Archive for the ‘pie’ Category

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Traditional British Suet Pudding – April DBC

April 27, 2010

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

I was very intrigued when this came up as the DBC for this month. I’ve never baked with suet nor ever really considered it before now. In my experience, the only time I’ve seen suet is in bird feed squares!  I never knew, until recently, that people even cooked with it.

I recently purchased, second-hand, a book called Pie Every Day and in the author’s discussion of pie crusts she mentions suet! Apparently, suet used to be a very common ingredient in pie crusts in the past. Who knew? Certainly not I. Now, in the discussion in the book she states that suet gives it’s pies a meaty flavor that is hard to overcome with sweet ingredients and makes for a very hard crust. With these two bits of information it was easy for me to decide to go the savory route rather than make something sweet with suet.

The next decision was WHAT savory to make. The sample we were given (listed below) was for steak and kidney pudding. Steak? Yes, please! Kidney? Umm, I’m really not that hungry… So I wanted to find an alternative. Now, being the lovely Daring Baker Challenge host that Esther is, she gave us several links to help us along our puddin’ makin’ way. After perusing her links and pondering a bit I came up with a Meat and Potato Pudding! Esther decided to be kind to us and let us make some non-suet recipes as well so I also made a Very Chocolate Pudding.

My hardest challenge for this… er, challenge was to find the right kind of bowl! I ended up going to 5 different stores before I finally found one at Dillard’s. Apparently, tall and narrow is not very common in America. We seem to be the short and fat bowl kind of people. Ya know… that may just be a commentary on society there…

I found my recipes here and here.

Original challenge recipe below!

Preparation time: Preparation time is 5 to 20 minutes depending on the filling. Cooking time is 1 to 5 hours so do this on a day you have jobs around the house to do or are popping in and out as you need to occasionally check the pan hasn’t boiled dry! However it is otherwise a very low time requirement dish.

Equipment required:
• 2 pint (1 litre) pudding bowl or steam-able containers to contain a similar amount they should be higher rather than wide and low
• Steamer or large pan, ideally with a steaming stand, upturned plate or crumpled up piece of kitchen foil
• Mixing bowl
• Spoon
• Measuring cups or scales
• Foil or grease proof paper to cover the bowl
• String

Type 1 Puddings — suet crusts.

Pudding Crust for both Savoury Pudding or Sweet Pudding (using suet or a suet substitute):

Ingredients

(250 grams/12 ounces) Self-raising flour (Note* If you cannot find self-raising flour, use a combination of all-purpose flour and baking powder.)
(175 grams/6 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(a pinch) Salt and pepper (Note* If making a savory dish, can be replaced with spices for sweet if wished.)
(210 millilitres/a little less than a cup) Water (Note* You can use a milk or a water and milk mix for a richer pastry.)

1. Mix the flour and suet together.
2. Season the flour and suet mixture with salt and pepper if savory and just a bit of salt and/or spices if sweet.
3. Add the water, a tablespoonful at a time, as you mix the ingredients together. Make up the pastry to firm an elastic dough that leaves the bowl clean. The liquid amounts are only an estimate and most recipes just say water to mix.
4. Don’t over handle the pastry or it will be too hard.
5. Reserve a quarter for the lid and roll out the rest and line a well-greased bowl.
6. At this point add your filling.. a couple of options are give below but have fun and go wild!
7. Roll the final piece of pastry out into a circle big enough to cover the top of the basin, dampen the edges and put in position on the pudding, pinching the edges together to seal.
8. Seal well and cover with a double sheet of foil – pleated in the centre to allow room for expansion while cooking. Secure with string, and place it in a steamer over boiling water.
9. Steam for up to 5 hours, you may need to add more boiling water halfway through or possibly more often. There is a lot of leeway in this steaming time and different recipes give different steaming times. Delia Smith says 5 hours for Steak and kidney where as Mrs Beeton says 2.5 for a similar dish! One way to tell that it is cooked is when the pastry changes colour and goes from white to a sort of light golden brown. It is also hard to over steam a pudding so you can leave it bubbling away until you are ready.

