Last week my lovely friend Amber was busy cooking up a storm in her kitchen and made me all sorts of delicious treats, including a jar of lemon curd! Augh my goodness, this is the sort of stuff that makes me go weak at the knees! It’s edible gold! I introduced her to it earlier in the year when we went to our family shack over the new year break. I scored a jar at our christmas ‘pickle club’ meet but it had be used within two weeks, so I took it down to Tassie with me. We had it on our toast every morning whilst taking in the magnificent view of The Hazards across the bay. It’s undoubtably my favourite part of the world!
After a beautiful sunny weekend (yessss, spring has finally sprung!), I realised I hadn’t even given two thoughts about what I was going to make for this weeks post (I’ll blame it on sun stroke)… anyway, after a quick look through the fridge, I saw the lemon curd and knew I had to make a mini version of the classic Lemon Meringue Pie. Like I said, it was getting quite late in the day and I didn’t want to miss out on shooting in the natural light so things were rather rushed. I got halfway through making the pastry when I realised I didn’t have enough butter – dang it. So I thought I’d experiment with a little bit of cream cheese instead. The pastry had a slightly soured taste compared to a normal full butter recipe but I liked it. It’s still a perfect base for the mouth watering toppings.
Now I wanted to let you know that not everything in the Adeline & Lumiere kitchen always goes to plan… and this Sunday was no exception. I had Amber’s lemon curd but knew there wouldn’t be enough to fill all the cases, so I thought I’d make the lemon mixture in the recipe I was following. Disaster! I’m not sure if I measured something incorrectly but it just tasted wrong! There seemed to be a lot of cornflour in the recipe (that I double checked) so I’m just going to say, avoid a lemon curd recipe with CORNFLOUR! It didn’t feel right but hey, I was rushing. Anyway, I tired to resuscitate it but it flat-lined every time. In the end I had to toss out my lemon mixture, but not to worry Amber’s saved the day. It didn’t make a lot of them, but the few mini lemon meringue pies that I did make, were in fact AMAZING!
Has anybody else had any problems with making a lemon meringue pie? Or is it just me?
PS: Lovely succulents provided by the talented Wona Bae.
Recipe by Valli Little
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (80g) chilled unsalted butter
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Cream Cheese Pastry
1.5 cups plain flour
150g cream cheese
50g cold chilled butter – cubed
1/4 cup white sugar
2.5 tbsp chilled water
1. Add flour, cream cheese, butter and white sugar to a food processor and pulse until it forms a sandy texture. Add the chilled water until it just comes together. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 30 mins or the freezer for 15 mins if you’re pressed for time.
2. Once chilled, roll out on a floured surface 5mm thick or slightly thinner if you can (especially because they’re only mini pies). I used a round egg ring as a cutter which was the perfect size. Mold them into a mini cupcake tray and bake blind for 5-10 minutes or until golden. Because they were so little I didn’t bother putting rice or ceramic baking balls to weigh them down and they didn’t puff up too much.
3. Place a teaspoon worth of lemon curd into each pastry case.
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1. Ensure you have a spotlessly clean bowl and balloon whisk and place all 4 egg whites in the bowl. Set the mixer on level 2-3 until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar until thick and glossy.
2. Add the meringue carefully to a piping bag and pipe the meringue tops on. Bake in a 190ºC until the tops are just golden brown.
Perfection in a mouthful!