Archive for August, 2007

Lemon Meringue Pie/Tart

I love Lemon Meringue Pie. I truly do. Maybe it’s because it’s different from the typical chocolate/cream pie. Maybe it’s because it looks so dang pretty. Whatever the reason may be, bottomline is, I love it.

lmp

Here’s a simple recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie (picture not mine but Edward’s) || Pre-Heat Oven to 350:

– Crust Ingredients: 14 Graham Crackers and 1 Stick of Butter (simple, noh?)

– Crust Procedure: Pulse the graham crackers in your food processor until it’s broken down into bite sized pieces. Add the butter in small chunks. Pulse again until the mixture begins to climb the wall of your work bowl. Press the mixture into a 9″ Pie Pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes.

– Filling Ingredients: 4 Yolks, 12 Ounces of Condensed Milk, 1 Tsp. of Lemon Extract and 4 Ounces of Lemon Juices [Optional: Zest of 1 Lemon]

– Filling Procecure: Mix everything together (tricky noh?). Pour into baked crust and bake for 15 minutes or until set.

– Meringue Ingredients: 4 Egg Whites, A Pinch of Cream of Tartar and 100 Grams of Sugar

– Meringue Procedure: Whisk together the egg whites and the cream of tartar. When bubbles start to appear, gradually add the sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Immediately put atop the still hot filling. Bake at 450 for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

There you have it. My simplest Lemon Meringue Pie recipe. No resting doughs, no rolling doughs, no stove-tops, no nothing. Just chill the pie when it has cooled down and serve after at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

By the way, my apologies for not posting my own picture(s).  My camera broke down soon after our challenge, and it’s under repair for the meantime.

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Delay & Tidbits

DELAY:

Yes, Food Bytes is delayed.  This is what happens when real life gets in the way of one’s culinary pursuits.  Who would’ve thought it’d be so hard to squeeze writing a script, shooting a show, cooking/baking a few dishes in between taking care of my 5.75 month-old daughter, helping my wife prepare for school, working a full-time job and taking care of a sick cat (who died… I miss you Mew) anyway?!  Well, it sure as heck wasn’t me.  Hehehe…

Now my show’s delayed and I’m not blogging as much as I would want.  Whew… funny how by starting out to do one simple thing, I manage to tangle everything up into one heck of a knot.  Hehehe…

Don’t worry, Food Bytes will still air.  I won’t give up on my dream… it’s just that I won’t set a timetable for it anymore.  It just frustrates me and doesn’t help my confidence.

TIDBITS:

I’m suddenly feeling chatty, so I decided to write a few notes on our recently completed Daring Bakers challenge.  My apologies for writing these on a separate post.

First, the caramel issue.   I noticed that some people found the dry method of making it rather difficult.  A trick I use is I get a pastry brush, and gently brush the sides with water every so often, to prevent crystallization on the sides, and to help get a more even browning.  It also helps to have the sugar level… after all, if a big clump is amassed in one section of the pan, it’s liable to take longer to cook, burning other parts in the process.  Also, don’t stir or move the pan until the sugar starts to brown.  Moving it too early results in crystallization.  The wet method is easier, but takes longer.

I also find that it helps to think of making caramel as playing chicken (at least it helps me).  You’re basically daring the caramel to go as far as it can go, before halting the process with the cream.  Since I prefer caramel to taste bittersweet, I tend to push it to the very edge (right before burning).

Second, the crust issue.  I too had a difficult time with it, until I smacked myself for forgetting that it is Pate Sable after all.  Meaning it IS crumbly… BUT you can piece it together as you see fit.  Heck, you can form it into a rocket ship and it’d still bake into an edible (if slightly odd) crust.

Last, the mousse.  Yes, I know, I posted some of my thoughts about the mousse already… but here’s something I forgot.  I may have misread the recipe, but I think it’d be better if the cream was only whipped to soft peaks.  It’s easier to integrate, and provides a more even finish.

Well that’s it for delays and tidbits.  My apologies for rambling.  It’s 2:20am, and I’m gonna try and get some sleep.

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Daring Baker Challenge: Milk Chocolate & Caramel Tart

Yes, I am now officially a member of the Daring Bakers (at least I think I am). My first challenge, to create an exquisite Milk Chocolate & Caramel Tart (pictured below). I hope any of you who visit my site, will take up the challenge yourselves as well and try making this delectable tart.

whole pie

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Shortbread Pastry (re-scaled for single recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 84 grams unsalted butter
  • 51 grams confectioners’ sugar
  • 18 grams ground hazelnuts
  • 2 grams ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 135 grams cake flour
  • 3 grams baking powder
  • 3 grams cocoa powder

1. In a mixing bowl of a food processor, cream the butter.

2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, the ground hazelnuts, and the cinnamon, and mix together

3. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing constantly

4. Sift in the flour, the baking powder, and the cocoa powder, and mix well.

5. Form a ball with the dough, cover in plastic wrap, and chill overnight (pictured below).

ball

Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb (250 g) chocolate shortbread pastry (see recipe above)
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 g) heavy cream or crème fraiche
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (15 g) flour
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 g) whipping cream
  • ½ lb (250 g) milk chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 325 °F.

2. Line the baking pan with the chocolate shortbread pastry and bake blind for 15 minutes. The instructions don’t call for docking, but I docked mine just to be on the safe side.

3. In a saucepan, caramelize 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar using the dry method until it turns a golden caramel color. I tend to want to push the caramel to the limit, since I want a bittersweet flavor, hence the darker color. Incorporate the heavy cream or crème fraiche and then add butter. Mix thoroughly. Set aside to cool.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat the whole eggs with the extra egg yolk, then incorporate the flour.

5. Pour this into the cream-caramel mixture and mix thoroughly.

6. Spread it out in the tart shell and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

7. Prepare the milk chocolate mousse: beat the whipping cream until stiff. Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a bain-marie, and fold it gently into the whipped cream.

8. Pour the chocolate mousse over the cooled caramel mixture, smoothing it with a spatula. Chill for one hour in the refrigerator.

So that’s it for this month’s challenge. I must admit, the resulting product was quite good, and I had a fun time baking. The pictures posted above are the ones I took on my first attempt. I figured it wouldn’t be right to post pictures from my third attempt. Also, I opted not to do toppings on my first attempt, as I wanted to taste it sans toppings. Here’s a last picture of a slice of the tart…

slice

Sorry for the sub par pictures… hehehe… I’m still waiting for my digital camera, and I’m currently using my video cam to take pictures. I’m not really sure what else to write, so see you again for next month’s challenge.

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