Saturday, June 2, 2012

Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie - easy microwave version

Admittedly, this has nothing whatsoever to do with gardening, but since I just made 2 pies, I thought I would pass along this recipe.

I detest standing at the stove and having to constantly stir something until it thickens.  I now do all my pie fillings in the microwave and it works like a charm.

You do NOT  need to adjust your recipe in any way, except that you add all ingredients at the beginning.  Most lemon fillings instruct you to heat part of your ingredients and then gradually add the eggs, but there is no need for that when using the microwave.

This method works for any cooked pie filling that I have ever tried & I'll share my Coconut Cream recipe later.

Here is my recipe:

Carla's Lemon Meringue Pie:

1 9" lightly browned pie shell

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour (either gluten-free, all purpose flour or self-rising, it doesn't matter)
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 1/4 cups water
3 egg yolks (save egg whites for meringue)
6 Tablespoons lemon juice.  Fresh squeezed is best, but bottled lemon juice is OK in a pinch)

IMPORTANT:  Use a wire whisk instead of a spoon for stirring.

Add all ingredients (except egg whites) in a microwave-safe bowl and whisk thoroughly to blend.

I always set my microwave for 10 minutes so I don't have to keep resetting to 2 minute intervals, but total time will vary with different microwaves.

Microwave on HIGH and whisk thoroughly every 2 minutes.  The filling will start to look thick & set up around the edges, but don't worry.  Just whisk real good & continue to microwave in 2 minute intervals til it is thick & bubbly.  

Pour into your baked pie shell and top with meringue, sealing meringue completely to the crust on the edges.

Heat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar (optional)
1/2 cup white sugar

Mix egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, add cream of tartar & continue to whip, adding sugar gradually & continuing on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Immediately spread meringue over HOT filling & making sure to seal all the way to the edges of the crust.  (This helps prevent weeping.)   Swirl the meringue in a nice pattern, but I avoid peaks because they will brown too much before the rest of the meringue browns.

Place in a 350 degree oven & bake until meringue is browned.

Remove from oven and leave uncovered until cool.  Cool thoroughly before serving.


I took a chance on early planting and won!

Good grief!  I did it again (or actually I didn't do it) - I haven't posted since March 17.  I have come to the conclusion I am hopeless.

Just a little catching up on the garden events.  I took a big chance and planted my garden in March (our last frost date is April 15).  My thoughts were that I have plenty of seeds, the temps are in the 80's and if we have frost again (which I was sure we would have), I could cover my square foot beds.  If I lost everything anyway, I would just replant at the normal time.

I planted everything - Roma bush beans, corn, squash, my tomato plants that had been started from seed & were quite large, and cucumbers.  We had temps in the mid to low 30s for about a week and 2-3 nights of frost, but I used bed sheets & was able to cover everything & DIDN'T LOSE A SINGLE PLANT!

I harvested my first green beans on May 15 and first tomato on May 30th.  The corn is tassling & ears have formed, so we should be eating corn in a week or so.

I could easily have lost everything, but thankfully I didn't.

But there is something weird going on with my  tomato plants:  Out of the 72 plants I have out, only one tomato has turned & ripened.  I guess it got ripe so I could brag about my super-early ripe tomato!

As I have said many times, Square Foot Gardening has many, many advantages.  The Mix, which is 1/3 peat, 1/3 coarse vermiculite and 1/3 blended compost, does not clump so you can plant in the rain if you want to, it doesn't need to dry out like soil, and the raised beds warm up quickly so you can plant earlier.

These pictures are from May 22:

Enjoy your harvest and give thanks to God.  Hopefully I will not be so long between posts (but don't count on it). 

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