Gift Guide for Entertainers

Gift Guide for Entertainers

I tend not to entertain as much as I’d like to - I prefer to sit at home by myself in my PJs, I suppose. But, since I’d like to host more, I rounded up a few items that would make entertaining more fun. I think all of them would be well appreciated by the person that’s always inviting you over.

Psst! Everything is plastic free, btw.

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My Go-To Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe

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Happy New Year! Everyone's new year's resolution was to eat more desserts, right? Well, for those of you aiming to up the pie intake, here's a recipe for you inspired by yesterday's lemon haul. The tree in our front yard was weighed down by lots of citrus, so I plucked most of them off and spent a few hours squeezing the lemons. Check out a video of the process I made in my Instagram Stories. I now have enough juice to last us through 2018 - and probably into 2019!

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This is my go-to lemon meringue pie recipe that I adapted from three different recipes and then tweaked throughout the years. Ross' grandmother reminds me each time I serve it, that she normally hates anything with lemon, but she loves this pie.

Ingredients

Crust:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
¾ cup ice water

Filling:

4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Meringue:

4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar

Prepare the crust

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender (or, a cheese grater - thanks, Joy the Baker!) incorporate the cold butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal. You want large bits of butter! Drizzle in the ice water and combine with your hands. Dump the mixture onto a floured work surface then knead into a ball. Cut the dough in half and shape into two 1-inch thick disks, wrap in plastic wrap (or a more sustainable wrap) then pop in the fridge for at least an hour.

Roll out one of the dough disks (freeze the other and use another time) on the floured work surface and roll (I like a french rolling pin) out to fit into a 9-inch pie pan. Put into your pie pan of choice (I like ceramic pans), poke the bottom with a fork a few times, then decorate the edges as you like. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and cook longer until the crust is golden. Set aside and let cool.

Prepare the filling

In a large sauce pan, whisk the sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Whisk while gradually pouring in the boiling water. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes thick and translucent. Turn off the heat, place a dollop of the mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, and mix together to temper the eggs. Mix the eggs into the mixture, turn on the heat to medium, and stir until you see large breaking bubbles. Remove from heat and mix in the lemon juice, zest, and butter. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the Meringue

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, vanilla, and lemon juice until soft peaks form. Continue to beat while gradually adding the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Prepare the pie

Pour the meringue mixture into the crust. Dollop the meringue on top of the filling and use two spoons to create peaks with the meringue. Be sure to spread the meringue all the way to the edges touching the crust so it doesn't shrink. Put the pie in the oven under the broiler for a couple of minutes to toast the top of the meringue, or use a culinary torch if you're fancy.

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That's it!

This is one of my favorite pie recipes that I enjoy all year long thanks to my wintertime efforts freezing all of the lemon juice. A few products that make the lemon harvesting so much better are the electric citrus juicer (mine is discontinued but that one has great reviews) the magical ice cube tray that you can store in the freezer sideways, the juice jars to store the juice waiting to be frozen - or freshly made lemonade, and you can't forget the strainer to remove pulp. You can see my whole process in my Instagram Stories!

Do you want more recipes from me? Or, would you rather me stick to home design and renovations? It's okay, you can be honest.

Here's to a year of citrus and pie! Happy 2018.