Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Strawberry Lemon Meringue Pie... A great kick off to Summer!

Strawberries.. Wine.. A warm Summer Night.. Cozy Patio.  *sigh* (Is it bad I have Deanna Carter’s “Strawberry Wine” running through my head as I typed that sentence?!)   I love this time of year.  Not too hot, but after the day is done you come inside feeling  just a lil’ sunkissed.  It’s amazing how motivating good weather is!  How much one can get done when the music  is playing.. windows open.. and sun is shining in.  I even remembered to water my plants on my patio! Which leads me back to Strawberries.  SO FAR this spring/summer.. I have had 2 small success in the “green thumb” column.  Basil/Herb planter AND now my Hanging basket of Strawberries! The berries are ripening up perfectly…as in more than one, basket is heavy with the young berries!!  YIPPEE!  Enter food craving.  Anything  Strawberry.  Being how there was an upcoming Birthday Celebration at the office… I thought that I’d forgo the traditional Birthday cake.. and go with this.  Strawberry Lemon Meringue Pie.

I decided to throw together 2 of my favorite things.  Lemon Meringue and fresh strawberries.   HOW DO YOU GO WRONG!?  And being it is a said someone’s bday at the office.. it was the perfect “reason” – (I won’t use the word excuse)… to make up this pie to share.  I have come to terms that there will be times now that I won’t be able to always have a ready and willing taste tester on hand.  That Kenzie & Wylie can only provide so much assistance taste testing… (please don’t ask their thoughts, as I’m sure they would tell you they are more than capable to step in as official tasters)…  ANYWAYS – whether it’s me.  The office team.  Or whomever I am able to recruit *hint hint*.  I need to keep cooking..baking..and enjoying whatever food craving comes my way.  J
Things that I am learning:  Life is weird. Timing is everything.  A good healthy life takes effort.  Sometimes… the best thing you can do after a long day, is pour yourself a glass of wine, get into some comfy clothes, and go ahead and make that new recipe.  BBQ up that yummy steak you bought, and were saving in case you were cooking for a crowd…heck – you’ll have lunch tomorrow…. But most importantly learn how to just live, and feel blessed for what you DO have in life. Be Happy.  Go for that extra kilometer on that run you really didn't “feel like” doing.  Don’t worry if you don’t have the entire day planned out.  Sometimes the best days are the last minute plans… or the even better ones are ones where you didn't even get fully dressed for the day and just went with what felt right.     Maybe that’s why I’m going to focus on bringing this lil’ blog adventure of mine back to life.  I ENJOY it.  I like hearing how people have tried out the recipes.. I enjoy sitting back, firing up the lap top and sharing.   Friday night was a perfect example of the above… last minute invite to friends BBQ turned into Kenzie experiencing her first “camp fire”.. backyard or not…great friends, awesome dinner and topped off with us sitting around a fire.   It was the perfect summer night.
I was also fortunate enough to have tickets to go see Wicked – at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Again, good friends, great  (albeit quick dinner), and in general a "stress free" - casual and fun evening out on the town. The fact that it is a phenomenal musical....made it even that much better!  Amazing vocals. Amazing Costumes.  LOVED the story.  Definite goose bump moments all wrapped into the fantastic story of how the Witches from the Wizard of Oz became to be.  If you have the chance – go see it. I'm still relating to the main character..and humming a couple of the songs in my head. :)

 Ahhh.. back to the Strawberries.  Which are everywhere this time of year… and good thing too.  I’m just getting started on all the yummy things you can do with them.

Strawberry Lemon Meringue Pie
  • 1 Prepared Pie Crust
  • 1 Prepared Lemon filling recipe (I used the one from this post) 
  • 1 Package of Fruit Glaze (pictured below) 
  • 1 Pint of fresh Strawberries - thinly sliced
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • Water according to fruit glaze package
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Place Pie Crust in pie plate (this time I used a square glass pan, as for some reason... my pie plate is ummm..gone.) Prick with forth. Baked until Golden.
*You don't need to be perfect here - haha I like to consider it "rustic" :)*
- Remove from oven, let cool.
- Once cooled, Pour prepared  Lemon filling onto crust
- Place pie in fridge while you work on the strawberry filling.
- Whisk up glaze according to package directions,  I used this glaze below, but any fruit glaze would work.
- Mix in the sliced strawberries
- Pour strawberry mixture on top of the lemon filling.  Put pie back in fridge while preparing meringue filling.

- Beat Egg Whites and the Pinch of Salt together using a the Whisk attachment on your mixer, until soft peaks form
- Gradually add in the cup of sugar, mixing well after each addition
- Add Vinegar, and continue to mix until meringue is thick, glossy and stiff peaks form
- You can use a spatula, or even put meringue in a piping bag, either way, add the meringue layer on top of the strawberry glaze mixture
- Place back into oven for 5-8 mins, until meringue is toasted and golden in colour.
- Remove from oven.... and dig in!!  YUM YUM!   
I placed the pie, lightly covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge overnight as I was serving it up at the office the next day..  it holds up perfectly!  This is a perfect light and fluffy dessert for those hot summer nights.  Which reminds me...  Maybe I should think about firing up the BBQ for dinner... hmmm...Maybe a run first...   Until next time!   CHEERS!

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