I have to admit, sometimes being unprepared does have its charms and advantages. In regards to this challenge it caused me to be creative and not be afraid to play with my baked goods a little bit. As most of you have heard at one time or another, up until I joined the Daring Bakers, I didn’t bake â€“ as a point of principal. Any recipe that had the words: Knead or Yeast or even really Flour and that was as far as I got, I wasn’t going to make it. Period. When I joined the Daring Bakers, I followed each recipe word for word. I did some modifications, sometimes, but nothing that really diverted from the recipe too much. I didn’t want to mess it up! But times change, you get older and wiser and all that good stuff. So here I am â€“ it has been almost a YEAR since I joined this fabulous group of food bloggers, and I still don’t have a pie pan in my possession…therefore, it doesn’t take me long to realize there is no way I am making a big honkin’ pie. I just don’t have the equipment. This was going to give me a chance to play with my pie crust a little and do something fun. I decide to go all French and create mini tartlettes with my fabulous new muffin tin that I got for Christmas â€“ (now a note to you DB purists, this was an allowed modification to the challenge)!
Not only that, but I also got to christen my new Cuisinart Food Processor, an early wedding present from my Dad and Stepmom, who were here last weekend THANKS GUYS!!!
AND, it is also my first DB challenge in my new kitchen. So this challenge for me was also full of firsts. The pie crust in this recipe is great. Very buttery and flaky. Roberto and I went to visit my mom this weekend and she was making a chicken pot pie and needed a crust recipe. I gave her the recipe from this challenge (minus the sugar of course) and it was perfect! So delicious!
I learned a lot from this challenge too â€“ number one, I never knew what actually made the pie filling of lemon meringue pie yellow. I assumed that it was from the lemons, but no, the color is actually derived from the egg yolks that make up the lemon curd. Very interesting. I wonder if the inventor of this pie planned it this way, or it just turned out to be the proper color by luck?
I also got really creative with my leftover lemon peels. As those who have been reading my Farmers Market series know, I got some fabulous Meyer lemons, recently. I have been using them in a variety of dishes. They are just so tasty, I couldn’t waste even a peel, so I decided to make a lemon simple syrup to get ready for my next kitchen project â€“ limoncello. As I was rooting around for the vanilla extract, needed for the lemon meringue recipe, I came across some dried lavender flowers I had, so I decided to make Lavender-Meyer Lemon Syrup. I also expanded my love of leftovers into the baking world. After I finished filling my tartlette crusts for the challenge, I still had more filling and more meringue. So I decided to play and have fun. I added some Lavender-Meyer Lemon Syrup to my leftover lemon curd to make meringue cookies filled with Lavender Lemon Curd. I think I enjoyed them even more than the original tartlettes. There is just something so spectacular about the combination.
I also was a huge baking geek and researched online ways to keep the meringue from weeping. Lemon Meringue is my mom’s favorite and I had to make the tartlettes on Friday, so they were going to have to sit in the fridge overnight. So I wanted to do my best to keep them from disintegrating, since the recipe states you should eat the pies within 6 hours. I also learned a technique for making the perfect meringue (see my cooks noted embedded in the recipe for these tips).
This was a great challenge for me. I really had a great time making a huge mess in my new kitchen and using some new toys. It was really a fun day and left me feeling so happy and renewed inside. I am not sure why â€“ maybe the sunshine stored inside those lemons!
So without further ado â€“ here is the recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie.
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