Wednesday, December 21, 2011

mini lemon meringue pies a la Tea Salon


Has anyone ever asked you, "Do you prefer sweet or savoury?". Well, no one has ever asked me, but it's a hypothetical question I occasionally think about. After much deliberation, I think I prefer savoury/salty because it's so much easier to over-indulge in the sweet stuff, and I have zero will-power. Which is why I try not to make too many desserts here at Ooh, Look... except for now!

As if we will not be getting enough sugar at Christmas (bring it on!), I thought I'd try this delightful, quick dessert from the equally delightful Stonesoup blog.  While it took me a bit longer than the suggested 15 minutes to make these little lemon meringue pies, they were more than worth it for the amazing, tangy lemon 'cream' under a fluffy pillow of soft, lightly toasted meringue.

Oh, and to finish off, here's another question: Have you ever seen a bloke having high tea at a Tea Salon? I'm thinking of a particular place (the Victoria Room Tea Salon at Westfield Sydney) that is 'artfully framed by a curved picket fence and cheery blooms, [a] whimsical English-inspired tea salon', according to its website. Every time I pass by, it's full of ladies enjoying dainty sandwiches and scones and cups of tea. I've yet to spot any blokes there. But if they serve cuties like these, then I'm sure there would be a long queue of guys waiting to sink their fangs into a mini lemon meringue pie.

Lemon meringue pies
makes 8

Ingredients
100g (3 1/2oz) shortbread biscuits (about 6 Arnott's Scotch Fingers)
3 eggs, separated
1 can  (400g/14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
55g (2oz) caster sugar


Method
1. Preheat oven to 170C/340F. Line 8 holes of a muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Finely crush the biscuits in a food processor or with a rolling pin. Press the crumbs into the base of the muffin cases.
3. Combine the egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then gradually sprinkle in the caster sugar and continue to beat for a few more minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Pour the lemon filling on top of the crumb bases
6. Spoon the eggwhites on top of the lemon filling.
7. Bake for 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden. Cool before serving.
Store in an airtight container (not in the refrigerator) for up to 2 days.

recipe adapted from thestonesoup.com

Some of the ingredients, including lemons, condensed milk, eggs and Scotch Finger biscuits.

Smash up the bikkies and press into muffin cases. To make the crumbs stick together more, you could mix in a couple of tablespoons of melted butter before pressing into the cases.
Amazingly, condensed milk plus egg yolks plus lemon produces a delicious lemon curd.

Whip up the eggwhites and dollop onto the lemon filling.

Golden brown from the oven.
My oven is super-hot, so to stop them browning too quickly, I turned the oven off after 5 minutes and left the pies in the oven for the remaining 5 mins, to firm up the filling.

Very pretty pies, worthy of a tea salon

If you like, serve with fresh raspberries to counteract the sweetness

A perfectly cute dessert

18 comments:

  1. These are soooo cute! Love them...they look really delicious and fun! :)

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  2. They look great! Can't believe how simple your lemon curd is. Something I've definitely got to try :)

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  3. Yup, for me it's savoury over sweet and yes, I have seen many guys at the Tea Salon. I wonder if they were dragged there?
    I can't believe how simple that lemon curd is in this dainty little numbers!

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  4. I definitely love sweet more but I also have no self control. It's a problem at times. :P

    These look delicious! Lemony desserts always hit the spot for me.

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  5. I am savoury and sweet. Ahhh I can't decide, I want it all! What I want right now is one of those gorgeous little pies to have with my afternoon tea!

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  6. Ooh are those the cute lil Donna Hay cupcake liners? I just bought some of those to give to someone! :)

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  7. Bel they look devine. So simple and tasty. I love Lemon Meringue Pies...

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  8. I love lemon desserts, and these little lemon meringue treats are perfect...and so easy to make.
    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones Bel :-)

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  9. The meringue looks wonderfully delicate and light. As for the Tea Salon, I see a guy every time I walk by eating dainty sandwiches, the things you do for love :)

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  10. I can never answer that question. Even if I have sweet, I follow it with a chunk of cheese haha. These look so fab :D

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  11. Scotch Finger and lemon Mmmm! This sounds like a great combination!

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  12. Ooh, I love the individual size and the heavy dollup of meringue on top! Looks delish! Wishing you a very wonderful holiday season!

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  13. They look amazing. I like those finger biscuits too.

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  14. The lemon curd sounds wonderfully simple. My mum makes a lemon and orange chiffon pie which has a similar filling. The pies look lovely surrounded by raspberries!

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  15. These look great - I think I might attempt them this weekend for a beach picnic! Thanks for the recipe :)

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  16. Oh these little pies look so yummy! I love lemony desserts!

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  17. These look awesome, and I would go to a tearoom in a flash, being a bloke ;)
    Take care

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