This sort of pastry can also be used as a topping for a baked meat pie and becomes quite a light crusty pastry when baked.

Savoury Pudding Filling options: steak and kidney pudding.

1 full amount of suet crust (see recipe above)
(450 grams/about 1 pound) Chuck steak
(225 grams/about 1/2 a pound) Ox kidney
1 medium-sized onion
2 teaspoons well-seasoned flour
splash of Worcestershire sauce

1. Chop the steak and kidney into fairly small cubes, toss them in seasoned flour, then add them to the pastry lined basin.
2. Pop the onion slices in here and there.
3. Add enough cold water to reach almost to the top of the meat and sprinkle in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.
4. Follow the rest of the instructions in the crust recipe to finish pudding.
5. Cook for at least 2.5 hours (Mrs Beeton) up to 5 hours (Delia Smith).

Sweet Pudding Options: Sussex Pond Pudding

1 amount of suet pastry (see recipe above)
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) Demerara Sugar
(120 grams/4.2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 large lemon

1. Cut the butter into small pieces and put half in the basin with half the sugar.
2. Prick the whole lemon (preferably one with a thin skin) all over, using a thick skewer.
3. Place on top of the butter and sugar in the basin.
4. Cover with the rest of the butter and sugar.
5. Finish building the pudding as per the pastry recipe.
6. Steam for 3 ½ hours, or longer (for a really tender lemon), adding more water if needed.
7. To serve, turn the pudding into a dish with a deep rim, when you slice into it the rich lemon sauce will gush out.
8. Make sure each person is served some of the suet crust, lemon and tangy luscious sauce.

Type 2 puddings – Steamed Suet Pudding, sponge type.

(100 grams/4 ounces) All-purpose flour
(1/4 teaspoon) salt
(1.5 teaspoons) Baking powder
(100 grams/4 ounces) breadcrumbs
(75 grams/3 ounces) Caster sugar
(75 grams/ 3 ounces) Shredded suet or suet substitute (i.e., Vegetable Suet, Crisco, Lard)
(1) large egg
(6 to 8 tablespoons) Cold milk

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into bowl.
2. Add breadcrumbs, sugar and suet.
3. Mix to a soft batter with beaten egg and milk
4. Turn into a buttered 1 litre/ 2pint pudding basin and cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminum foil.
5. Steam steadily for 2.5 to 3 hours
6. Turn out onto warm plate, Serve with sweet sauce to taste such as custard, caramel or a sweetened fruit sauce.

Variants:
Spotted Dick – Add 75g/ 3oz currants and 25g/1 oz of mixed chopped peel with the sugar.
Syrup or Treacle or Marmalade Pudding – put 2 Tablespoons of golden syrup, treacle or marmalade at the bottom of the bowl before adding pudding mix.
My Fair Lady Pudding – Add finely grated rind of 1 medium orange or lemon with the sugar.
Ginger Pudding – replace the sugar with 100g/4oz of treacle, and add 1/2 tsp ground ginger.

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Bakewell Tart – June Daring Baker’s Challenge

June 27, 2009

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.whole tart in pan

I’m not feeling fantastic today, so it’s gonna be a short post… easy to put together, smells great, just came out of the oven.

I coated the short crust with bittersweet chocolate and used black raspberry jam.  The frangipane was difficult to spread over the jam but it was just enough to cover.

I’ll add pic’s of a piece once it’s cooled off a bit.

bakewell tart cut Bakewell tart piece

Edit: Now… I must say, this tart was SO tasty.  The chocolate added a touch of richness that just made the whole thing sing.  The frangipane was crisp and added some crunch to the tart.  Ugh. So good.

And having said that, I must admit… I went looking at other DBer’s tarts… Mine did not look like theirs… And I got to thinking about the ingredients I’d used.  And the more I thought, the more I began to realize I had forgotten three (apparently) very important ingredients…

eggsYup, that’s it.  Eggs. I completely forgot to add the 3 eggs.  So what was supposed to be a poofy, cake-ish top, turned out a crispy, flaky (and damn tasty) crust.  I encourage everyone to try it this way.  It was super!

