Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Limoncello Meringue Pies

I got a wonderful book for my birthday last year - The Australian Women's Weekly High Tea. It is full of wonderful treats, and I have made a number of the goodies out of it.

I had a number of lemons that I needed to use up, so I decided to make these cute little limoncello pies. The limoncello curd filling was easy to make. Whisk together 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup caster sugar until pale and thick. Whisk in 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest and stir over a saucepan of simmering water until the mixture coats the back of a spoon (12 minutes). Remove from the heat and and gradually whisk in 90g of cold butter until combined. Stir in 1 tablespoon of limoncello and chill.

The rest was really straightforward, although time consuming. I only had one 12-hole mini muffin tin; the process would have been much quicker if I had another tin. Basically, you make a sweet short pastry that you press into the mini muffin pan and chill. Then bake the cases until golden and cool.

Make a meringue with egg whites and caster sugar. Spoon the limoncello curd into the tarts and top with a swirl of meringue. Pop it into a hot oven and cook until the meringue is just set.

These were so, so delicious. I couldn't stop eating them! Yum! Even though these are a little more fiddly to make, they are totally worth making.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

More pumpkin muffins

I made pumpkin soup for dinner the other night. Super easy - put the raw pumpkin, potato, onion, stock and a few spices (cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper) into the slow cooker and left it for the day. (As I have mentioned before, I love my slow cooker!) Just before tea, I got out my stick blender to turn it into soup. It was so tasty, with a nice spicy bite to it from the cayenne.

We had the leftover soup for lunch today, but I had a bowl extra that I didn't want to chill and reheat again. I decided to try and use it. Because I made the soup quite savoury, I thought sweet muffins wouldn't quite work. So, after a quick google, I decided to make Pumpkin and Cheese Muffins

What a find! These muffins are beautiful! Such a wonderful light texture and so super tasty. The recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but I had Edam in the fridge and it worked. The uncooked mixture was a little more dry than I expected or am used to.

The finished product though, was pretty close to perfect. I will certainly make these again, and I don't think you would need to be restricted to pumpkin. Curried kumara would be a good one to try. My soup was quite thick, so you would need to ensure that whatever puree you used wasn't too runny. If using pumpkin, I think you could substitute the cheese for feta, and add some spinach. If adding spinach, I would make sure the spinach didn't add too much liquid. Yum. I will do some more experimenting and let you know how I get on.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Pumpkin muffins

I had excess pumpkin that needed using up this weekend. I roasted and mashed it and then had to decide what to do. So, I decided to try muffins.

I used a really basic recipe; dry ingredients of wholemeal flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, brown sugar, walnut pieces and wet ingredients of butter, oil, the mashed pumpkin, milk and eggs.

The result? Yum. A lovely texture, nice and moist with good flavour. The roasted pumpkin (as opposed to boiled or microwaved) gives a much nuttier taste which I really like.

I topped the muffins with cinnamon sugar, made with raw sugar. Yum