Saturday, September 24, 2005

Real Lemon Pie

Originally uploaded by wanderingcoyote.

Now I am truly back in business. I dug out my camera software from the depths of my little closet and installed it on this staff computer. Now you'll be seeing more of my creations!

I'm sure you're reading the title and groaning because it is yet another lemon/citrus recipe. Well, tough! I served this for staff dinner last night and it was fantastic. Not only did it look wonderful, it was bursting with lemony flavour. This is a simple recipe with few ingredients. I hope you like it.

Real Lemon Pie


4 thin-skinned lemons (I don't know how you tell a thin one from a thick one without cutting it first, but I just used what I had on hand)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs

Shortcrust Pastry

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
150g (5oz) chilled unsalted butter, chopped
2 tbsp granulated sugar
3 - 4 tbsp cold water

1 egg, beaten, for glazing

1. Wash the lemons. Slice 2 unpeeled lemons very thinly and remove the seeds. Peel the other lemons, removing all pith and seeds, and slice the flesh thinly. Put all this in a bowl, not metallic, with the 2 cups of sugar and mix well, coating all the lemon with sugar. Cover and refrigerate over night.

2. Preheat oven to 350F. For the pastry, sift together the salt and the sugar. Sable in the butter. (Remember what sable means, from the previous post? No? Ok. Rub the butter in with your fingertips - quickly so it doesn't melt.)

3. When you have a cornmeal-like consistency, add the water, one tablespoon at a time and toss gently with a fork. Add just enough water so that the dough comes together and is rollable. Divide in half and roll out 2 10 inch circles.

4. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate. Line the pie plate with one disk of dough; cover and chill. Somehow chill the other disk of dough, too; I put it into a second pie plate for easy tranferring.

5. Beat the eggs well and add the lemon slices, mixing gently but thoroughly. Pour the filling into the shell and put on the "lid." Crimp the edges to seal them. Decorate the top with pastry scraps. Brush on the beaten egg you reserved for the glaze, and bake until golden brown - 55 minutes to an hour. But keep an eye on it. Let it cool completely before serving.

Notes to the Readership

- this is a great shortcrust recipe that comes out crisp and cookie-like. It can be used for other pies and tarts as well. Be sure to add the water gradually as I described because it shouldn't be sticky or wet. Neither should it be too dry so it's difficult to roll out. Also, be sure not to work your flour too much or else you'll get a tougher pastry.
- letting the lemons sit in the sugar overnight draws out the liquid from the fruit. This, combined with the eggs, creates a custard-like filling, so don't skip this step.

Questions? Comments? You know the drill.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hot Water Gingerbread

Fall's the time for warm, spicey baking that screams comfort food. This is such a recipe. I got this from Cook Great Food by The Dieticians of Canada, an excellent cookbook if you're in the market for simple, tasty, healthy meals for yourself and/or your family. They recommend serving this with a lemon sauce, but that flavour combination doesn't quite do it for my palate. When I have served this (warm, of course), I've accompanied it with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or a simple custard sauce (Bird's is just fine).

Hot Water Gingerbread

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup melted butter

1. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except the brown sugar.
2. In a second bowl, beat the egg, brown sugar, molasses and boiling water together until smooth. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Pour into a lightly greased or non-stick 8" square pan. Bake at 350F for about 35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.

It's as easy as that.

As usual, any feedback is appreciated.


Friday, September 16, 2005


Dear Readers,

I have been invaded by a series of spammers. Shocking! I have enabled the Blogger anti-spamming tools in order to combat this pesky business. Sorry to all you non-Bloggers for having to take such drastic action.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Lemon Scones

Miss me?

I sure have! Man, have I been busy this past month, and with limited computer access to boot.

For some bizarre reason, I have become famous for these scones. Of all the things I could be famous for, it had to scones. Well, what's a girl to do? Take what fame she can and run with it, baby!

Next week we are hosting a weekend for social workers, case workers, challenged families and others regarding food availability issues for underpriviledged people, and the organizer mentioned to my supervisor that she knew someone at the recent music camps who was raving over these scones, which I had served for Sunday brunch once. I'm sure I'm going to have a request made to me for these scones at a planning meeting tomorrow. So here is what all the hubbub is about.

Lemon Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup cold butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup 10% cream
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind (approximately the zest of 2 - 3 lemons)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp icing sugar

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Sable (see notes) in the butter with your hands quickly, until the mixture resembles something slightly chunkier than cornmeal.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon rind, lemon juice, and cream. Drizzle over the dry ingredients and toss gently until the mixture clumps into a very soft sticky dough.
3. Turn out onto a very well-floured surface. With floured hands, form into a ball, kneading about 8 times. The dough will be very wet, so use lots of flour. Place on a parchment paper-lined sheet or lightly floured rimless baking sheet. Pat into a 1.5 cm thick circle and cut into 8 wedges. Do not separate.
4. Bake in 350F oven unitl golden.
5. For the glaze, combine the juice and sugar. Apply the glaze with a pastry brush just after the scones come out of the oven while they're still piping hot.


- To sable means to rub the dry ingredients and the butter together with your hands. I don't bother with the pastry cutter or two knives crap because my hands are much more efficient, especially when I quadruple this recipe for a larger batch.
- Don't make these in a mixer for God's sake: you'll overwork the flour. The key here is mixing as little as possible and kneading as lightly as possible to get a delicate product in the end.
- Please, please, please use real lemons! That stuff that comes in the yellow lemon-shaped bottle from the store is awful! You cannot beat the real McCoy here, or anywhere for that matter. Get yourself a cheap citrus juicer and a zester and away you go.
- I make several variations of this. For instance, the lemon zest and juice is directly interchangable with orange zest and juice, and I do that a lot. Also, I often add blueberries, but while still frozen because they're easier to mix in and they'll keep their shape. Frozen raspberries would also work, or just skip the citurs altogether and add raisins and a bit of cinnamon.

Well, let me know how they turn out.

I hope to be updated this blog more often now that I have more time and more reliable internet access. I miss this a lot.


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