Monday, January 28, 2008

Blow, blow, blow ,your torch..


blow the pie away...
merrily merrily merrily merrily
DB is just to play!

Harumph...as if this was a breeze... Well it could be. If you read recipes. And follow them in the right order. Not mixing up cooling and heating. So I had a hot crust and a quickly cooling curd. Had to be the other way round eh?

I know I have some minor difficulties involving knowing left from right, doing math and time keeping but I really thought I had figured out cold and hot. Been cool about that since way back when, ever since my mama held my little chubby hand up to the stove to let me feel why I shouldn't touch that. (Hmm, maybe I should teach my cat a trick or two...)

Take into account that I never have seen, eaten or made a true Lemon Meringue Pie before it went surprisingly well. For me the crust was the part I feared most, I had memories of the patch and push crust and not being able to roll out a proper disc... and look at this! So proud! (sorry but I really am!) The crust was a breeze to make with the help of my 16 yr old Magimix, came together nicely and after a quick rest in the freezer I could roll it out like this. Did not use the full amount of ice water (held back on approx. 1 tbs). Lined it with parchment paper and dried beans and into the oven it went.
Now...there was shrinkage people! My beauty crust was diminished (now I understand why the recipe said to let the dough hang over the edges...). Furthermore I think I should have given it some more oventime because of the glass tart pan I used, it wasn't completely done, but I battled ahead anyway as in the meantime I had started the filling.... pie crust still had to be baked and already my filling was cooling.. one can be too efficient..

Yes, the filling. Still don't know what to think... Maybe the way the combined cornstarch/sugar mixture looked prior to adding egg yolks reminded me a wee bit too much of wall paper glue and the memory affected my taste buds, but I feel I could taste the cornstarch through. On the other hand, this made a lovely thick very tart filling... Forewarned by other DB's I was apprehensive about weeping meringue and oozing filling, luckily that didn't happen at all!

Due to the reverse order and my lack of reading abilities the cooling thickening filling was scooped into a still hot pie crust (crossed all extremities here). And on it went, straight to the meringue...
Wiped the stand mixer bowl with a left over lemon half, apart from that didn't use any stabilizer, no cornstarch, no cream of tartar and used granulated sugar. Yep. Got a great meringue; puffy, shiny and smooth. Scooped and swirled it onto the quite cool filling and debated... what to do next? I was looking forward to playing with my new torch. The box said: for caramelising sugar on crème brulée and frivolous pastry. Yep. Frivolous pastry.

We had some mighty fine frivolous pastry on our hands but I chickened out..wasn't going to blow (bad pun intended) my pie by amateurish use of blow torches. So I decided to use the oven as stated in the recipe, resulting in a nicely golden tan.

I really like the fact that the top was crunchy and underneath the merengue was still gooey and at the same time a little cooked. Yummy! I did use the blowtorch on the 4 tartelettes I made from left over ingredients, but I do need to practice a bit, wasn't satisfied with the results.

Verdict: I loved the crust: the way it could be handled, the flavour, all of it. The filling...as I said I'm a bit confused, it was very tart (which I usually like a lot) but felt a bit too stodgy in my mouth. Loved the meringue and I should have piled it on like in a real LMP. (My ignorance showing). I was stupefied by the way the pie behaved. It didn't weep, bead or puddle. Sheer luck. Even the next day it was still looking good! My taste test panel: husband and son nr. 1 really liked it, son nr. 2 ate a slice and said it was for grown-ups, son nr. 3 couldn't be convinced to try but he is a very picky eater and conservative at that.

This challenge boosted my confidence in making pie crust, I still need some practice (cook longer and try to reduce shrinking) but in the future I won't be as scared -or skip- recipes involving crusts. Thanks to Jen our host at The Canadian Baker! Now if you like to see more, head on over to the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

61 comments:

  1. I could fall into your meringue, it looks so yummy. My pie tasted very good--but was a bit of a disaster!

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  2. For someone who has never even seen this sort of frivolous pastry before, you sure made a pretty one!

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  3. I never even thought of using my torch. Go figure! Sounds like you really made out well. Mine are in the fridge right now. I'll see tomorrow how things go about whether they're weepy or not.

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  4. I was also a bit disppointed with the filling.

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  5. Feel proud because you really got beautiful meringue and filling and crust in the pie!
    Who needs right and left, hot and cold when you have yummy tasty lemon meringue!!

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  6. I agree. Very pretty :)

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  7. look at the cheeky cat! - i would have done the same... your cake looks wonderful!

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  8. Congrats, your crust looks wonderful. Mine first too, but after baking I ended up with just half of it. ;-)

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  9. I agree, the crust was fantastic!! Your pie looks amazing. Congratulations on the sucessful challenge.

    amberskitchen.blogspot.com

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  10. Oh I love that thick layer of lemon curd. Could dive into it! Nice going!

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  11. I think your tart looks great (even the crust ;)

    Anyway, I also found the filling a bit on the starchy side and much prefer the one I usually make. But well, it takes quite a lot to be daring enough to use a recipe that's different from your go-to one.

    xxx

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  12. Your pie is beautiful! Im so jealous of all the pies that turned out so perfectly. Great joB!

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  13. I love your peaks! They are so cute and swirly! Great job on this challenge!

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  14. Yours look so incredible delicous! i like it!

