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Lemon Chiffon Cake

chiffon

This moist, lemony chiffon cake is simple, delicate and delicious, with a texture that falls somewhere between a dense butter cake and a light, airy sponge cake. Take it to the next level with a topping of fresh blueberries and vanilla ice cream.

Lemon Chiffon Cake

3 or 4 lemons
2 1/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) granulated sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) canola oil
6 eggs, separated
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

For the citrus glaze:
2 cups (8 oz./250 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained, plus more if needed
1 Tbs. heavy cream

Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C).

Grate the zest from the lemons and set aside. Juice the lemons and strain the juice into a liquid measuring pitcher. You should have 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml). Have ready an ungreased 10-inch (25-cm) tube pan with a removable bottom.

Sift the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the oil, egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the water and whisk until well mixed. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture until the batter is smooth.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold half of the whites into the batter until almost fully incorporated. Add the remaining whites and gently fold in just until combined. The batter should be smooth but foamy. Pour the batter evenly into the tube pan.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, upside down, about 45 minutes.

Rotate and tap the pan against the countertop until the cake disengages. Using the center tube, pull the cake out of the pan. Invert the cake onto the rack and disengage it gently from the pan bottom. Pull the pan bottom and tube from the cake.

To make the glaze, in a bowl, whisk together the 2 cups (8 oz./250 g) confectioners’ sugar, the 2 Tbs. lemon juice and the cream until the sugar dissolves and the glaze is smooth. Add a few more drops of lemon juice if the glaze is too thick, or a little more sugar if it is too thin. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. When the glaze dries, transfer the cake to a platter. The cake is best served the day it is baked. Serves 10 to 12.

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Itsy-Bitsy Lemon Meringue Pies

lemon

Let’s face it: making a lemon meringue pie isn’t easy. But the rewards are great, especially if (like us!) you’re a major lemon fan. These little pies take some effort, but they are adorable, perfect for a party, and will impress your guests.

Itsy-Bitsy Lemon Meringue Pies

1 batch Flaky Pie Dough for single crust (recipe below)

For the filling:
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
Pinch of kosher salt
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
4 large egg yolks, beaten
1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) fresh lemon juice, strained
2 Tbs. unsalted butter

For the meringue:
4 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

Prepare the flaky pie dough and chill as directed.

Lightly butter two 24-cup mini muffin pans. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough quite thin, to 1/16-1/8 inch (2-3 mm.) thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch (6-mm.) round cutter, cut out as many disks as you can. Gather the scraps, press together, reroll, and cut more disks. You should have around 40 disks total. Gently press each disk into a muffin cup to line it evenly. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Fill any empty muffin cups with a little water. Prick the bottoms of the shells with a fork. Bake the shells until golden brown, about 13 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then remove the shells from the pans and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Have ready all the ingredients for the filling and meringue before you get started. In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) water and the lemon zest and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Place the yolks in a bowl, pour in a bit of the hot sugar mixture, and whisk together. Pour the yolks into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Whisk in the lemon juice, then the butter. The mixture should be quite thick. Using a small spoon, fill the baked shells with the lemon filling. Place in the oven to stay warm while you make the meringue (you don’t want to leave the shells in the oven longer than 5 minutes, so you will need to work quickly!).

To make the meringue, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium-high speed until frothy. Beating constantly, slowly sprinkle in the sugar. Beat until the meringue is thick and glossy (when you stop the beaters, the peaks should just barely curl at the ends).

Dollop the meringue on the pies, doing your best to spread it to the edges of the filling to seal the filling in the shells. You can also use a pastry bag and a medium tip to pipe the meringue onto the pies. Bake until the meringue is golden brown, 5-8 minutes. Let the pies cool completely before serving. Makes about 3 dozen mini pies.

Flaky Pie Dough

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g.) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
7 Tbs. (3 1/2 oz./105 g.) very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar, if using. Sprinkle the butter over the top and pulse for a few seconds, or just until the butter is slightly broken into the flour but still in visible pieces. Evenly sprinkle the water over the flour mixture, then process just until the mixture starts to come together. Dump the dough into a large lock-top plastic bag, and press into a flat disk. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes or up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes enough for one 9-inch (23-cm.) pie or tart.

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Shaker Lemon Pie

Jan-23-Shaker-Lemon-Pie-652x652

This sweet-tart pie has humble origins in the Shaker community. The filling is like a chunky lemon curd, with big hits of tart lemon slices and slightly bitter peels. The secret to success? Slice the lemons very, very thinly.

 

Shaker Lemon Pie

4 lemons

3 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) plus 1 Tbs. sugar

Double recipe Basic Pie Dough, divided into 2 disks

7 eggs

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Halve 2 of the lemons crosswise. Using the slicing blade of a food processor or a very sharp knife, slice them very thinly, removing the seeds as you go. Put the slices in a bowl. Remove the peel and pith from the remaining 2 lemons and discard. Chop the flesh finely, discarding the seeds. Add the flesh and juices to the bowl. Add the 3 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) sugar and stir gently to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).

On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 dough disk into a 12-inch (30-cm) round about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Transfer to a standard (not deep-dish) 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan and fit the dough into the pan. Roll out the other dough disk for the top crust into the same-sized round.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended, then add to the lemon mixture and stir well. Add the salt and melted butter and stir until blended. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly. Place the top crust over the filling and trim the edges, leaving a 3/4-inch (2-cm) overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and crimp the edges of the dough. Cut a few steam vents in the top crust. Lightly brush the crust with the egg white, then sprinkle with the 1 Tbs. sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and continue to bake until the crust is golden brown and the center is slightly puffed and the filling barely feels like it jiggles when the pan is shaken, about 30 minutes longer, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Tent the pie with aluminum foil if the crust browns too quickly. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

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Taste’s Top 10 Recipes of 2015

Pork-Shoulder-Braised-in-Milk-652x715

Every day for the past 365 days, we’ve posted at least one new recipe here on Taste. With 2016 mere hours away, we’re looking back on all that we did this year—including these recipes, which were the most popular on the blog. From Gruyère and Cheddar Mac and Cheese to Chicken Tikka Masala, here are our 10 most beloved from 2015.

#10: Pork Shoulder Braised in Milk

Pork Shoulder Braised in Milk

Get the recipe for Pork Shoulder Braised in Milk.

#9: Gruyère and Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Gruyere Cheddar Mac

Get the recipe for Gruyère and Cheddar Mac and Cheese.

 

#8: Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Get the recipe for Pesto Chicken Sandwiches.

 

#7: Chicken-Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Get the recipe for Chicken-Tortilla Soup.

 

#6: Fresh Lemon Mousse

Fresh Lemon Mousse

Get the recipe for Fresh Lemon Mousse.

 

#5: Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

Get the recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala.

 

#4: Chicken and Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Chicken & Sugar Snap Stir-Fry

Get the recipe for Chicken and Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry.

 

#3: Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots, Potatoes and Thyme

Braised Chicken Thighs

Get the recipe for Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots, Potatoes and Thyme.

 

#2: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Get the recipe for The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 

#1: Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Stone Fruit 

Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Stone Fruit