trouble everyone had, But as the sugar and cornstarch came together, I thought of it as a rue, and cooked it a little longer, making sure it was completely cooked and as thick as it could get. I took the glob on the whisk and whisked it into the egg yolks..and poof..pastry cream came to mind and the process of tempering the eggs so that they do not scramble on you. So I did little globs whisked in until the creamy lemony yellow color and added it back to the pot. At that point, it was just like pastry cream. Put the heat back on and whisk so its nice and thick and bubbly. I then got to the butter. I remembered people saying that at different times their filling was breaking. I put in the butter, and as I whisked it in, sure enough it looked like it broke, but for me I thought ohh its just like Pate Choux . So I whisked and whisked, for atlest 2-4 minutes, and it came right back together a wonderful creamy filling. I turned the heat back on at this point, just to cut the chill that the butter brought into it. Turned it off and grabbed my mix of Lemon juice, I looked at the pot, and poured it all in. And just like before it looked to break. So going back to the butter, I whisked the Heck out of it. For another 2-4 min I beat that filling and sure enough, and came together wonderfully. Bright yellow, thick, creamy and looking soooo good. I poured it into the shell, making sure to leave a huge helping on my spatula and covered to cool lightly. Grabbed the Phone and called Angel to tell her what she was going to face and not to freak out when it looked to break, all the while licking the wonderful Lemon Curd off the spatula. All I could think of was I need some warm scones for this stuff lol.
SO I get to the meringue and it comes together perfectly. I put it in the hot oven, and after about 8 min I could smell it. I look in, and its golden, and the tips are almost burning. I was worried about taking it out, for fear the meringue would not be done, but I don't want a burnt pie either. I gave it about 2-3 more minutes and had to take it out. Man I was sooo pround!! IT was gorgeous. and I made it a whole 15 min before cutting into it for a taste and to see how it held up. and mmm it was aweosme!! True not the best picture, but I am working on that, but I was very proud of it. I took it to work and it was ravished. To the point that only 12 of the 50 people got some, and one girl was telling people it wasn't any good so she could take it home lol.
Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch

5 egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup (60 mL) butter

¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) r
oll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove
the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.
Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, w
hisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Daring Bakers Extra Challenge
Free-Style Lemon Tartlets

Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:
To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pie
ces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To bake the dough, position rack in oven to the c
entre of oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.
To finish tartlets, first place o
ven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF.
Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way aroun
Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartle
t, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks. Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.


You can make one pie or tartlets (in a tin or free-form)
You can compliment your pie with a sauce. For ex
ample, you can serve it with raspberry or white chocolate sauce.
You can use a piping bag to apply the meringue if you like.
Decoration is up to you - lemon zest or fruit are totally acceptable.

Pie recipe courtesy of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver, 2002
Tartlet recipe courtesy of Ripe for Dessert by David Lebovit
z, 2003

Posted by Jen @ The Canadian Baker

So, now, how much did I like this recipe, well I began to think like that night what I could do with it. So Saturday night, (yes 2 days prior to posting lol and 3 after I made it) I decided to make some tart shells and 2 more pie crusts. Of course, this is were I made my mistake lol, I forgot the 2nd chilling of the pie pastry..sigh..I should have known but my excitement said screw it, may not look pretty but will taste awesome lol. So I made them for the next day,
I bought some freshblackberries, and some dark Chocolate and whipping cream. Sunday afternoon I played. Wow Am I happy with this overall recipe. I took the lemon recipe and made it to the gloppy part, just before you temper the eggs. I had 2 pints of mashed blackberries, about 2 tblsp of sugar and 1 tblsp cornstarch in a small pan. I took a good 1/4 of the glop and added it to the berries. Then continued with the regular recipe. Made the curd (was as wonderful as before) then I heated up the berries and glop and got them nicely thickened. I poured the lemon into the pie shell, and topped it with the blackberry and then topped that with the Meringue. ( ok this time I made the Meringue first, I will not do that again, I lost volume while making the filling, it worked better for me to do filling the meringue). put a little lemon in tart shells, and topped the large pie and tarts with meringue. and into the oven. Then out and cooled, again, only baked no more than 10 minutes. But omg the color and flavor, my new favorite pie, absolutely beautiful!! and so very tasty, tart, sweet, silky smooth. I was beyond Pround!!
So I made the filling again, this time, I melted 6 oz of dark chocolate, 1/4 cup cream, and 1 tsp of vanilla in place of the lemon juice. I mixed that in to the egg mixture in the end and filled the shell and tarts and topped with Meringue. It was quite tasty. The filling was super thick though, so I may play with it decrease the chocolate to 4 oz or increase the cream so its a bit thinner. But over all, I was every so pleased!! Out of the 3 challenges, only 2 I have done, this is my most favorite lol I loved it completely, and will definitely make it again!!
I didn't get a picture of the slice of Chocolate pie, the batteries died haha, but I did get the pic of it sliced. Its pretty but I must say the contrast in the lemon one is just amazing, and definitely still my favorite, the hubby argues otherwise, we will see what work thinks tomorrow! Thanks again for a wonderful Challenge and a truly wonderful Recipe, this one will be used fully come spring and summer!! and I think I need to play with a coconut meringue version =).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mini Pie Revolution

