Tag Archives: Desserts

Meringues at midnight

21 Aug


photoAugust 15th marks the annual National Lemon Meringue Day. I usually don’t jump on the bandwagon with these pseudo-holidays but lemon meringue just so happened to be Rey’s favourite desserts and something we’ve both been craving.

I got a late start to the day and didn’t begin until after dinner. Between the dough making, dough chilling, and custard-making, meringue pies take more than several hour to cook.  So although I wanted to make it happen before National Lemon Meringue Pie day was officially over, most of the “meringuing” happened after midnight. Since I was cooking in a man’s kitchen, and therefore without electric beaters, the meringue was the most daunting task. In the end though, meringue happened somehow and I now have a disproportionately strong right arm. I’ve never so badly appreciated simple modern kitchen tools or resented the concept of “medium peaks.” Rey also helped me whisk the egg whites to submission in between games of DoTA. Watching a muscular man beat egg whites to help you bake was one of the most pleasant and oddest things I’ve ever seen.


1 cup + 2 tbsp cake and pastry flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 egg white, lightly whisked

Lemon Curd Filling

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp unsalted butter


4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/10 cup sugar
3 tbsp icing sugar, sifted



1. Sift the flour, sugar and salt to combine in a bowl or using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cut in the butter by hand with a pastry cutter or on low speed until just small pieces of butter are visible and the mixture as a whole just begins to take on a pale yellow colour (indicating that the butter has been worked in sufficiently).

2. Stir the water and lemon juice together and add this to the dough all at once, mixing until the dough just comes together. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before rolling. Alternatively, the dough can be frozen for up to 3 months and thawed in the fridge before rolling.

3. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until it is in a circle that is just under ¼ inch thick. Lightly dust a 9” pie plate with flour. Press the dough into the pie plate and trim away any excess dough, pinch the edges to create a fluted pattern and chill for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line the chilled pie shell with tin foil and fill the foil with dried beans, raw rice or pie weights. Bake the pie shell for 20 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and weights and bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the centre of the pie shell is dry-looking and just starts to brown a little. Immediately after removing the pie shell from the oven, brush the hot crust with a little of the whisked egg white. This will create a barrier to keep the crust crispy once filled. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

Lemon Curd Filling 

1. For the filling, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together in a medium saucepot, then whisk in the cold water. Have the other ingredients measured and nearby. Bring the sugar mixture up to a full simmer over medium-high heat, whisking as it cooks, until the mixture is thick and glossy.

2. Pour about a cup of this thickened filling into the egg yolks while whisking, then return this to the pot and whisk just one minute more. Whisk in the lemon juice and cook until the filling just returns to a simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the butter then immediately pour the hot filling into the cooled pie shell (the filling will seem very fluid, but it will set up once chilled). Cover the surface of the filling with plastic wrap to keep it hot. Immediately prepare the meringue topping.

3. Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy, then increase the speed to high and gradually pour in the granulated sugar and icing sugar and continue whipping just until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.


1. Remove the plastic wrap from the hot lemon filling, then dollop half of the meringue directly onto the filling (the filling will still be very soft, so work gently). Be sure to spread the meringue so that it completely covers the lemon filling and connects with the outside crust, then use a bamboo skewer or paring knife to swirl the meringue just a touch (this will secure it to the lemon curd). Dollop the remaining meringue onto the pie and use the back of your spatula to lift up the meringue and creates spikes. Bake the pie for about 20 minutes at 325 F, until the meringue is nicely browned. Cool the meringue completely to room temperature before chilling for at least 4 hours.

Recipe adapted from Anna Olson.


Valentine’s Day I :: Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Cupcakes

13 Feb
Valentine’s Day has always been a difficult holiday to enjoy; not that I’m one of those sour types to spit on all the red and white garland displays at the dollar stores. I guess If I were, I’d know exactly what to do.  No, Valentine’s Day to me is neither offensive nor a reason to crap my pants with joy—just difficult to relate with, even speaking as one half of a couple myself. This year however, I’ve put my finger on the one thing it’s been missing all along. Every other holiday of the year invites all kinds of indulging, baking, and marathon meals. Valentine’s Day just lacks that same amount of good food; and I’m not talking plastic sprinkles and boxed chocolate here, but food made from the heart . So with these series of carefully chosen recipes inspired by some of Cupid’s best handiwork, I wish you a loving and delicious February 14th.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Cupcakes

I know Yoko Ono gets a bad rap for being a controversial person and for breaking up the Beatles and all but hardly a person could deny her relationship with John Lennon was an ardent and sexy one. I love these cupcakes for their fragrant strawberry scent, my kitchen smells just like a strawberry field I’ve not yet witnessed. I also imagine these should be shared in the nude, at various points of the day whilst loafing in bed.  

  • ½ c. butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2/3 c. fresh or thawed frozen strawberries
  • ¼ c. milk, preferably at least 2%
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, chilled
  • 2 c. icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp. strawberry puree
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp. butter, room temperature
Cupcake directions: preheat oven to 350 F. In food processor, puree strawberries until consistency is smooth. Cream butter with sugar until fluffy and combine egg and egg white, vanilla, lemon zest, until smooth. In separate bowl, combine milk and 1/3 cup of the strawberry puree, save rest for frosting. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat with hand mixer flour mixture, milk mixture and butter mixture all together until a uniform consistency is achieved. Divide equally into lined muffin tins or mini-cupcake tins and bake for 15-18 minutes until tops are dry but bouncy. Cool completely before icing.
Icing directions: cream the cream cheese and butter by hand or with mixer until softened and fluffy. Slowly incorporate icing sugar and vanilla extract. Add strawberry puree last and combine until no more streaks. Use immediately or store ahead of time in refrigerator.
more coming very soon…
%d bloggers like this: