Saturday, July 4, 2020

Around here - Lemon Meringue Pie

Last week I asked my friend if she had any spare lemons from her tree as I was going to make some lemon cordial.  I've never made my own cordial before however I wanted to give it ago.  Then a couple of days later I read Beth's latest blog post from on baking with lemons and apples and one of them was Lemon Meringue Pie.
  
I have made plenty of Lime Tarts in my life time and I think I've only ever made one lemon meringue pie and decided I was going to make one using my friends lemons.  It's one of those all day affairs, or should I say half day affair as you need to make the pastry first then let it cool.  Next you make the lemon filling and fill the pie and then put it into the fridge for 3 hours,  Lastly you make the meringue and then bake in the oven for 5 minutes or so.  Overall the time to make each individual thing is no longer than 15 minutes each however it's the time in between that makes up most of it.

I can say it was worth the effort as it was simply delicious.  Beth's recipe uses condensed milk as does my Lime Tart recipe however I used the Lemon Meringue Pie recipe which is in my TM31 Thermomix recipe book.  You could use a food processor to make your pastry and do your lemon filling on the stove top however the following recipe is the Thermomix one.  I found this recipe for you to make the lemon filling on the stove top if you don't have a Thermomix.

SHORT CRUST PASTRY

INGREDIENTS
200gms Plain Flour
100gms Butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon of salt
50-60ml water, chilled

Preheat oven to 200-220 degrees. [400F]
 
Place flour, butter and salt into TM bowl and mix for about 10 seconds on speed 6 until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Set dial to closed lid position.

Add water and knead for 10-20 seconds on interval speed [wheat icon] to from dough.

Add a little more water if necessary to bind.

Turn mixture onto floured board and knead lightly.

Wrap in cling wrap and put in refrigerator for about 15 minutes before rolling out to your desired pie dish size.

Place onto pie dish and trim overhang to 1cm and turn under flush with rim.  Scallop the edge with an inverted teaspoon, pressing down hard for each cut to form the design.  Prick bottom of pastry with fork.  Place baking paper and pie weights over your pie or you could use rice instead to weight it down.

Bake in pre-heated hot oven [200-220 degrees] for 8-12 minutes until golden brown and then allow to cool.

TIPS: Pastry shell will shrink after it cooks and also make sure all sides of pie crust is same height so filling doesn't leak out the sides.  The pie shell needs to be cooled completely before you start making the lemon filling.









INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon of grated lemon rind [I used a micro plane]
300gms sugar
70gms cornflour
pinch of salt
400gms water
4 eggs - room temperature - separated [put egg yolks in one bowl & whites in another]
1/2 cup lemon juice [just a touch under don't fill to top] [or use TM cup/lid and fill]
60gms butter

METHOD

Place grated lemon rind, sugar, cornflour, salt, water and egg yolks into the TM bowl and cook for 10 minutes at 90 degrees on speed 4 until thickened.

Add lemon juice and butter through hole in lid and mix for 1 minute on speed 4.

Pour into cooled pastry shell and cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.

TIP the lemon filling will set immediately like jelly so you can place your cling wrap [plastic wrap] over the pie.  I was thinking it would be like liquid and the cling wrap would stick to it however that's not the case.  



MERINGUE

INGREDIENTS
4 egg whites [which was separated earlier on due to lemon filling]
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
100gms icing sugar

METHOD

Insert "Butterfly" into Thermomix and place egg whites and Cream of Tartar into TM bowl.

Beat without the MC in place for 3-5 minutes at 50 degrees on speed 4 until stiff peaks form.

Add icing sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time through the hole in the lid with the blades rotating on speed 2-3. Take at least 2-3 minutes to incorporate the icing sugar.

Spread the meringue over the entire top of the lemon filling to the pastry edge.

Bake in hot oven for 3-5 minutes until meringue starts to colour slightly.

TIP - I baked my meringue for 5-8 minutes in my oven - just keep an eye on it.  The top is a soft meringue and not like a pavlova so it's not crunchy it's more like marshmallow.






I can highly recommend you make this as it's delicious and worth the effort.  

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Around here - Tiny House Video

I've mentioned before that I love Bryce from New Zealand's "Living Big in a Tiny House" YouTube channel and I watched this video yesterday of this tiny house in NZ with an add on deck and spare room.  This design is incredible and I love that she and her daughter have their own bedroom vs a loft where you are crawling on your knees.  Everything in this tiny home has been thought of carefully and it has a huge big comfy couch with space around it, another thing that can easily be comprised in a tiny house.  This video runs for 22 minutes and you won't want to miss one little bit so grab a coffee and sit and watch it. 


What a wonderful home for her and her 7 year old daughter to live in, not to mention the amazing location.  I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Around here

We've had a little bit of rain this week which has been lovely and we've also had some hot nights for June as well.  I think summer will be here before we know it.  Only one more week of Term 2 until the school holiday and it's strawberry picking time so we are going to go to one of the strawberry farms on the holidays.  The strawberries are expensive, however you can't get much fresher when you pick them yourself and I always consider this as an experience and an outing as well as purchasing the strawberries.  My kids also love the fresh strawberry ice cream and that's all they are talking about at the moment when I mention we are going to the strawberry farm.

This was our first time strawberry picking back in 2014 when the kids were little.  The strawberry industry did it tough in 2018 with most of the crops having to be destroyed costing strawberry growers $12M in losses.  It was absolutely heartbreaking for the growers and the customers.

Here's a few photos from our week.

Not much growing in the garden however I harvested this bowl of cherry tomatoes.
 
This is the Orange Trumpet Plant which flowers May/June although it was a bit late this year.

Tomato ready to be picked.

Some more tomatoes ready to be picked.

The Trumpet Vine.

Home made baked beans.  If you've never made them before I urge to you make this recipe so yummy.

Salmon noodle dish which was quite delicious.

Home made chocolate slice.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Around here - Sheppard - Thank You

I was looking at this beautiful video clip of Brisbane's Band "Sheppard" again this week and I thought I would post it here.  The 3 siblings George, Amy and Emma Sheppard are all in the band and you might know of one of their most famous songs called "Geronimo".  They have all been in ISO together in Brisbane and have been writing and recording songs at home.

On May 8th ahead of Mother's Day the band released the song "Thank You".  Written as a song of gratitude for their amazing Mum Linda and for all the other incredible, generous, selfless, beautiful, strong, loving, super hero Mum's around the world.  Raising a human probably the hardest job there is [and you don't even get paid?] so to all the wonderful Mother's - THANK YOU?

The band said "In May 2020, while planet Earth was locked down during Covid-19 pandemic, making music videos was challenging.  We asked our fans to send in clips of themselves spending time with their Mothers/kids for this music video.  Thanks to everyone who sent in footage.  This one is for our beautiful Mums'.  Happy Mother's Day!"  The above words were part of this article.

I loved the nostalgia feel to the clip and that fans were involved and the song is beautiful.


Here are the words to the song "THANK YOU"

Thank You
When I couldn't fall asleep
You'd read to me
And lay right there at my side
If I grazed a knee
From climbing trees
You'd comfort me as I cried
Made my lunches every day
And though you were running late
You would walk me all the way to school
Building castles out of sand
Way too young to understand
That life was easy all because of you
So I wanna thank you
For making me half as good as you
And as I get older
I understand what I put you through
I misbehaved, I made mistakes
But you never turned away
So I wanna thank you
For all that you do
For all that you do
As a teen, I lied
Ignored advice
Pretended I didn't care
I should let you know
It was all a show
I loved you more than I shared
I put your patience to the test
But you always did your best
You were tough but you...

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Around here - Sandgate

Yesterday afternoon it was low tide at Sandgate which is always good for having a walk on the beach, taking photos and having fish and chips.  The moon last night was AMAZING, so huge and orange and spectacular however moon photos are hard to take and real life is way better, so for now here's a few other pics from our afternoon.











Saturday, June 6, 2020

Around here

What a world we are living in this year which has been off the charts.  As for peaceful protests in America there seems to be more unrest than peace.  Here in Australia whilst everyone has a right to peacefully protest, express their opinions on important matters I am extremely worried about a second wave of Covid-19.  The Prime Minister and Premiers are asking people to stay at home as it is impossible to social distance in a group of 15,000 people which is expected at one of the protests today.  We didn't all shut down for 2-3 months and only have 10 people booking at a cafe for thousands of people to come together in the one place.  It is very sad what has happened over the past couple of weeks and my heart goes out to these causes however Covid-19 does not know a gathering of people together is for a good cause or not, and I can see numbers spiking overseas and here in Australia in the next couple of weeks.  I think if there has to be a second shut down it will be more damaging than the first.

NSW went to the High Court to get the protest banned due to health issues which was granted.  It wasn't about banning the protest for the protests sake, it was purely about the health and stopping the potential spread of this invisible deadly disease.  I'm afraid only time will tell how this all pans out as NSW will be protesting regardless of the High Court Decision.  Apparently 15 minutes before the protest the High Court overturned the Governments Health directive with an appeal and the march was going ahead legally.  Everything in lock down was done via the web, surely they could have come up with a safer constructive way to support these important causes.  Now that is out of the way I thought I would post some links for you.

I have been following Hopewood Home and her beautiful bespoke quilts she makes and sells from her cattle property in South West Queensland.  She is now selling a pattern to make a baby quilt or a throw quilt with instructions.

Have you seen the ads on TV for "Dear Australia" for people to send in letters about their time in lockdown for the Australian National Archives.  I think I might write one myself and send it off as an important time in history.

Check out this amazing tiny house in Brisbane [I think from memory] Megan designed the kitchen and it's stunning for a tiny house.  Check out all the hidden wall storage that Colin built it's amazing.  This video is 19 minutes long.


And this one too is amazing I love watching these videos.  This video is 18 minutes long.


Gillian from Tales from a Happy Home does beautiful embroidery and usually does a sampler of their holidays.  She has done an ISO sampler and it's amazing, go check it out.  This is her Instagram Account if you would like to follow it.

Bess is from Brisbane and has started doing embroidery and is now selling a rainbow pattern and starter kits as embroidery has really taken off when everyone was in lockdown. 

Hope everyone stays safe and has a good week. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Around here

Last week we had the most beautiful sunset and everyone in Brisbane was talking about it and posting photos.  Here is a picture with no filter or Lightroom edits, just standing in front of my house looking over our roof to the back.  It was so pretty and everywhere you looked was pink and purple and it was amazing.  


I'm a chocolate lover from way back and we all know the better quality the chocolate the better it is for you.  I know they say that 80-90% cocoa is better for you however I find that too bitter for my liking and not sweet at all which is probably why you can only eat one square at a time instead of the whole block.  While I am trying not to buy chocolate from the shops I do need to have a chocolate treat in the freezer so I can have something that is more wholefoods than chemicals.  Dr Libby's Brain Balls are what I've had in the freezer over the past two months and I'll have one in the evening if I feel like chocolate.  They are called brain balls because they have walnuts in them and the walnuts look like brains.

Today I found this recipe and as I had all the ingredients on hand I made some "Coconut Rough" using this "Cacao Rough" recipe.  It's super easy to make as you put everything into a food processor or Thermomix and mix for 5 seconds then press into a small lined tray and pop it into the freezer.  The recipe is also listed below because if I don't put it on my blog and years later I just have the link and the website is shut down or no longer around I end up loosing the recipe.  I know I have a lot of recipes and links on my blog so I make sure I actually type it up as well so I have it forever.

CACAO ROUGH [AKA GOLDEN ROUGH] [from Well Nourished Blog]

INGREDIENTS
  • 100gms almond meal [1 cup]
  • 30gms cacao powder [1/4 cup]
  • 85gms rice malt syrup [1/4 cup] - you could also use maple syrup or honey
  • 50gms shredded coconut [1 cup]
  • 100gms coconut oil [1/2 cup] - make sure this is in liquid form or melt to achieve liquid
  • 20gms chia seeds [1/4 cup] - this is optional however I put them in as they are good for you
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or essence

METHOD
  1. Place all the ingredients into Thermomix on Speed 4 for 5 seconds or use a food processor to combine.
  2. Press the mix into a small lined tray and then place in freezer.
  3. Once set, remove from the tin and chop into little squares.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
As I love Mint Patties and Golden Roughs [or anything chocolate] I made the "Cacao Rough" and I have to say it's pretty nice.  I cut the slice up into 2cm x 2cm squares [3/4 of an inch] and popped them back into the freezer in a container as this way when I want a little chocolate fix I'm not eating rubbish chocolate.  When you eat sugar you want more sugar however if you are eating wholefoods you don't get that sugar high and crash and addiction to eat 10 more mint patties.  I didn't take a picture of my Cacao Rough however it looks just like the picture on the recipe.  I can highly recommend it and it only took 5 minutes to get the ingredients out and make it.  If you have never seen "That Sugar Film" you need to watch it.


Let me know if you make this little treat.  It's not the same as the Nestle Golden Rough however it hits the spot and even better knowing it's additive and preservative free too.

Here's another photo from the sunset last week looking down to the bottom of our street.