Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"New Wave" Lemon Meringue Pie - by Summer

I don't even know where to start.  I have so many things to say about this - my last recipe!  I can't believe it's finally here.  I had visions of me doing this recipe on a weekend day while my husband wrangled the kids.  I wanted to be alone, unrushed, and enjoying every minute of this last one.  But of course it didn't happen like that at all.  I made this over the course of two days with at least one child, but mostly both of them under foot!  It makes me laugh because why should this final recipe be made any differently than how the rest were made - often with a child on my hip or underfoot?!

As I started making this one, I felt it was so appropriate that it be the final one for me.  The only recipe that still haunts me to this day was the Lemon Berry Semifreddo.  I cursed that recipe because the sugar would not dissolve in the egg yolks and I vowed never to make it again.  But that lasted a week and I kept thinking about how I did want to try making it again to get those egg yolks and sugar dissolved to the right consistency!  I had no idea that this would be a redemption recipe, but in a way it was for me.  I was so determined to get the lemon curd right!

The recipe has three separate elements.  If it wasn't the last one, I probably would have bought the shortbread and the meringues, because Beth did suggest it.  I thought I should go big or go home with this one, so I went big!  I started with making the shortbread which was super easy.  Butter, sugar, flour mixed together and pressed into a 9x9 pan.  Score, prick with a fork, bake, cool, and break apart!  Easy enough.  My scoring was terrible and I couldn't figure out how to make 8 even pieces (I kid you not) because I had a crying child tugging at my leg.  So they were super uneven, but as I was scoring, I made some intentionally small for the kids.  Usually I have my little boy as a helper, but he was sleeping and my daughter was boycotting her nap, so I had her helping!

The next element was the lemon curd.  I was so careful with this.  I actually remembered my juicer, so juicing the lemons was super easy.  I used exactly 4 to get a half cup of juice.  Then I actually measured out inch of water for the sauce pan and made sure that it was steaming, but not boiling.  Then started the whisking of the egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter.  The recipe stated that it would take about 12-15 minutes until it would thickened, but not to let it boil.  By 24 minutes, I felt it was done!  It was a long time and the beginning 12 minutes I was whisking while holding a child, so at first I couldn't take a picture of the whisking (but I actually tried and was completely unsuccessful!)  I strained the curd and poured it into a bowl.

I made the meringues this morning primarily because they bake for 45 minutes with the oven on and then stay in the oven for another hour.  They are best the same day they are made which is another reason why I waited.  They are so easy to make - egg whites and sugar.  Both kids "helped" and thought it was a lot of fun.  Fortunately they were bored by the time I put them on the cookie sheet.  I decided to use a new decorating tip and pastry bag and pipe the egg whites on the cookie sheet for a pretty look.  I am glad I thought to do that.  They turned out really well!  I ended up leaving them in the oven longer than an hour after I turned off the oven because we had to run some errands.  I don't think it made a difference.

And then while both kids were sleeping for their afternoon nap, I took advantage of the quiet and good daylight to assemble everything and take pictures - oh, and course to eat it!  Yum!  This did not disappoint!  I love the lemon curd - it's so tangy!  The shortbread and meringue were equally as yummy.  What a great way to go out!

I plan on doing one final post with my final thoughts on this project!

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