January 28, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

...heat their juice and a bit of zest gently with egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch until you have a nice custard. Fold that custard into miniature butter-crumbly pastry shells. And top them with a fluffy egg white meringue. Then post your story alongside 400-some others for the January edition of the Daring Baker challenge. Just don't follow my lead and post it three weeks LATE. (Lucky for me that powers of the internets and blogger allow me to post-date my story).

Jen of The Canadian Baker was our hostess this month, and proclaimed January the month of the lemon (and the egg white). I actually made the little lemon tarts within days of the official post date (a few days late because I didn't want to infect my tasters with the sniffles). But a week of training followed sickness... and more tasks than time to complete them followed training. So here we are in mid-February (despite the fact that the date up there is January 28). The lemon tarts are long gone, living on in photography alone.

By now you've already read hundreds of accounts of weeping meringue and soupy curd. Where did I struggle? Ironically, with neither of those components. What gave me fits was the crust. That's right, the crust. What came out of my food processor resembled clumpy flour, not smooth and supple dough. I was devastated... if I couldn't make the one component everyone else succeeded with, what hope did I have to achieve the *hard* stuff? Lucky for me my guy is a whiz on the internet as well as in the kitchen. He found me this, and helped me roll out some sensational tart shells. Tragedy narrowly averted.

We ended up with six mini tarts (because I have six mini tart shells), a dozen shortbread crust cookies, and a *ton* of leftover curd and meringue. Stay tuned to see what we did with that...

Overall, it was a great challenge. I'm not a fan of the commercial lemon meringue pie on dessert carousels at diners across the country, but the mini-tart approach was quite pleasing.

Want to try it yourself? Jen has the recipe posted here.

From the archives: A year ago today I explored my culinary genealogy.

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Karen said...

Those tarts look amazing! Glad you got your post up!

glamah16 said...

Well you did it!

Tartelette said...

Slurp...again! Looks flipping good!