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  15. For all the ..uh..challenges..your pie still came out great!

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  16. Beautiful! Congrats on overcoming the pie dough fear.

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  17. Looks like you nailed the pie even with your little troubles with things being out of order. Looks wonderful!

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  18. I'm with you: same experience with the crust shrinking, same deal with making the meringue ... but, I must say, your crust is fabulous!

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  19. Everything came together in a beautiful pie! I was a little concerned about the glue look of the lemon curd too. Great job on your crust and improving your confidence there!
    xoxo

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  20. Butta Buns28/1/08 8:45 PM

    On first glance I thought I had accidently landed on CuteOverload.com I love that "yes, I'm eating your pie, so what're you going to do about it" look in kitty's eyes.

    Beautiful job!

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  21. Looks like you came through the challenge with flying colors! Congratulations on a successful challenge!

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  22. I had to laugh at your comment about reading the recipe twice. I laughed even more when I just read your post because that is the exact same dilemma I had. hot crust, cooling curd. Didn't have time to worry about it so curd went into warm crust, all was well in the end.
    Yours looks fantastic! Love the meringue peaks!

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  23. Congrats on your first lemon meringue! It looks fab and I'm glad you avoided some of the common problems. You really did learn at the school of hard knocks, though, if you learned hot from cold with your hand around the stove...

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  24. Your kitty is adorable! Well done on your first LMP!

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  25. Look great... good job.

    Iisha

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  26. The pie looks nice. Crust is under your belt! Yahhhh!

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  27. As always your post is so funny! And I think your pie turned out great!

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  28. Congratulations on a successful foray into the land of pastry crust. I love the humor with which you share your story... life is so much more enjoyable when we can laugh at it!

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  29. Someone's Kitty likes meringue! I loved your pie this month! Great job.

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  30. Your pie looks lovely, and I'm quite jealous of your blow torch! Another piece of fun gear!

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  31. Wish you had posted the 'leftovers' browned with the blowtorch, but maybe after you have practiced :)
    The photo with your cat is priceless and I am envious of your perfect pie. It looks really good and sounds even better!

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  32. I dont have a torch to work with =( I've always wanted a torch to make creme brulee with. Anywho, great job on your LMP! It's lovely =)

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  33. Your pie looks beautiful! Nice job!

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  34. Wow so many comments already! Thanks guys!

    I was trying to get the last natural light for the pictures and failed to notice our notoriously naughty kitty jumping up on the table...we laughed so hard at the way she looked at us!
    Alas, haven't taken any pics from my first encounter with the scary blowtorch.

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  35. Great job on your LMP! It looks wonderful!

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  36. Wow! For never having anything to do with LMP yours came out beautifully!! I think your kitty likes it too :)

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  37. You did a lovely job on your lemon meringue pie. I was worried about baking my little tartlets, so I just put them under the broiler till they were toasted.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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  38. Even with all the timing issues and shrinkage, your pie looks absolutely amazing and delicious, Karen. And it seems your cat agrees.

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  39. Your pie looks great! I would have never guessed that you've never made one before!

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  40. I enjoyed the crust too... very cookie-like. Nice job!

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  41. Who needs Whiskers cat food? Your pie is so pretty.

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  42. Your pie is Beautiful! My crust shrank more then I thought it would too. I am really impressed out how pretty your crust is! Your picture shows perfection and definitely a crust to be *very* proud of! =D Great 1st LMP! =D
    shandy@pastryheaven

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  43. Congratulations on your first LMP! It seems as we both had some issues, but came up with ver lovely products :)

    j

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  44. Great job! Your crust is beautiful and your filling set so nicely :)

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  45. Your pie looks great! Especially the pastry and then I read you were worried? No need I guess!

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  46. It looks lovely! I really liked the crust too.

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  47. Really beautiful! Great job!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  48. I love my blowtorch but I used the oven this time... since I set things on fire some times.

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  49. Congratulations on your first--beautiful!--lemon meringue pie!

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  50. Looks like you did a fantastic job with this. I would have loved to use a blow torch for the top too. Guess I need to buy one.

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  51. your pie looks great and the write up is lovely. Glad to have found your comforting blog.

    x x x

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  52. That was luck that it was still good the next day! I too thought the crust was easily handled.
    Excellent job on your lmp.

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  53. Loved the way your pie turned out...and yes, the crust was not soggy at all even on the next day :-)

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  54. Beautiful meringue! Is that your cat? Ha! I loved the crust, too! In future, I'll be using this crust recipe for other pies.

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  55. Your LMP looks wonderful. I love all your luscious swirls of meringue. LMP is an American classic dessert - I enjoyed reading your reaction to this unfamiliar dessert. Wendy

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  56. Oh, that kitty is soooo cute :) I love how beautiful your crust is before baking - you have more patience than I :) Your pie turned out lovely.

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  57. Looks fabulous! I loved the crust too. Well done!

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  58. Great job on the lemon pie, turned out gorgeous!! I loved how tart the filling was...paper glue aside (brilliant comparison!).

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  59. oooh- success as as daring baker is sweet! (At least it was for this challenge, ehh?)

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  60. Beautiful job - can't believe you haven't made more before, it looks so professional!

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  61. heehe oh don't be surprised.. I just got the hang of hot/cold a few years ago. tee!

    Your pie ended up being gorgeous!

    xoxo

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