Tag Archives: freezing egg yolks

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

First, let me say – this was a practice!

I have wanted to make this dish for a while, and was actually waiting for a blowtorch (which I have not so secretly let it be known I would like for Mothers’ Day) but today just felt like a lemon meringue pie day to me.  So here it is.  It will be the second time I’ve had lemon meringue pie this week – sinful!

I’m going to start off all grumpy.  I am so fed up with gelatine manufacturers!  All I want is someone to write on their packets what strength the gelatine is, and it seems impossible.  I googled, I went to the manufacturers website, I even got someone else to read the packet it case it was domestic blindness.  It seems I’m not the only person to suffer gelatine rage…just google it!  And the mathematical equation I was given to work out what strength gelatine was not going to work – being numerically challenged anything that involves square root calculations was going to throw me into a meltdown.  So today I’ve used the Gelita sheet gelatine and I hope it’s gold strength, otherwise the curd is either going to be like a rubber bullet or won’t keep its form when it’s plated up.  So, it’s just as well this is just a run of the mill Sunday dinner, or I’d be stressing!

I made the crumb first – which is sort of like shortbread crumb, which you bake AS a crumb.  As I’m typing this, I can look over the kitchen bench and see a lamington tray full of delicious golden crumbs containing almond meal, butter, sugar and flour.  I’ve already sneaked a few and they taste really good!  The leftovers will keep for a little while in an airtight container, so maybe if I don’t eat them all in the next week or so, I might be able to utilise the new blowtorch and not have to make the crumb part of the recipe again.

The lemon curd is a cinch.  I make it regularly in the thermomix, using the recipe from the Everyday Cookbook. It makes the quickest, easiest lemon tart ever – it’s become a family favourite in this house!  This recipe is richer in its egg content and because this is only a practice run, I used frozen egg yolks that I had on hand.  I’d frozen them before I knew the trick about freezing yolks, so they were a little bit thick, so I just blitzed the curd at the end of cooking for about 20 seconds to break up any big egg-yolky bits.  We’ll see if that works once I taste it later on.

I’m not going to make the meringue until I am just about to serve it… but I’m nervous!  The only thing that I’m never fond of is beating egg whites in the thermomix – I usually use my hand held electric beater for it.  The electric beater is the only appliance I still have in my kitchen since I bought my thermomix, and it gets an airing only occasionally.  You know how egg whites can be temperamental at the best of times?  I’m just scared I won’t have cleaned something properly and the egg whites will collapse, but as this is the test run, I’m going to be brave and try it.  And guess what?  It worked perfectly.  This is an Italian Meringue, so it’s cooked,  then piped, and then either grilled or blowtorched. I did make sure that the thermomix bowl was really, really clean before I put the egg whites in, and I think that definitely helped.  I’ve seen that in Dani’s pavlova recipe, they actually recommend cleaning the bowl before you start.

The meringue was a hit.  One family member who shall remain nameless was seen piping the left over meringue straight into his mouth from the piping bag.  And there was a fight over the big bits of the crumb…so I guess you could class this recipe as a success!

When I make it again with my new blowtorch, I’ll be a bit more careful about the size of the tray I pour the lemon curd in to, or use a smaller shape to cut out the curd.  I wasn’t thinking and although I cut my shapes close together, I could only get 4 of the scone cutter shapes out of my 20×20 cm square tin.  If I needed more than 4 serves, I would have been stuck, so make sure you check what size cutter you’re using and the shape of the dish you’re going to pour your lemon curd in to.

As for the lemon curd, I could still see little bits of yolk flecked through the mix, so next time I’ll use fresh egg yolks.  It tasted fine.  I’ll also use a little less of the gelatine, as it was an ok consistency, but I would have preferred something a little less firm.  I’m not sure if blitzing the curd at the last minute to get rid of the egg yolky bits added too much air, but next time I’ll bang the dish with the curd in it a few times on the bench before I popping it in the fridge, as mine was a little bubbly.

When I make it for real next time, I’ll also make a raspberry coulis to serve with it, for some added colour on the plate.


Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Sweet Things


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Steamed Raspberry Puddings with Jam and Custard

Firstly, apologies for the photos…I had to resort to using my phone after running my camera out of batteries after being snap-happy at a wedding two weeks ago – and I only recharged it today.

These little puddings looked fabulous in Dani’s book, and I’ve always been a sucker for raspberries – they are actually my favourite berry. I’d never made jam but had heard it was a snap in the thermomix, and it was!

