Lemon Meringue Pie for Gene’s 91st Birthday

When someone’s turning 91, they deserve the birthday dessert of their choice. On second thought, everyone should get their most-loved confection each and every year! Birthdays are memorable causes for joyous toasts, laughter, and yummy dinners ending with apple pie/chocolate cake/strawberry cheesecake/butterscotch tart and, yes, great coffee. But 91 — wow. Not all of us make it to that special moment and those that do are blessed. My husband’s Dad, Gene, celebrated 91 great years this week and while it wasn’t a huge party, we had a few family members for a roast beef and twice-baked potato lunch (lunch is better these days and he loves roast beef) as well as Gene’s forever fave sweet — Lemon Meringue Pie.

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Whole-Lemon Tart (Tarte au Citron)- or Life is Sweet and Sour

Tarte au Citron…

 When we study music or art, we find ourselves interested in the life of the artist.  What was happening when he wrote that first symphony or when she painted that particular picture.  It may be that cooks have similar tendencies…to make or bake dishes that reflect current life.  When you’re feeling unloved, do you make comfort food like beef stew or chocolate chip cookies?  When you’re celebrating, is it rare lamb and risotto?

As I ready the house (Who bought all this stuff?) for the move, I find myself baking.  As if I have nothing better to do?   At going-away dinners with friends, I continue to offer to bring something and end up with what could be the easiest part of the meal (dessert-and it isn’t) at a time when my pans should be packed already.  Pans of frosted scratch brownies, tiramisu and this lemon tart have been baked (or made, in the case of the tiramisu) and carried around town.  I’m still drooling over cookbooks, though I may have packed nearly everything but one JOY OF COOKING, one SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK and a wine guide that are staying here for reference. Well, there are, as well, a slug of cooking magazines I haven’t donated.  I have 17 book boxes full of hymnals and cookbooks.  Somebody should shoot me and put me out of my packing misery.

I typically blog original recipes, but this is too good not to share.  Dorie Greenspan is a fine food blogger and an even finer cookbook author who lives in both New York (where she sometimes “mans” a cookie cart in Manhattan) and Paris. The book Paris Sweets (2002) is not terribly new (her newest is Around my French Table), but it’s a go-to for French boulangerie or patisserie dessert recipes written for Americans, as well French.  If you’d like to see the patisserie from whence the recipe came ( Rollet-Pradier in Paris), click here.  By the way, the directions for this tart are easy to follow and the results are easy to eat.  Thanks to Dorie.

courtesy Clarkson-Potter

And while life is bittersweet (I love people in both places-), this tart seems to reflect just about how I feel right now. Oh, and, by the way, this is simpler to make than chocolate chip cookies.  Cheaper, too.  If you don’t have a tart pan (a 9-11″ metal pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom), use a quiche dish or a plain old pie pan.

TARTE AU CITRON  From Rollet-Pradier, Paris via Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan

                                      (Read More at epicurious.com)
1 partially baked 9-inch (24-cm) tart shell made from Sweet Tart Dough*
1 average-sized lemon (about 4 1/2 ounces; 130 grams), rinsed and dried
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons (12 grams) cornstarch
1 stick (4 ounces; 115 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven 325 degrees F (165 C). Line a trimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and put the tart shell on the sheet.

Slice the lemon into thin wedges, remove the seeds, and toss the lemon and sugar into the container of a blender or food processor. Blend or process, scraping down the sides of the container as needed, until the lemon is thoroughly pureed and blended with the sugar, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the mixture into a bowl and, using a whisk, gently stir in the whole egg and the yolk, followed by the cornstarch and melted butter. Pour the filling into the crust.

Slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake the tart for 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (180 C) and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and lightly browned. Transfer the tart, still on the baking sheet, to a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing it from the pan. The tart is ready to be served when it reaches room temperature.

This is like lemon bars on steroids..
*I like traditional Pate Sucre (uses ground almonds), but this works, too.

TwoDog Kitchen and Around the ‘Hood

If my cream soups are packed, I’m leaving.

If your cream soups are packed, am I leaving?

Did you pack the bones?  Well, then where are they?

One more wine group

Dinner with Britta, too
Will post as possible!
Sing a new song,