Woot!! I got an event done and well before the date it was due. I love making tarts, and especially mini ones, so I couldn't wait to do this one. So I made Dark Chocolate Mini Cream tarts. My husband is very hard to please in the dessert area, being as picky as he is. No fruit pies, cobblers and crisps are out. I could make what ever I wanted, but I definitely do not need to eat them all by myself. I take what I can to work, but even then its hard. So chocolate is the best bet. When I told him what I was thinking of making his face lit up and said..mmm chocolate. So it was obvious what I had to make =).
Mini Dark Chocolate Cream tarts.

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cu granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup ice water

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
5 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cream
6 oz dark chocolate chopped

Fresh whipped cream
grated chocolate for Garnish

For the crust:
Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a Medium Bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then use a fork to mix the water in lightly, just until the dough begins to stick together and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly foured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.
Allow dough the dough to warm slightly to room temp. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to about 1/4 of an inch. Cut out circles for desired tart shells. reroll scraps to get what you need.

For Filling:
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. (While the water is getting ready. Place chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 sec. Take cream and heat for 30 sec. Add warmed cream to warmed chocolate and stir. If chocolate is not fully melted, heat in 30 sec intervals until the chocolate is ganache like. Stir in vanilla and set aside) Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.
Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, Whisking Constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very Thick. Take a small amount and whisk into the egg yolks, tempering the eggs. Once eggs are tempered, add egg mixture back to the remaining mixture in the pot. Continue cooking, whisking constantly until mixture comes back to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter until completely incorporated. Stir in Chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Pour into cooled tart shells. Let cool to room temp (for small shells should only take until cream is whipped.
Top Tarts with fresh whipped cream and Chocolate shavings.

Enjoy, My hubby did =)

Friday, January 18, 2008

What I got Baked =)

Ok, so the holidays were crazy. 2 jobs and an attempt at baking. Didn't get anything done I had wanted, and didn't even get the Challenge done =(. But the weeks to follow I didn't give up and got the baking done. All but the Challenge of Course, its January and a new one is posted. So here is pics of what I did, and A list (if I remember them all hehe) and yet I still didn't bake all that I wanted. Need to remember to start earlier next year, or not work so dang much!!
These are my Brownies ...Oatmeal and Peanut Butter Swirl!!
Top: Festive Cherry Cookies, Middle : Dark Chocolate Raspberry Creme, Bottom: Toffee studded snicker doodles, Sugar crisps, Chocolate chip, and Dark Chocolate Chip Macadamia nut
Bottom Bottom: Cinnamon chip, Chocolate Chip Hazelnut,

Cinnamon sugar cookies and Peanut butter Blow outs

White Chocolate Hazelnut, White Chocolate Macadamia nut, Cowboy cookies, Butter cookies

so I think that is 15 different kinds total. wow and I remembered them all. I so wanted to include my shortbreads, and a hand full of other types, but maybe i can do that later in the year or save for next year lol.