I will definitely make this again to see how it was really supposed to turn out.  I’ll let ya know!

Bakewell Tart…er…pudding

Makes one 23cm (9” tart)
Prep time: less than 10 minutes (plus time for the individual elements)
Resting time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Equipment needed: 23cm (9”) tart pan or pie tin (preferably with ridged edges), rolling pin

One quantity sweet shortcrust pastry (recipe follows)
Bench flour
250ml (1cup (8 US fl. oz)) jam or curd, warmed for spreadability
One quantity frangipane (recipe follows)
One handful blanched, flaked almonds

Assembling the tart
Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it become acclimatized for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 5mm (1/4”) thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the centre and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F.

Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Five minutes before the tart is done, the top will be poofy and brownish. Remove from oven and strew flaked almonds on top and return to the heat for the last five minutes of baking.

The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. Serve warm, with crème fraîche, whipped cream or custard sauce if you wish.

When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.

Sweet shortcrust pastry

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film

225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Frangipane

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Equipment needed: bowls, hand mixer, rubber spatula

125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
125g (4.5oz) icing sugar
3 (3) eggs
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
125g (4.5oz) ground almonds
30g (1oz) all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow color.

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TWD – Florida Pie

May 24, 2008

Coconut Key Lime Pie slice

Wow, but this pie was yummy!  I’m not normally a coconut fan, but, once again, Dorie’s made a believer out of me.  My coconut cream was nice and thick and had a chewy-ness that I really enjoyed.  Everything came together very well. 

My crust on the other hand… well… It came out very pretty… and held together well… but… here is where I should mention that I was a little preoccupied and sleep deprived when I was starting this recipe.  Ya see, my addled brain combined 2 lines of the recipe. 

Where it asks for 3 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt? yeah.  I got the 3 tablespoons and the salt part.  And I even remember thinking “wow, that’s a lot of salt for one pie crust” but I scooped away anyhow.

Of course, my brain soon slapped my conciousness silly and made me reread the recipe, at which point, I go “Oh, %^$&” and begin scooping salt back out of the mixture.  Now common sense would say I should scrap the mix and start over or better yet follow Dorie’s advice and get a store bought crust. 

But no, I don’t have anymore crumbs and I don’t want to travel the great distance of a half a mile to go to the local Kroger.  No no.  I’ll just save this one.  Well, suffice it to say that even though I managed to get, what looked like, most of the salt out, it was still a bit like eating a fantastic pie on top of a salt lick.

So, my advice is be awake when reading recipes and if you’re like me, scrape off the crust before eating your pie 😉

Florida Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust, fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, separated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar

For the Crust:

1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons of sugar

Pinch of salt

½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the pie pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs over the pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. (The crust can be covered and frozen for up to 2 months.)

Place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the filling.

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the remaining juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.

Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.

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To Finish the Pie with Meringue:

Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.

Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you’ve got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.

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TWD The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

April 9, 2008

I had a very Dorie vacation.  I rented a cabin in the Smokey Mountains with another couple and we baked for a large portion of the weekend and all from Dorie’s Book!  I would share them all with you, but I just saw that one of our adventures is next week’s recipe!  Hah!  So you’ll just have to wait for the others… muwahahaa!

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart from Dorie Greenspan

“Extraordinary” is just not a strong enough word for this tart.  It was… *smacks lips*… words cannot describe!  One bite and you’re transported to a lemon flavored wonderland from which you hope never to escape!  Wow… am I loopy this morning…

The tart was a snap to make!  I do think my crust was too thick.  Was a wonderful crumbly texture, but hard to cut through.  When I make this again (and I will, my hubby flipped over it) I’ll definitely press the dough out more.  Get a thinner bottom, and thicker sides.  Or I might use a larger tart pan to thin it out a bit.  I used a 9.5 inch pan so I may try it with my 11 inch pan next time and see how the crust comes out.  I don’t want it so thin that it can’t hold the weight of the tart, but it was a bit like eating a cookie with a lot of icing on it…

We shall see!

