Friday, May 25, 2012

Lemon Pie Tartlets

Mini.  Petite.  Itty bitty.  Lemon pies.
Two bites.  Three if you're a lady.  One if you are my husband.  These are seriously delicious.  And the cuteness factor takes them right over the top.

Start with a pie crust.  Use your favorite recipe or buy one from the store.  I won't judge.  I like to use my grandmother's recipe.  Want to hear a little story?  I decided when I was in graduate school that I wanted to master the ever elusive perfectly flaky pie crust.  I made a pie every week for a year! True story.  That was the same year my husband proposed.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Practice makes perfect ladies (and gents)! 

Have you discovered the magic of a rolling mat?  These are pure genius.  It's basically just a square of canvas.  Mine is serged around the edges and has some printing on it.  But, really plain old canvas fabric would work.  If you don't have one, you should make yourself one.  It takes your pie crust to a whole new level.  Mostly because you don't need as much flour to keep your dough from sticking to the counter.  Sprinkle a bit of flour onto your rolling mat or your work surface.  Now roll out your dough like you normally would.

In my mind, I pictured a little hand held pie that looked like a flower--a delicious edible flower!  So, I used my flower shaped cookie cutter and cut out as many as I could.  The dough for one normal sized pie crust made twelve little flowers.

Now for the fun part.  We need to make those flowers into cups to hold all of that lemony goodness.  I used the back of my mini-bundt cake pan.  A muffin pan works just as well.  Turn you pan over and lay your flower on top of one of the cups.

Gently make three pleats or folds into the flower to shape it around the cup.  That's it!  Now repeat with the rest of the flowers.

 Brush your flowery crusts lightly with an egg white wash.  Then sprinkle with a pinch of sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool just for a minute or two.

Gently remove the mini pie crusts from the pan and allow them to completely cool on a cooling rack.

These little flower pie crusts are extremely versatile.  You can fill them with just about anything that floats your boat.  Put a thin slice of banana in the bottom and top with a scoop of vanilla pudding for a miniature banana cream pie.  Do you prefer chocolate pudding?  We tried it.  We loved it!  This time I went with lemon.  Homemade lemon curd to be exact.  And a garnish of whipped cream. 

You definitely don't want to forget the whipped cream.  Unless...

You'd rather have meringue!!

Just whip up 2 egg whites with 2 teaspoons of water.  Whip until stiff peaks form.  Then with your beaters still going, slowly add 4 tablespoons of sugar.  Your finished product will be shiny and beautiful.  Spoon or pipe onto your little pies.  Broil for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

Now go make some of these and hold a little bit of summer in your hand!

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