Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sunshine on a Wintery Day

After a December of making and eating rich desserts and lavish dinners, it was refreshing to be baking a lemon pie for this month's challenge. As far as my favourite flavours go, I'm hands down a chocolate girl! I love, love, love anything chocolate. I didn't think there was anyone in the world who didn't share my passion until I met my husband. He dislikes chocolate... a lot. To the extent of not liking chocolate chip cookies and who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies!?!. I know, weird!
This is a roundabout way of getting to my point which is that his dislike of chocolate forced me to go outside of my comfort zone into the world of baking with other flavours such as citrus, caramel, vanilla, and ginger. I've loved experimenting more with flavour and along the way have discovered that lemon is pretty amazing in desserts (not as good as chocolate, mind you, but great when you want something that tastes a little lighter or more refreshing.) Lemon tastes like spring to me and lemon meringue pie is a hint of spring to come during these long, grey days of winter following Christmas.

I decided to make mini lemon tarts since they looked so cute and I didn't have a particular occasion that called for a whole pie. I used the food processor method since I normally make the dough with my pastry cutter and I wanted to try something new. I know that Dorie Greenspan uses this method for her tart dough and I had marked that as one of the recipes on my list to try. It all came together quite nicely and very fast too. I formed the shells in medium sized muffin tins. I cut circles so that the dough, when shaped in the muffin cup, came up about halfway on the sides. They baked in about 35 minutes and after cooling to room temperature they came out very easily. The texture was a little sturdier than I like but taste testers compared it favourable to shortbread. I've tried many lemon curd recipes in the past and this one was as good as others I've tried. I was going to have fun with the meringue and experiment with many styles of topping the tarts, but time got away from me and I had to top them quickly before heading to work.
All in all, another successful and satisfying challenge. Thanks to Jenn for a great recipe, to fellow DBers for their tips, tricks and insights on our private blog and to my wonderfully talented friend Christine ( for taking such droolworthy pictures. She is a fabulous photographer and an even better friend! I'm still new to the world of blogging and do more "lurking" around other DBers blogs, enjoying their yummy pics and heartwarming stories, than I do commenting and giving back some of the support that I've been getting by being part of this wonderful group. I'm making a conscious effort to put more of myself out there so I look forward to seeing everyone's beautiful creations this month and Ietting you know how great they are! See you next month - I'm crossing my fingers for a gooey, triple-chocolately Valentine's dessert!


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