It was kismet

September 9, 2011 at 12:12 | Posted in Desserts, Experiments, Pies | 4 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Lemon curd is amazing. It is, by and far, my favorite curd.

It’s tart. It’s yellow. It’s curd-tastic.

This particular batch of lemon curd came to be last weekend. Using this recipe, I preconceived what I would bless with this lemon curd, but as many concepts go, it didn’t work out. I was trying to make lemon financiers. That experiment didn’t turn out so well (failure) and I had a lot of lemon curd leftover.

Artsy filter shot of the final product: 24 bite sized lemon meringue pies. Born on 9/8/11.

For the duration of its life, lemon curd patiently lived in my refrigerator, awaiting a time when it could follow its fortune as a filling.

That day was today.

It may have been happenstance that my tryst with financiers had failed, but a rendezvous with lemon curd was meant to be, as the filling for a lemon meringue pie. I was setting up in the kitchen when it came to me! To do something different, I decided to use the mini-muffin pan and mini-cupcake papers to bake many bite sized pies. Oooooo. Fancy.

I pressed the crust, dolloped the lemon curd to its destiny and scaled the stiff peaks of meringue.

There may have been some kind of providence associated with this pint of lemon curd. That any destination this particular batch arrived, was to have a disastrous end. The meringues fell. I’m not sure if this was because I didn’t let the pies cool long enough before putting them in the refrigerator or if I didn’t let the meringues cook long enough. Either way, they are perfectly preserved in pictures.

Fortunately for me look doesn’t always equal taste. Despite the deflation of the meringue, in my opinion, the pies are still del.icio.us.

All for what? For tasty little snacks.

The beginning of what the clumping of the graham crumbs should look like.


Graham Cracker Crust

    Ingredients

3/4 cu. Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 tbsp Butter (melted)
2 tbsp Granulated Sugar

    Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl in listed order.
3. If using an eletric mixer, make sure whisk attachment is in use and do not set mixer any higher than speed 2. Mix ingredients until cracker crumbs are clumped together. Not into one giant clump, but small ones.
4. Measure a level 1/2 tsp of crust mixture and place in each liner cup of mini-muffin pan.
5. If any crust mixture remains, divide among individual cups.
6. Press crust down flat in cups and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Stiff peaks of meringue, after banging it free of the whisk.


Meringue

    Ingredients

3 Eggs
2/3 cu. Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
Small bowl
REALLY REALLY recommend using electric mixer for this recipe**

    Directions

1. Crack and separate egg whites into mixing bowl. If you don’t know how to do this click here to learn how. Place excess yolks into small bowl.
2. Make sure mixer is equipped with whisk attachment and turn it onto speed 1 to begin beating the egg whites.
3. As eggs become thoroughly mixed (after approximately 2 minutes), add cream of tartar to egg mixture.
4. After cream of tartar is mixed with egg whites (approximately 1 minute), turn mixer up to speed 7.
5. Watch for the eggs to start forming peaks and begin to slowly add the sugar. DO NOT ADD IT ALL AT ONCE.
6. After all sugar is added and blended into meringue, turn mixer up to speed 8.
7. Stiff peaks should be formed after 2-3 minutes of mixing on speed 8.
8. Meringue is ready to be spooned onto pies when you can get a spoonful, turn the spoon over and it stiffly sticks to the spoon.

**DO NOT touch the meringue. Any oils/fats will begin to break it down before it is cooked.

Lemon curd being born.


Lemon Curd

*This is Alton Brown’s Recipe, copied. Link directly to the Food Network site by clicking above.

    Ingredients

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled

    Directions

Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal (I used glass) bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon.

Reference: CAREFULLY

Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Assembly for Final Product

    Grab a cookie sheet!

1. Dollop lemon filling into each indiviudal cup (Lemon filling should be chilled before use for baking). Fill cups as much as desired. After all cups are filled to desired level, place in preheated (350 degrees) oven for 10 minutes.
2. Remove pies from oven and let pan cool.
3. CAREFULLY* move cups individually to cookie sheet.
4. Using a spoon, portion meringue onto each pie (as much as necessary or desired to cover tops of pies).
5. After each pie is “meringued” put the cookie sheet of pies into the preheated (350 degrees) oven for 12-15 minutes.
6. Do not remove pies unless the meringue has browned (light brown).
7. Remove and let pies cool to room temperature before placing in refrigerator to chill.

Fresh out of the oven, tiny lemon meringue pies.

*CAREFULLY refers to using both hands, not burning yourself, and not spilling the pie filling. If the pan is too hot to touch DO NOT TOUCH IT. Wait for it to cool.

FINALLY:

ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY

Advertisements

4 Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. These look yummy. Can they be made with another flavor besides lemon?

    • Absolutely. You’d need a different filling recipe if you were doing anything other than a sour citrus (lime, lemon, etc) though. Chocolate and coconut are good choices for meringue pie filling.

      • I’m allergice to coconut, but the chocolate sounds good, maybe mint too for the holidays?

  2. sorry for the typos!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: