Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Domestic Goddess Wannabe

 Funnily enough, my darling husband bought me a coffee mug for Mother's Day that says "Domestic Goddess" on the side. What a darling for thinking that of me! I tell him its far from the truth, but as usual when I protest to something nice, he says "I don't know what you're talking about!" Anyway, it made me think of something a few people have asked recently and I want to set it right with the world of blog readers. "Do you ever cook anything that isn't amazing?" I have been asked.
YES! I certainly do cook some disasters, I just don't publish them, or I try and hide them in the stomach of my husband before anyone else can view the mess. Things flop for me quite frequently (Domestic Goddess indeed!) My husband doesn't mind if the meringue on my last pie was more like marshmallow than crispy melt-in-your-mouth goodness, but to me its a disappointment. Ever wondered why I added meringue swirls and lemon curd to the last pie that was seen on this page? It wasn't crispy and I needed to add crisp to that flopped meringue! So nobody is allowed to think I'm any sort of Domestic Goddess (but my husband of course) because it makes me feel like I have to be perfect and I cant be without more practice.  Of course its what I aspire to, but I definitely have not made it there yet.
Meringue, by the way, is one of my favourite sweet things and it also happens to be one of those that leaves me anxious that it will fail. Sometimes it simply refuses to crisp up and flops into a gooey, caramely heap. Still tastes amazing, but probably cant be considered meringue anymore. (although my darling brother in law says he prefers it this way) Anyway, when I made these lemon mini meringue tarts, I was determined not to have a failure on my hands. So I combined three successful recipes that I knew were brilliant and we had a lovely crisp topped meringue that melted in your mouth, zesty, gooey lemon curd and perfect pastry cases....mmmmmmh!  I think the pictures say it all. Needless to say, they certainly did not last long! Enough of the citrus recipes already!



1 1/2 cup plain flour
2 tbs icing sugar
125g butter, chilled, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tbs water, chilled

Place flour, icing sugar and butter in bowl of a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk together egg yolk and water. With motor running, add egg yolk mixture and process until pastry just comes together. Transfer pastry to a lightly floured surface and bring together with your hands. Lightly knead until just smooth. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until desired thickness. Using a round cutter, cut out 24 circles and place in mini muffin tin. You may trim any excess, but the pastry shells do tend to shrink a little while cooking. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 190°C. Place pastry case on baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove and leave to cool in the tin.


(This recipe makes twice as much curd as is needed to fill the pastry shells. However, it is difficult to halve the recipe due to it requiring three egg yolks. But if you're like me, you'll use the rest on toast, croissants and through other desserts! YUM!)

1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup cornflour
1/2 cup (125ml) lemon juice
1 1/4 cups water
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
3 egg yolks
60g butter or margarine

Combine the sugar and cornflour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add the lemon juice and water while stirring continuously until mixture is smooth. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add the lemon rind, egg yolks and butter. Continue stirring until the butter has melted and mixture is well combined. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 


1/2 cup caster sugar
2 egg whites

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue beating, adding a tablespoon of sugar at a time, until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks.


Preheat the oven to 150C. Spoon lemon curd into the pastry shells that are still sitting in the tins, filling them to the rim of each shell. Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle, and fill with the meringue mixture. Pipe swirls on top of the lemon curd, making sure you pipe to the edges of the pastry cases. When complete, place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Revolve the tray and cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the meringue feels hard to tap and begins to turn golden. Remove, cool and devour!

one day...

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