Monday, January 28, 2008
Shar-pei Lemon Meringue Tiny Pies
Ta-da-da! It's Daring Bakers again, as you might have noticed if you're an avid reader of food blogs. We are so many now that you can hardly miss us - the blog roll is up to more than I care to count at the moment, suffice it to say: we're many.
And this month, we're all making lemon meringue pie. I think I write this almost every month, but again, I wasn't thrilled when I saw the recipe. I don't like pies very much. It's the crust - I like the filling well enough. And while I love meringue, I love it so much more when it's crunchy and chewy, like a good pavlova. Not very much when it's soft like it is when it's topping a pie. And the filling then? Well. It didn't excite me very much either. Lemon. Uh-huh. Sure. But there's a LOT of cornstarch in this recipe, it's not like a lemon curd (which is tasty enough) but it's much thicker and even though it's made from scratch, it feels somewhat artificial.
Oh, enough with the whining. Anyway. I put it off for a long time, then finally made it (right before I got the stomach flu, so good thing I managed to finish them at all!) but I decided that as I knew I wouldn't be crazy about the results, I wouldn't make very much. Thus: I went mini. Bite-sized, in fact. I used my mini-muffin tin and only made half the recipe. I actually tossed some pastry, filling AND topping, since I was too tired to make more than twelve.
Did I encounter problems? No. Not at all. It was a breeze. Except for that my meringue started to droop and wrinkle after a little while out of the oven, thus the title of this post. (You know the cute shar-pei wrinkle puppies? That's exactly what my meringue tops looked like.) But the crust stayed nice and crunchy, the filling was firm (no wonder, with all the corn starch) and with a nice tangy flavor, and the meringue was sweet and tasty. My guests liked them a lot and I had two. But will I be making them again? Ah, probably not. But I'm glad I made the challenge, and I'm looking forward to the next one!