The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart

1 cup sugar

Grated zest of 3 lemons

4 large eggs

¾ cup fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)

2 sticks plus 5 tablespoons (10 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces, at room temperature

1 9-inch tart shell made with Sweet Tart Dough (p.444), Sweet Tart Dough with Nuts (p.444) or Spiced Tart Dough (p.447), fully baked and cooled

Getting Ready: Have an instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

Put the sugar and zest in a large heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice.

Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook the lemon cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. as you whisk – you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling – you’ll see that the cream will start out light an foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180 degrees F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point – the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature, and have patience – depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.

As soon as it reaches 180 degrees F, remove the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of the blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream stand, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.

Turn the blender to high (or turn on the processor) and, with the machine going, add the butter about 5 pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going – to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. (The cream will keep in the fridge for 4 days or, tightly sealed, in the freezer for up to 2 months; thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.)

When you are ready to assemble the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the tart shell. Serve the tart, or refrigerate until needed.


Sweet Tart Dough

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 1 tablespoon ( 9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients an pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in – you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change – heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have escaped mixing.

To Press the Dough into the Pan: butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy-handed – press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To Partially or Fully Bake the Crust: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. For partially baked crust, patch the crust if necessary, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its pan).

To Fully Bake the Crust: Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. (I dislike lightly baked crusts, so I often keep the crust in the over just a little longer, if you do that, just make sure to keep a close eye on the crust’s progress – it can go from golden to way too dark in a flash.) Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling.

To Patch a Partially or Fully Baked Crust, If Necessary: If there are any cracks in the baked crust, patch them with some of the reserved raw dough as soon as you remove the foil. Slice off a thin piece of the dough, place it over the crack, moisten the edges and very gently smooth the edges into the bake crust. If the tart will not be baked again with its filling, bake for another 2 minutes or so, just the take the rawness off the patch.

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January Daring Bakers Challenge – Luscious Lemon Merengue Pie!

February 1, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

Mmm… Lemon Meringue… nothing is quite as tasty. This DB Challenge was full of firsts for me. I’ve never made my own pie crust (thanks to Pillsbury), I’ve never made my own filling (thanks to Jell-o), and I’ve never made meringue (because I never liked it when my mother made it growing up). So as far as challenges go, this was a big one!

I had some problems with my pie crust (no weights or beans). It liked to, sort of, slip down into the pie pan. This results in more of a pie crust flavored cookie at the bottom. Still quite tasty, but not the look I was going for!

The filling… Wow, but that was a lot of stirring, and of course I didn’t read ahead through the recipe and my lemon juice and zest were not ready, so as I’m frantically mixing, Karoline is frantically juicing/zesting so everything, hopefully, will be ready. It all worked out in the end, but, boy, we were in fast forward there for a bit!

The meringue… words cannot describe that joyous little mixture. I don’t know what my mother was making, but it definitely wasn’t this. Mmm…

In addition to the Lemon, we made a Key Lime version as well, just substituting the Lime for the Lemon. No other changes. It was super tart the night we made it, but mellowed out by the next morning and was super tasty!

slice close up

All in all, the challenge was a huge success! I aquired a new found love of meringue, and learned some new stuff! Thanks DBers!

And here’s a recipe for you!

Lemon Meringue Pie

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

¾ cup cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ tsp salt

cup ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups water

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup cornstarch

5 egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup butter

¾ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

½ tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp vanilla extract

¾ cup granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.


For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.


For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Daring Bakers Extra Challenge
Free-Style Lemon Tartlets


Prepare the recipe as above but complete the following steps:

To roll out tartlet dough, slice the dough into 6 pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each circle of dough into a 5 inch disk. Stack the disks, separated by pieces of plastic wrap, on a plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To bake the dough, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (180ºC). Place the disks of dough, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely.

To finish tartlets, first place oven rack in the upper third of the oven and increase heat to 425ºF.

Divide the lemon filling equally among the disks, mounding it in the centre and leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.

Spoon the meringue decoratively over each tartlet, right to the edges, in dramatic swirling peaks. Return tartlets to oven and bake for about 5 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.

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