Saturday, January 23, 2021

So Many Mini Pies!


The first time I attempted lemon curd was a complete disaster. I ended up with a sour scrambled egg looking mixture and a lot of laughs with my friends (so maybe it was not ALL bad).  Eight years later, I happen to have five extra egg yolks on hand and a much better idea of how to navigate around a kitchen so I decided to try again.

I settled on this recipe from the Food Network mainly because it called for 5 egg yolks, which meant that I did not have to do any math. I made a few adjustments like using bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemons and using less than a stick of butter (I am actually not sure how much I ended up using; I just eye-balled it until I got the desired consistency). It was delicious! And also much easier than I thought. 

Is it not beautiful? The perfect combination of sweet and tart. 

Having finally achieved a successful lemon curd, I did not know what to do with it. (I am not that good at planning ahead when it comes to working in the kitchen...)  I had first considered making macarons as a sort of “redemption” for that first sad attempt from eight years ago. (Clarification: the lemon curd was sad; the other macarons we ended up making turned out very nicely!).  However, macarons use only egg whites and I did not want to produce more left over egg yolks (a never-ending cycle!). Instead, I settled on making mini lemon curd pies.  

Fresh from the oven! (I tend to bake in the evenings so the lighting is never ideal for pictures...sigh...)

Surprisingly, even though I filled my mini pie crusts to the brim, I STILL had extra lemon curd (I guess it was a generous recipe?). I cubed some cake I had lying around (baked by my cousin, not me), layered the pieces with lemon curd, dolloped whip cream on top and made myself a cute little parfait. No pictures – sorry, it was just too yummy to wait.

The recipe that I used to make my mini pie crusts was enough for 16 mini pies or 2 regular pie shells. I had only used up half the dough at this point but for the second half, I wanted a little variety in my pies. So I dug out a nearly expired can of No Name apple filling from the back of our pantry (that is what happens when you buy things on whim...) and whipped up some mini apple crumble pies. 

I was just making things up as I went along. 

I tossed together the crumble topping using the first recipe that came up on my google search. This allowed me to dig into the ancient bag of rolled oats that had also been languishing in the back of my pantry (there is a lot of stuff back there...). I baked them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes - the house smelled so good. 

Tim loves all things apple and surprisingly, my brother was also a big fan of these. It is always nice to have an audience base for one's baking. 

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