Basic Meringues (recipe)

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Meringues have a reputation of being rather difficult to work with. You have to beat the egg-white and sugar mixture until it’s impossibly stiff with a satin-y sheen. However, when creating these little treats over the weekend, I found them to be rather forgiving, and an easy thing to pop into the oven and forget about for three hours. (Yes, three hours. I’m not kidding in the slightest.)

A note on the sugar – I reduced it substantially from the original recipe, going on the rule that each egg-white requires 1/4C of sugar. Because I refuse to put 2+ cups of sugar in a meringue. That’s insane.
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Plus, they don’t spread, so you can pack as many as humanly possible into a baking sheet. Like above.
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adapted from this recipe

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:1]

Lemon Raspberry Curd

This is my second confession: I am sadly addicted to making curd. You all are gonna have to just *coughdealcough* put up with me for the time being.

This curd is a gorgeous orange color from the raspberries. I used fresh berries, pushed through a strainer – I feel this allows for a more concentrated juice. You’re welcome to add a bit more sugar/honey, but I found the curd to be lovely without the additional overpowering sweetness. But then again, I’m currently off of sugar, so it may not taste that sweet to you. Still, give it a go.

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Lemon Raspberry Curd

based on this recipe from 101 Cookbooks

1/2 cup of lemon juice {fresh squeezed juice – use 1 cup and simmer down to concentrate the flavor}

5 tablespoons unsalted butter {room temp}

1/4 cup honey or 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks {room temp}

2 large eggs {room temp}

1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed raspberry juice

1 tablespoon thinned vanilla extract {half extract and half filtered water. You may use a ratio with more extract if you’d like but I preferred not to overwhelm the flavor of the fruit juices}

 

Cream butter in a medium stainless steel bowl. Add sugar, and beat both till fluffy and light. Add yolks and eggs (one at a time), beating well after each addition. Stir (do not beat) in the salt, then slowly stir in lemon juice, raspberry juice, and thinned vanilla extract, working in each addition.

Use a small saucepan filled 1/3 of the way with water along with your stainless steel bowl to create a makeshift double-broiler. Bring water to a simmer and place bowl of curd on top. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes (make sure you’re heating the curd slowly enough that the granulated sugar, if used, will dissolve). When curd begins to thicken and coat your spoon, pull it off the heat. (For accuracy, the temperature reading would be 158F-166F.) After pulling it off the heat, stir it for about another minute, then separate the stainless bowl from the saucepan. Allow curd to cool (as it does so, it will thicken quite a bit).

If you ended up with lumps (you shouldn’t), feel free to strain it. Keep refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to a month. This curd is yummy both warm and cold, but it will be much thicker once refrigerated for a few hours.

 

Happy Tuesday, friends!

 

Ginger Grapefruit Curd (recipe)

I think this curd is one of my favorite addictions. I made it over the weekend, after seeing the fantastic recipe on 101 Cookbooks. The lovely thing about Heidi’s recipe is that it includes a substitute for sugar (honey).

{If you didn’t know, I’m fasting from sugar this Lent. Today, they had brownies at work. Torture, I tell you. Torture.)

In short, you need to try this curd. Immediately. It’s exotic, but is fantastic on anything. I would recommend it on flatbreads, but use it like you’d use any sweet topping.

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For directions and ingredients, follow the link to 101 Cookbooks.

HS: I simmer my grapefruit juice here so it reduces and concentrates (I do this with any citrus curd I make). The flavor of the curd is better, the color deeper. That said…

Have a lovely Tuesday, my friends!

Apple Nut Muffins (recipe)

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Whenever I’m watching the two little girls in the morning, I try to whip up something yummy for breakfast. This recipe of muffins splits perfectly into a half-dozen, and can easily be doubled for a large breakfast crowd.

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Ingredients 

1 egg

3/4 cup of milk

1 medium apple (pared and chopped)

1/2 vegetable oil

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 ground cinnamon

Topping Ingredients 

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped nuts

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put paper inserts into muffin tin. Mix flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon together. In a separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, apple, and oil. Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry. Fill muffin cups to about 3/4 full. Mix the topping (sugar, nuts and cinnamon) together. Spoon onto tops of muffins before baking. Bake until golden brown for about 18-20 minutes. Immediately remove from pan after baking.

reprinted from Betty Crocker Cookbook, circa 1979-

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Between you and me, I actually forgot to put the apples in, but they were still delicious. I’m sure they’d be even better with the apples. 🙂