Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sweet 'n sour

Sour ...
~ the respiratory issues in this family would make one think we live in an asbestos box. Husband and Child's coughs persist and my good news this morning is that I've chronic sinusitis, need antibiotics and have been issued a cortisone asthma pump for the duration of winter.
~ at exactly 6pm on Saturday evening Stella started screaming. It lasted for half an hour. The next night for an hour. The psychological wounds left from Frieda's 3 months of colic painfully re-opened.
~ Frieda's tantrums (which I've not had the heart to blog out yet) have become so ridiculously based on nothing that she had a 45-minute-verging-on-autistic meltdown recently because I didn't fold a baby blanket to her exacting specifications.
~ the custardy filling on the super delicious lemon tart we made this weekend.

Sweet ...
~ we celebrated Stella's one month birthday on Sunday.
~ the meringue topping on aforementioned lemon tart.
~ due to my bad health I qualified to receive one of the last remaining flu vaccines in the country. Score!
~ the only reason we had a second child (besides the whole duty sibling thing) was because we'd heard about a local pharmacy's homebrew colic 'miracle cure' and get this: it works!
~ being reminded of heart-meltingly divine things about babies such as the tiniest balls of fluff which hide in the hollow between their thumbs and forefingers.
~ Frieda's endless games in which I'm Mummy Chicken/Dinosaur/Rabbit/Wildebeest, she's Big Sister Chicken/Dinosaur etc etc and Stella is Baby Sister Chicken ... yada yada yada - she's a complete Jekyll and Hyde child at the moment, but when she's the good one (I momentarily forget which is which), she's divine.

And as for that tart ... the recipe calls it Marie-Therese Amichaud-Debize's Lemon Tart which is just fucking pretentious. I prefer to call it -
The Very Nice Lemon Tart which is Not Lemon Meringue No Matter How Much Husband Insists that it Is.
Or something like that.
Here goes ...

Basic blind-baked shortcrust pastry (buy it, make it - Marie-Therese would probably give a rat's ass, I don't)

Lemon Custard Filling:
Beat together juice of 2 lemons, 2 cups milk, 4 tbsp castor sugar, 2 tbsp cake flour, 1 tbsp cornflour, 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg.
The recipe says heat over a bain-marie but you know what? I cooked this in the microwave (shock! horror!), zapping it for 30 seconds at a time and whisking well inbetween until custard thickened.

Let custard cool a bit then pour into pie crust.

Beat 2 egg whites with 6 tbsps of castor sugar, spread over the top and bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You could grill it a bit too if you'd like the meringue to darken significantly.

I can't explain exactly why it's not traditional Lemon Meringue. The lemony layer is not as tart as usual, more a velvety custard, and the meringue is not intended to be very light and fluffy, just a nice sweet topping. And while I'll always be a huge fan of LM, this was a nice alternative and much quicker to make (what with the cough, microwaving 'n all).
Either way, Stella loved it and that's what counts right?


Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

I'm so glad you've found sweetness.

My sour: headlice. again. wondering if another blog post about the bugs would be overkill...such is my life this week.

I'm going to make a divine lemon tart to balance things out. Thanks for posting the recipe.

:)ps- My husband is in my ear about "the next baby" already. Can this colic remedy be shipped overseas??

Heather Moore said...

Oh boy. Sounds like hard work over there! Hope the sweetness beats the sourness. xx