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Desserts/ Easter/ Holiday/ My Lemon Obsession/ Pies & Tarts

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemons as you may or may not know, are my most favorite thing in the world. I feel about them as some feel about chocolate for instance. When I hear anything lemon I get all warm and fuzzy inside. Lemon Meringue Pie is one of those things. I don’t make very often because I’ve let my fear of “pie crust” kept me away. But no more. I’ve found a great recipe from Cooks Illustrated that is virtually hard to mess up.

Now its down to the lemon filling. I’ve tried home made (which I prefer), but if you don’t have time, there are some great boxed lemon fillings that are great also.

The meringue. Even though I make the meringue exactly as the recipe tells you, sometimes it comes out perfect, and sometimes not. There are many theory’s to why, but I don’t think anyone has really figured it out. If this pie doesn’t make your mouth water, I don’t know what will!

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

One recipe Single Layer Pie Crust

Filling:

1/4 c. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. table salt
1-1/2 c. cold water
1 c. granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp lemon zest from 1 lemon
1/2 c. lemon juice from 2 to 3 lemons
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Mix cornstarch with 1/3 cup water in small saucepan; bring to simmer, whisking occasionally at beginning and more frequently as mixture thickens. When mixture starts to simmer and turn translucent, remove from heat. Let cool while beating egg whites.

Meringue:

Heat oven to 325° F. Mix cream of tartar and sugar together. Beat egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Beat in sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; until sugar is incorporated and mixture forms soft peaks. Add cornstarch mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue to beat meringue to stiff peaks. Remove plastic from filling and return to very low heat during last minute or so of beating meringue (to ensure filling is hot).
Pour filling into pie shell. Using a rubber spatula, immediately distribute meringue evenly around edge then center of pie to keep it from sinking into filling. Make sure meringue attaches to pie crust to prevent shrinking. Use spoon to create peaks all over meringue. Bake pie until meringue is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Serve.

Easter/ Holiday/ My Lemon Obsession/ Side Dishes/ Vegetables

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

It’s spring! What do you think of in spring? Asparagus! And what goes better with asparagus? You guessed it, my favorite thing, LEMONS! When I saw this recipe in one of my cooking magazines, I thought, I have to try this. Well I was right on; its fresh, yummy and actually good for you! Besides, it gave me a chance to use my new Chef’n Salad Dressing Emulsifier, I just got from Willims Sonoma! What a great gadget to make your own salad dressing!

Lemon Asparagus

Lemon Asparagus

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon

2 lbs. asparagus, washed and trimmed
Juice of a half a lemon
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, sliced very thin
1/2 tsp coarsely ground sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet lines with non stick aluminum foil for easy cleanup.

Mix together the lemon juice and olive oil and pour over the trimmed asparagus on the baking sheet.

Top the dressed asparagus with the lemon slices, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes or to desired doneness. Turn halfway through cooking to ensure asparagus cooks evenly.

Christmas/ Desserts/ Easter/ Holiday/ My Lemon Obsession/ New Year's/ Thanksgiving/ Valentine's Day

Well, I Made It Through Christmas, But Not Without Making Tyler Florence’s Berry Trifle…

Berry Trifle

Berry Trifle

I first heard of this recipe on a Tyler’s Ultimate show I Tivo’d and it sounded great for holiday time. I cooked a boxed lemon pie filling on the stove (the type generally used for lemon meringue pie filling),  instead of the lemon curd.

Berry Trifle

Berries:
1 pint blueberries
1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into thick slices
2 pint raspberries
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Lemon Cream:
1 quart whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd
1 store bought pound cake, sliced 1/2-inch thick

Directions

Place the berries into a large bowl and sprinkle with half of the lemon juice. Lightly toss.

Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Take
the berries off the heat and let cool; the mixture should thicken up as is cools.

In a clean bowl, whip the cream with the sugar and the vanilla to soft peaks. Put the lemon curd into a second bowl and stir in a little of the whipped cream to loosen it. Then fold in the rest of the cream.

To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of pound cake, breaking the slices into pieces that fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Verdict:
Surprisingly fresh & tart taste of the berry mixture, great whipped cream and lemon layer, very good overall.