Friday, March 21, 2014

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie

One of my favorite desserts is a cheesecake with lemon curd.  It's a fantastic combination of creamy sweetness, and smooth tartness.   Just for fun I thought it would be fun to play with the idea of lemon and cheesecake.  The result was a beautiful lemon meringue pie cheesecake.  Meringue on top, lemon in the middle, and cheesecake on the bottom.

Start with your favorite pie crust recipe and make enough for one shell.  Partially pre-bake the crust.  Pull the crust about five minutes before you would normally for a pre-baked crust. You want to leave 15 minutes at the end for more baking. Make the cheesecake layer while the shell bakes.

For the Cheesecake:
8oz cream cheese
1/4 c sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon zest

Combine cream cheese and sugar, beat until smooth.  Add the other three ingredients.  Fold in until fully combined.  Do not over mix.   Pour into partially baked crust, and bake for 15 minutes or until set. Meanwhile, make the lemon filling.

For the lemon pie filling:
juice of one large lemon  (1/4 c)
2/3 c sugar
1/8 t salt
3/4 c +2 T water
3 egg yolks
zest of one lemon (minus the 1/2 t for the cheesecake)
1 T cold butter

Combine everything except lemon zest and butter in a small saucepan.   Cook over medium heat until it thickens stirring continuously.   When done, remove from heat and pour over baked cheesecake layer.  Immediately make meringue.

For the meringue:
4 egg whites
1/2 t cream of tarter
6 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Combine egg whites and cream of tarter.  Beat until frothy and add vanilla.  Slowly add sugar one T at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form.  Pour out over hot filling and spread to edges of crust, sealing the crust to the meringue.  Broil in the oven until the meringue begins to toast.  Watch closely because the meringue will go from beautifully tan to burnt in no time flat.

It was a fun change of pace from the lemon curd cheesecake.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Big Bag of Sunshine

Wanna see what came home with me from San Diego?

Sunshine!  That is nearly 10 pounds of Meyer lemons straight from a backyard tree.  They aren't all clean and polished like grocery store lemons are, but they scrub up beautifully.  Today, two of them will become a lemon meringue pie.  I'm considering make a bit of a twist to the recipe, but that will involve going to the store. That may or may not happen.

BTW, I didn't seek out the trendy lemon. It just happened to be what my brother in law had growing in his backyard. Meyer lemons just aren't available to me in my area at all, so it will be interesting if they live up to the hype.

I have a lot of cooking to do.  What doesn't get used this week will be juiced and the juice will be frozen.  I'm going to have to research the best way to save the zest.  I use more zest than juice in my cooking so it would be sad to not find a good way to store it long term.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Found Some Sunshine

At Balboa Park

and in the Balboa Park botanical building.  (So gorgeous!)

And in the cloisters.

And then we found more sunshine the next day at the LDS Temple in La Jolla.

The classic shot of this building taken with the world's dirtiest camera lens.

 And then we went and found some sunshine in the best place to look for it.

It was a good weekend.  (and no that's not me or anyone I know catching the waves.  But they do look cool don't they?)