Saturday, March 13, 2010

weekend baking endeavors.

lately i've been taking a lot of recipes from this Nicole's Baking Bites 

Today's was her Lemon Chess Pie.

I mean why not?
I had frozen lemon juice that I needed to use up, eggs, and graham crackers!

Well, it turns out I only had 3 normal graham crackers left and i did NOt want to use my cinnamon graham crackers for a pie crust.. SO I looked up normal pie crusts.
Then, I decided, why go thru all the trouble for a pie crust when I can just make lemon chess bars.
So i looked up a few lemon bar recipes and realized they were all around the same idea:
2 cups flour, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup butter.

This is why america's fat people.

I decided to use up the rest of my graham crackers which made around 2/3 C and filled the rest with flour.
Then around 3/4 C powdered sugar and 3/4 C butter.

Mixed the dry ingredients while the butter melted in the microwave.
To save an extra pan, I simply mixed everything inside the baking dish since it has so much butter in it, it wouldn't stick!  Even though I cut out 1/4 of the butter, I still had way too much butter.

Oh and because ANONYMOUS roommate used the pie pan and didn't bring it back >:O I had to use a casserole dish.  that's okay, otherwise I would've had even more too much crust.  (that was not English, I know).

So then, I made it more of a tart rather than a bar since there was enough "bar" to push against the sides of my non-buttered casserole dish.

Then began to preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Then separated 4 eggs..  put the yolks into the bowl where I melted my butter and put my whites into a separate bowl.  To all you noobs out there; not even a SMIDGEN of yolk should be in your whites.  or any other type of fat.  Otherwise, your whites will NOT stiffen and form peaks!!

I say this because a teeeeny piece of yellow fell into the white, so I had to fish it out patiently with a fork.  by the time i was done, I deemed the oven hot enough to put the pie crust in to par bake.  (that means bake before you add stuff into the shell)

and in the bowl where I melted my butter, I wisked 2/3 C sugar, 2 Tb melted butter, and 4 egg yolks.
added 1/2 C lemon juice, 1 tsp of zest (eyeballed it), 3/4 tsp vanilla (eyeballed it), 1/4 tsp of salt (just a pinch), and abouuut 3/8 C flour (supposed to be 2 Tbs. eh oh well).. just eyeballed the amount in my 1/4C holder..

whisk whisk whisk.
Oh while adding ingredients, keep an eye on the time -- the shell should only be inside 10-15 minutes.  Of course when you have a bad oven with a live wire where everything is in Celsius, you have to play it by ear.  and sort of hope things turn out okay.

then with the 4 egg whites I BEAT ITTTTT..  and it formed foamy slight peaks. not huge stiff ones.  I think it's because of that piece of cholesterol that slipped its yellow self into my sea of whites. boo.

Afterwards, gently whisked it into my yellows mixture.  You should be gentle so you don't kill the volume of the whites.  but make sure it's all incorporated so no whites show.

Then poured it into my pie crust (that I took out minutes before; didn't have a chance to cool; wasn't even super done because my oven was too low).

Then because my oven is weird, I covered the top with aluminum and turned it on higher so that the bottom would cook.  (worried about my crust).  You're supposed to bake it at 350 F degrees for 30-35 min.

I baked it for.. I hope around that many degrees (Celsius is hard!) for about 25 min, then took off the aluminum, lowered the heat a little and kept it in there for 20 minutes more.

Then take it out, let it rest for around 15-20 minutes (that's when I did my book list) and thennnnn yeah!
you're done!

took some pictures.

it was SOUR! but GOOD.  I liked the hints of graham  cracker in that crust and I looove sour things.  It wasn't pucker your mouth sour but the lemon flavor was strong enough to taste.  That's what I get for cutting the sugar the recipe calls for virtually in half.  anyway, I liked it.

I think it's a pretty dessert since the whites separate from the lemon custard part in the middle.

Thankful for being in TW where I can bake, and where I have so many southern influences around me so that if I see a southern recipe, i recognize it for what it is!  The Lemon Chess Pie is very similar to Buttermilk Pie in consistency I believe.  It's actually sort of similar to a lemon meringue, now that I think about it.


speaking about pies, there's a Pie truck/van that drives around Taipei.
It's mega deliciosos~!

Oh Recipe for the ACTUAL lemon chess pie:

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