Monday, January 28, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is my second Daring Bakers Challenge. I made my first individual Lemon Meringue Pies. Curd was sooooo delicious, it last only couple seconds.

I enjoyed very much making this beautiful pie. Rich lemon curd, balanced with meringue, leaves a nice lemon taste in mouth.

I am learning new techniques every in new challenge. I've never try adding hot water for the sugar and cornstarch mix. Amazingly practical.

Enjoy my individual sized heart shape pies. Why the hearth shape? Yes, I am warming for the valentine's day already.
What if I replace meringue with chocolate?...

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

  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) ice water

  • 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 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:
  • 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

  • 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:
  • 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

    • 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.

      ** Recipe adapted from "Wanda’s Pie in the Sky" by Wanda Beaver

      Wednesday, January 2, 2008

      Linzer Tart

      Happy New Year

      Ingredients for tart dough

      • 3 1/2 ounces butter, at room temperature
      • 2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
      • 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground blanched almonds
      • 1 hard-boiled egg yolk, pressed through a fine sieve into crumbs
      • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
      • pinch salt
      • 1 teaspoon dark rum
      • pinch of double-acting baking powder
      • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

      1. Place butter in a food processor and process until creamy.
      2. Add the confectioners' sugar, ground almonds, egg yolk, cinnamon, and salt, and blend together.
      3. Add in the rum and blend.
      4. Add in the baking powder and flour and blend.
      5. Remove the dough and and then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 4 hours until firm.
      6. Cut the parchment paper for an 8 3/4-in tart pan . Roll out the dough and fit into the pan and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
      7. Preheat the oven 350 degrees.
      8. Fit a circle of parchment paper inside and fill with beans. Bake it for about 18 to 20 mins.
      9. Remove the parchment and beans and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes more, until firm. Cool to room temperature.
      • 1 cup chestnuts puree
      • 1/4 cup heavy cream
      1. Mix all the fillings ingredients together and fill into the prepared tart mould.
      2. Spread it in an even layer over the bottom of the crust.

      Chocolate Ganache
      • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
      1. Bring the cream to boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and then pour into the chopped bittersweet chocolate and stir gently with a rubber spatula to combine till it forms a homogeneous mixture, then beat the butter with a spatula until it is soft and creamy, stirring till well mixed.
      2. Let it cool on the countertop for a bit until it has thickened but is still pourable.
      3. Pour the chocolate ganache over the puree and refrigerate until set. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

      ***Recipe adapted from the book "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé"
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