January 29, 2008
January 28, 2008
after reading that many bakers were having problems with "weeping" pies, i was a little worried, but everything game together quite nicely. i separated my eggs, cracking them into one bowl and then moving the clean whites into the bowl of my mixer one at a time. squeezed 4 lemons through the sieve. whipped up the egg whites to beautiful stiff, glossy peaks. my mixer whipped so much meringue it was like a mountain of snow ontop! and just to be different i smoothed out the meringue like a big snowball pie.
the pie travelled to new westminster on my lap, nice and warm, and after a beautiful dinner (food almost always tastes better when someone else makes it!) it was time to cut into the pie. my thoughts on the pie is pretty simple. i'd use half the dough so it's not as thick and browns quicker, and i'd use less lemon juice. i love the taste of fresh lemons, but it was just a little too tart.
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
⅓ 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) roll 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, whisking 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.
January 20, 2008
food was easy to figure out.
classic cucumber sandwiches and mini loaves of banana bread
sugar cookies and fruit
the cake turned out okay, i chose to make a vanilla sponge cake, swapping out the vanilla extract for strawberry extract, with strawberry cream cheese icing. i was mildly dissappointed in the final result, although the kids didn't complain so i really shouldn't either. just wasn't perfect.
1 ounce irish cream
1 ounce butterscotch schnappes
3-4 ice cubes
January 19, 2008
January 15, 2008
January 07, 2008
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
preheat oven to 350degrees F. grease and flour three 9" cake pans. in a saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, add strawberries and cook for 5 minutes or until strawberries are very soft. let cool for 5 minutes and then blend and strain the mixture- you should have 2 cups (add water if not); set aside. sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as necessary and stir in vanilla. add the flour mixture alternately wiht the strawberry mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.
bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. cool completely before frosting.
white chocolate butter-creamcheese icing
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) philly cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, gently melt the white chocolate. Allow to cool for 2 minutes. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, and vanilla, beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.
it's a pretty dense cake, i'm not sure if it's "the one" yet, although the icing is pretty good- sweet and tangy, but i'd like more of a white chocolate taste. i may leave it out next time... or not. i love white chocolate. my next test i think i'll take the vanilla sponge cake and fold in some strawberry puree.
January 06, 2008
waffles with apples
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
4 medium sized apples, i prefer gala or pink ladies as they don't go all smushy. granny smiths are good, too
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of each cloves and nutmeg
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter