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.