Monday, January 28, 2008

Daring Bakers: Lemon Meringue Pie more like Casserole


Oh my first challenge in three months and problems ensue as usual.
When I visited the "insider" blog and found Lemon Meringue Pie as the ingredient, I knew I had no excuses. One because I had taken a class at Whole Foods, where I was taught to make lemon curd. Two, I can't blame school, I'm a working girl now. Plus I missed it. I missed the community that comes with Daring Bakers. It is the reason I joined in the first place. It was the connection of bakers around the world that don't always have things go their way in the kitchen.
So I was determined to do it this month. I was in. I made a party date. I flew on a plane for a 24 hour visit in Austin, so I could enjoy the Daring Baker's Challenge with friends.
So on Saturday, my boyfriend and I arrive at my friend's so I can cook in her kitchen. The boys leave us for the liquor store and I request more lemon juice, three lemons weren't going to cut it. So, I look over the recipe and begin with the pie dough. I use my hands because that is how I always make shortbread cookies. Plus the knives weren't cutting it. And there was no pastry cutter or processor in sight. (I really should have rethought the whole cooking utensils in boxes until I find permanent job.)
With the pie dough chilling, I began boiling water. I mix the cornstarch and sugar, when the water boils, I add the dry ingredients. No whisk. No real whisk. Improvising I used beater from the electric mixer. I enlisted my friends help as I cracked eggs to separate. By the time they were separated the water mixture had come to a boil.
Or what I believe was a boil. It was really THICK. I saw bubbles, I just assumed. So, I teach my friend how to temper the eggs. The glass bowl doesn't become warm because of the mixture. So I just assume the eggs are ready. I bring this new mixture to a bowl. I call the boy to make sure he got two cups of lemon juice. That was a negative.
I read over the recipe. That is kinda the next step after butter. Oh I became panicky. My friend zested the lemons and cut them in half. As I whisked the butter into the thick gooey mixture. Soon the butter is melted and I don't have two cups of lemon juice. So we add the zest and as my friend whisks I add the lemon juice we have to the mixture.
She then asks, opening the fridge, is this lemon juice bottle something we can use. I laugh and say yes. The conversation drifted on how the guys were going to kill us when they came in. And soon after using the lemon juice bottle, they strolled in the door. We burst out laughing. My boyfriend quickly figured it out and made a joke.
I let the mixture cool and move to bake the pie crust. Only the problem was there was no pie pan. I assumed there would be one. That was the main problem, I made tooo many assumptions. So with a lasagna pyrex pan, I rolled out the dough and placed it in. I knew I had no beans either so to try and compensate, I placed pyrex measuring cups on top. 15 minutes into the baking I realized this too was a very bad idea.
The pie crust was rising where there was no weight. I immediately took of the cups and let it cook the rest of the way without weight. It came out with some dents, but still good.
The rest of the pie went off without a hitch. Everyone liked it. Once again, all the mistakes didn't ruin the end product. I just have to stop making assumptions.

27 comments:

Megan said...

Great story. You really are a Daring Baker! I love the whole cassarole thing!

Dhanggit said...

oh lucky for you.;you had a friend to share with this baking adventure!! i love your LMP, love the way the meringue was done!! till next challenge

Ann said...

So cool that you went for it and refused to let anything stop you!

Jessica said...

The meringue looks awesome! And I love the casserole dish - too funny!

Molly Loves Paris said...

What an adventure you had. But did you really use 2 cups of lemon juice? It only called for 3/4 cup. I will admit that I think 1 cup would have worked. I've always found that you can't rely on what is in another persons kitchen. Great job hanging in there.

Foodie Froggy said...

A good idea to put it in a lasagna plate !

Tempered Woman said...

I actually like the casserole~ too funny~ I didn't have any beans either & if you think a casserole dish is comical you should check out my pebble adventure.
Congrats on finishing the challenge- OH and 2 cups?!?! How many batches did you make of this stuff?!?! You are daring! ;-)

Tiffany said...

Made me laugh at your ingenuity!!! I had some of the same issues at Christmas, baking in my Grama's kitchen. You had a MUCH better attitude about it than I did!!!

Baking Soda said...

Ah to be a fly on that kitchen wall! I'd probably fall off from laughter. You must have had tons of fun and a great lemon meringue casserole to celebrate!

DaviMack said...

Truly great story - and I wish I'd not assumed that I needed a silly round pan - I've several perfectly good pyrex pans, but I used a springform instead! Doh!

It looks great!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Great post, you're a real Daring Baker :-) Very well done even though you were missing so many utensils in your friend's kitchen!

Madam Chow said...

Reading other people's creative inovations and problems make me feel better about my own problems, and make me admire other folk's ingenuity! I love that you made this in a baking dish.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Way to go. Very daring to improvise and use what's on hand.

Brilynn said...

At least you're good at troubleshooting! Glad it worked out in the end.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Jerry, I think the casserole is brilliant!
2 cups of juice, I thought it said 3/4 cup.
Everybody like the pie, then it's good! Funny how I've made so many assumptions like you in my time!

culinography said...

Wow... now THAT'S perseverance! Good for you for sticking it out in spite of the baking obstacles!

glamah16 said...

How fun to share the challenge with friends. I love your ingenuity!

Elle said...

You get the Julia Child award this month...she was the master of turning the potential disaster into something that seems better than the original idea. Love the square lemon meringue pie! Love the story of the lemon juice, too. Beautiful job!

Peabody said...

Lemon Pie cassarole is a excellent improvisation!

maybahay said...

i don't think i would enjoy cooking as much if not for the occasional drama involved. well done- the pie looks good!

Deborah said...

That is daring in deed! I don't think I would have thought to use the pyrex dish - how creative!

bittersweetblog said...

Wow, way to make due with what you have... That's an amazing pie you made, especially considering the obstacles you had to overcome!

Dolores said...

A lemon meringue lasagna... I LOVE it, and your adventurous spirit! Congratulations!

Quellia said...

Haha Sounds like my cooking at my mother's house! Great improvising for a cool looking result!

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh this is absolutly gorgeous....well done !

Anita said...

Lemon casserole - it looks like the most delicious casserole ever!

MrsPresley said...

great job! who cares what you put it in...it still tasted great, right? :)

i just joined the DB this month, just checking out everyone else’s blogs, wanted to say hello :)