I’m actually quite a baker most of the time, but I must admit that I don’t really make most of my batters in the thermomix itself.  I’m not sure why – it might be that I get to see what the batter is doing when I used the old hand held mix master, and I think somehow it gives you a better feel for what’s happening with the mix, and what it needs more or less of. Anyway, I thought I’d give this a try.  We had the usual Sunday family dinner so it’s always the perfect opportunity for me to get the recipes taste tested!

The Jam

As I mentioned, it’s the first time I have ever made jam.  I must have read about it though, as something in the back of my mind was telling me to scrape off the ‘scum’ for want of a better word, at the top of the jam during it’s cooking.  I didn’t, and the jam I made, although really tasty, had a frothy film on the top.  It was fine to use in the dariole moulds as the jammy sauce for the pudding as I knew it would be reheated and melt down again, but if you were making and preserving it, you’d definitely want to get rid of it as it just doesn’t look good.

I used frozen raspberries for the jam, and they were fine.  I looked high and low for pectin in the supermarket, and ended up buying something called Jamsetta.  It’s been around for years, and I thought it was pectin, but the labelling threw me a little – it says “Jamsetta – with Pectin” so I wasn’t sure if it was all pectin or just part pectin.  Anyway, I used the amount suggested in the recipe – 1 tablespoon (to my 300 grams of sugar, and 300 grams of raspberries) and it worked fine – if anything, a little too set for my liking – but I like my jam a bit runny.

The Steamed Puddings

Steamed puddings are pretty easy to make, but I’ve always found them a bit of hassle, worrying that things will boil dry and whatnot.  These were so easy to make.  I used dariole moulds for the puddings.  If I had my time again, I’d mix the butter first, even if it’s at room temperature, and I would use normal white sugar instead of the raw sugar I usually use – or use raw sugar, put that in first and blitz it for a few seconds to fine it up a little. I think it would make the butter and sugar mix a little less grainy. I also found that I needed to get the spatula out a few times to push down the butter and sugar mix, so keep your eye on it.

Naturally, I must have been in a hurry when I was reading the recipe, and didn’t see there was actually a measurement for how much jam you should use in the recipe.  I didn’t see that till later and thought it was going to be a nightmare getting the jam out of the moulds and working out how much more or less to put in… until I had a brainwave!  One of the most marvellous things about the thermomix is the built in scale.  So, I put the varoma basket on top, put one of the empty dariole moulds on it, and weighed it.  Then I just put on the ones that I had put the jam into on the tray individually, and I could work out how much jam was in each.  As it was, I had only put in about half as much as the recipe suggested, so I topped them all up.

The puddings rise quite a bit during the steaming, so don’t overfill the moulds.  I did as suggested and topped them up to about three quarters full, and put the greaseproof paper (buttered) discs on top.  I’d probably make them bigger than the beautifully cut out circles I did, as they looked lovely, but were hard to peel off! When I covered the moulds with the aluminium foil I covered some completely, and others I just covered the tops and pressed it in at the sides to about half the way down the side.  Uses a lot less foil, and there was no discernible    difference in the puddings.

Once you get the puddings out – they are very, very hot.  So wear gloves or use tongs to get the foil off, or let them cool down while you are making the custard.

I had to run a knife around the inside of the moulds just to loosen them a bit, but they all came out beautifully (well, except one – that one was mine ;-))

The Custard

When I first looked at the recipe I thought 6 egg yolks was a huge amount!  I’m quite a pavlova maker, so I always have lots of egg yolks left over and often freeze them…and then throw them out, as I can never find things I want to make that have egg yolks in them, so this was perfect!  As I was thawing the egg yolks, I noticed they looked REALLY thick, and I wondered if I’d done something wrong. So I turned to google, and it turns out that when you freeze egg yolks, you need to add something to them to prevent them going thick and gooey when you defrost them…. who knew?!?  Anyway, I am pleased to report that I used the unadulterated egg yolks in the custard and they worked just fine.

Check out this link if you want to see what you might be doing wrong when you’re freezing egg yolks!

Custard – good custard – is one of the best things about a thermomix! No stirring! And it comes out beautifully every single time.  The thick custard in this recipe is lovely, I don’t recall ever making a custard with 6 egg yolks before, and I knew it would be rich, and it was.  The vanilla extract I used (and I always use the paste if I haven’t got real vanilla beans to scrape out) left lovely little black vanilla specks all the way through the custard.  Delicious!

I know the custard was good, because my son was just having some yoghurt now with his lunch, and he asked me for “more custard!”.


Posted by on April 4, 2012 in Sweet Things


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