I know I haven’t posted in a while, but now that I’m back in school, I have been so incredibly busy with homework, drill team practices, and school events that I’ve barely had time to cook! I’m finally on Thanksgiving break, though, and I want to post some recipes that may be fun alternatives to the classic Thanksgiving dishes. Like these little pies; they’re a perfect alternative to pumpkin or pecan pie. And don’t be fooled by their stereotype, these are NOT just for summertime! They make a refreshing, delicious little treat anytime of year, especially on your holiday table. Plus, what relative won’t be impressed by mini pies!?
Mini Lemon Meringue Pies (Pie Crust recipe by Paula Dean, Lemon Curd recipe by Anne Burrell)
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
See the recipe on one of my past posts.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place all of the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 1 hour. Form the pastry into 24 small balls; press with fingers into the bottom and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest, sugar, eggs and salt and whisk to a homogeneous consistency. Place in saucepan and bring to a medium heat. Cook, whisking, constantly until the mixture has thickened, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, 2 pats at a time until it’s incorporated and has a silky consistency.
Pour the lemon curd into the pie shells and bake for 10-15 minutes or until it’s set. Let them cool.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until they’re frothy. On the lowest speed, slowly add in the sugar a couple tablespoons at a time until the egg whites are thick, shiny, and stiff. Put the meringue in a pastry bag and pipe it onto the pies. Put the pies under the broiler until the meringue is browned and toasty. Happy Holidays!
I made this cake to use up the sad little cranberries that have been sitting in our fridge since Christmas. I know, it’s pitiful isn’t it?!?!?! But, look at what a beautiful and TASTY cake they turned into! They really livend up with all the lemon and the sugar and became this tangy-sweet-tart-scrumptious bundt cake that reminded every one of the holidays!
Fresh cranberries might be kind of hard to find in stores now, so if you don’t have any lying around, you can always use frozen, thawed cranberries. Or, you could substitute the cranberries with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or even fruit jellies. Happy Baking!
Cranberry Lemon Cake (Food Network Magazine)
- 3 1/4 sticks butter at room temperature (I know, it’s alot and this really is an indulgence cake!)
- 3 c cake flour, sifted
- 12 oz cranberries
- 2 1/2 c sugar
- 6 tbsp. milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 c lemon juice, plus 2 tbsp.
- 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
Cube the butter and set it in a bowl at room temperature to soften.
Put the cranberries in a saucepan with 3/4 c sugar and let them cook over medium-high heat for about 15 min., or until they look like this. Let them cool.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a bowl. Set aside.
Tip: When separating the eggs, put the egg whites in a little Tupperware container. Put a piece of tape on the lid and write “2 egg whites” on it so you know what they are, then put them in the freezer. The next time you need egg whites, just pull them out of the freezer, let them defrost and they’re ready to use! This also works for egg yolks, left over pie dough, and left over cookie dough.
Now, dump all the dry ingredients and the lemon zest in a bowl and give them a mix.
You’ll be able to see the little flecks of lemon zest in here….I love that!
Then, dump in the butter and…
Add in half of the wet ingredients and mix it all up.
It should look like this. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients in two parts and mix it until…
..it looks like this!
Pour 2/3 of the batter into a butter and floured bundt pan. Then spoon the cranberries on top of the batter. Make sure that the cranberries don’t touch the pan, otherwise they’ll stick! We don’t want that to happen!
Then, pour the rest of the batter on top of the cranberries and smooth it over.
Now, bake it at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the 1/2 c sugar in the 1/2 c lemon juice (about 4-5 juicy lemons) in a saucepan and cook it until the sugar dissolves in the lemon juice. Pour it over the cake and let it soak in through the holes. Turn it out onto a cake stand and combine the remaining 2 tbsp. of lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle it over the cake with a fork and enjoy!
Is there anything about lemons that doesn’t scream spring? I think NOT!
This dessert is so fresh and light, plus it’s a big hit with kids, too! The crust recipe is just a basic tart crust, and the Meyer lemon curd can be used anytime you need lemon curd.
Speaking of the curd, the recipe says to use “Meyer” lemons; don’t worry if you can’t find any, any kind of lemon will work!
Meyer Lemon Curd Tart (Anne Burrell)
- 1 stick cold butter, cut into pea size pieces
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1 egg yolk
- pinch of salt
- 2-4 tbsp. cold water
Meyer Lemon Curd:
- 5 Meyer lemons, juiced
- 3 Meyer lemons, zested
- 1 1/3 c sugar
- 5 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter, cut into pats
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
Combine the butter, flour, sugar, egg yolk, and salt in a food processor. You can do this by hand, but it’s much easier to use a food processor. You just want to pulse it until it develops into the “Parmesan Cheese” stage. (Until it looks like parmesan cheese:))
Then slowly pulse the water in until it sticks together. The amount of water you need may vary.
Dump the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and shmear it forward with the heel of your hand. Pull it back with your fingertips and roll it into a ball. Try not to over-work or handle the dough too much, otherwise the butter will start to melt.
Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When you take the dough out of the fridge, roll it to about 1/8-1/4 in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Just move the dough around every once in a while so that it doesn’t stick to your work surface.
Then, roll the dough up onto your rolling-pin, and un-roll it into a greased 10 in. tart pan. It’s alright if there’s a few rips or tears, you can just patch those up.
Push the dough into all the corners of the pan so that you have a nice, smooth tart. Then run your rolling-pin around the edges of the tart shell to remove all the excess dough.
Now this is where things get a little weird . Take a piece of aluminum foil and push it into the corners of the tart shell. This will help to keep the edges upright during the baking process. Fill the foil with 1 lb. of either dry baking beans or rice and bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Then remove the foil and beans/rice and continue baking the dough for 2-3 more minutes.
The dough should come out golden brown around the edges when it’s done.
Meanwhile, mix together the sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt in a saucepan. Whisk until it becomes a homogeneous mixture.
Then put it over medium to medium-high heat and whisk continuously until it thickens, 12-15 minutes.
I know it doesn’t look like much of a difference, but you’ll be able to feel the texture while you’re whisking it. Take the curd off the heat and slowly whisk in the butter one pat at a time until it is all incorporated, then fill the cooled tart shell with the curd.
Bake until the curd is set, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. I served mine chilled, but you could also serve it at room temperature. Enjoy!