Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie

I have honestly never attempted to make lemon meringue pie before, but I definitely plan to now because it looks very delicious. This certain recipe is more complex and complicated than I am used to, but if you follow these great steps that the wonderful Betty Crocker cite provides for you, it should turn out just fine and taste amazing. The total prep time to make this dessert is 30 minutes, and the whole process takes about 3 hrs and 45 minutes. Baking takes a lot of time, but it is the perfect thing to do on a weekend with nothing else to do, and the result you make yourself is an amazing feeling in the end! Not only are there a lot of instructions, but also more ingredients that we are used to. The cite also gives you expert tips that I was unaware of myself. For instance they say, using self-rising flour tastes way better than all purpose flour in making your pastry. For the meringue to be delectable, make sure to not get the egg yolk mixed in with the egg whites while separating the two because even the slightest bit of yolk will make the egg whites not beat correctly and mess it up. Also while using self-rising flour there is no need to add salt! While following these tips, there is absolutely no way that your dessert should come out wrong. It is cites like these that inspire me to become a baker and try new things. The point of my blog is to share these things with you so that you can share this passion of baking for me and have the courage also to try new things and fall in love with it like I have! I myself am very pleased with all of this information, even though I have not baked a pie before, I am very confident in making it because of how distinct the directions and tips are. I encourage everyone to be brave and try out this recipe with me! Feel free to comment and tell me how yours turned out if you had some free time to try it out, I would love to hear :)

How to make Lemon Meringue Pie:

1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

3 egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ½ cups water
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
 ½ cup lemon juice
drops yellow food color, if desired 


 3 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

1.       In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2.      Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
3.      Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.
4.      Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
5.       Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.
6.      In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.
7.       Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scratch vs. Mixes

Of course it gives it your own mark and is almost completely your own work if a dessert is made from scratch. It also does take a lot longer though. Baking from scratch is usually for the more experienced bakers who have been baking for a long time. I kind of lean more towards baking from scratch because each time you make something, you start to add your own ingredients and recipes to make stuff even better and all your own. It makes it that much more meaningful to you and your family, or whoever you are baking the goodie for. There really isn't anything wrong with baking from a mix out of a box though. It makes it way easier for new beginners because basically all you have to do is add a couple of things to the mix and then you're done. Using a mix is the fastest way to get a dessert done if you are in a hurry or have short notice to have something made by. It is also a very good way to get the hang of baking and what desserts need what ingredients, or how to measure, and everything else that concerns baking. Even if you are new, I encourage you to try it from scratch after doing the mixes a couple of times to get the hang of it!

Anyone Can Bake

Baking is so much more than people make it out to be. It isn't about just eating delicious things, it is a bonding experience with loved ones or new people in your life, or even just to do on your own. It is a relaxing and fun thing to do if you had a long day, and it keeps your mind off of life. You get lost in the baking and in return make something wonderful. Granted, some people are not the best at baking. That does not mean you should just give up on it. Maybe starting out with something a little simpler or something that has very good steps to explain what to do. Literally anyone can bake, just have to have the courage to try. It is probably one of the best feelings in the world when you make something amazing and you get complimented on your baking choice and how good it tastes. With that being said, make some time for yourself this weekend, go to the store and get ingredients to a dessert you would like to try and bake away. Try something new, have fun :)