Monday, January 28, 2008

LEMON MERINGUE PIE - DARING BAKERS

It is the 4th consecutive month that I take part to the "Daring Bakers" challenge and I still have lots of fun while avidly baking the imposed recipes. Every time, it is a very stimulating and enrichening experience which enables us to push our limits further, makes us learn how to apprehend our fears, master certain techniques and improve our baking skills/knowledge...

I was particularly looking forwards to this month's challenge as I've always been a big fan of "Lemon Meringue Pie", so it is with a feverish mood that I plunged into the making of this speciality. Well, unfortunately, this very recipes didn't meet my expectations taste- and texture-wise and proved to be quite disappointing!

I would not go as far as to say that it was bad or anything like that, yet I must confess that it wasn't my favorite "Lemon Meringue Pie" so far. Some people will undoubtedly love it, but sadly it just didn't do it for me. It was plain good, not gorgeous nor subtle. Somehow, I found it a little sexless and sort of bland, although I used only the best ingredients (organic lemons, fresh free range Swiss eggs, quality butter, etc...) and followed the recipe to the letter...

The overall tart lacks that little something which makes it unique an
d unforgettable/memorable.After having finished my slice of pie, an annoying feeling of unsatisfaction lingered, casting a shadow of unfulfillment over me. I was still in the expectative... It was like "Yeah, fine and...?!?". I tried my best to be impartial, but this troubling sensation of emptiness persisted!

Of course, I did enjoy the pie, but in a very limited way. It is what I call "first degree pleasure". It stays on the surface, thus it never reaches your guts in order to give you that gratifying and orgasmic explosion of pleasure which stays imprinted in your soul forever. It was nice, that's all.

In my opinion, the lemon filling was too stiff and custard-like. It didn't have that curd onctuosity nor dimension which I cherish so much when it comes to "Lemon Meringue Pies". I also found that it wasn't tart and lemony enough. On the contrary, it was rather sweet and impersonally flavored. I missed that delicious tinge of acidity... The filling was also too cornstarchy and watery to my taste.

The crust was ok, but, then again, nothing really mindblowing. I didn't find it flaky enough and kind of insipidly/characterlessly pleasant. The meringue wasn't very succesful and decieved me very much. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that no mention was made regarding the exact size of the eggs, but it was not perfect. I mean, neither was it written anywhere that you had to use either big, medium or small eggs. I used big ones (53g) and I think that was the reason why the meringue looked a bit poor as there wasn't enough sugar considering the mass of egg whites used...

Anyway, I am not going to keep you away from making this pie nor am I going to recommend it to you. I believe that you'll have to taste it first in order to choose whether it is the ultimate "Lemon Meringue Pie" or whether you prefer the ones you baked in the past... It's entirely up to you to decide as, in the end, it is a question of personal taste!!!

Thank you Jen at "The Canadian Baker"!!!

~ Lemon Meringue Pie ~
Recipe taken from "Wanda's Pie in the Sky" by Wanda Beaver

Makes one 25cm (10-inch) pie.

Ingredients for the crust:
3/4 Cup (180g) cold butter, cut into 1.2cm (1/2-inch) pieces
2 Cups (255g) All-purpose flour
1/4 Cup (53g) Granulated sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup (80ml) Ice water
Ingredients for the filling:
2 Cups (475ml) Water
1 Cup (210g) Granulated sugar
1/2 Cup (60g) Cornstarch
5 Egg yolks, beaten
1/4 Cup (60g) Butter
3/4 Cup (180ml) Fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs Lemon zest
1 Tsp Vanilla extract

Ingredients for the meringue:
5 Egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 Tsp Cream of tartar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
3/4 Cup (158g) Granulated sugar

Method for the crust:
1. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt.
2.
2. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together.

3. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process ver
y briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk.
4. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

5. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of 3cm (1/8 inch.
6. Cut a circle about 5cm (2 inches) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin.

7. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about 1.2cm (1/2 inch).
8. Flute decoratively.

9. Chill for 30 minutes.
10. Preheat oven to 180º C (350° F).
11. Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans.
12. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
13. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.
14. Cool completely before filling.

Method for the filling:
15. Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan.
16. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes.

17. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
18. Add the mixture gradually to the
hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.
19. Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.

20. Add about 1 cup of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth.
21. Whisking vigorously, add the war
med yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
22. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated.
23. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined.
24. Pour into the prepared crust.

25. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

Method for the meringue:
26. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F).
27. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form.
28. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks.
29. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely.
30. Bake for 15, or until golden.
31. Cool on a rack.
32. Serve.

Remarks:
Make sure all the ingredients for the crust are as cold as possible.
Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll.
In order to blind-bake the crust, you can use the following weights: dried beans, rice or metal chain/beads.
The water/sugar/cornstarch mixture will be very thick. It is normal.

Serving suggestions:
Serve
within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.
Eat with a dollop of whipped cream, as for dessert or for afternoon tea.

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~ Tarte Au Citron Meringuée ~
Recette tirée du livre "Wanda's Pie in the Sky" de Wanda Beaver

Pour une tarte de 25cm.

Ingrédients pour la pâte:
3/4 de Tasse (180g) de Beurre froid, coupé en cubes de 1.2cm
2 Tasses (255g) de Farine blanche/fleur
1/4 de Tasse (53g) de Sucre cristallisé
1/4 de CC de Sel
1/3 de Tasse (80ml) d'Eau à très basse température (très froide)
Ingrédients pour la garniture au citron:
2 Tasses (475ml) d'Eau
1 Tasse (210g) de Sucre cristallisé
1/2 Tasse (60g) de Maïzena
5 Jaunes d'oeufs, battus
1/4 de Tasse (60g) de Beurre
3/4 de Tasse (180ml) de Jus de citron frais
1 CS de Zeste de citron
1 CC d'Extrait de vanille

Ingrédients pour la meringue:
5 Blancs d'eufs, à température ambiante
1/2 CC de Crème de tartre
1/4 de CC de Sel
1/2 CC d'Extrait de vanille
3/4 de Tasse (158g) de Sucre cristallisé

Méthode pour la pâte:
1. Dans un bol et à l'aide d'un mixeur (ou d'un couteau à pâte), bien mélanger ensemble le beurre, la farine, le sucre et le sel.
2. Mixer (ou couper) le beurre jusqu'à ce que le mélange ressemble à du sable grossier et qu'il commence à s'assembler.
3. Ajouter l'eau (en répartissant bien), laisser reposer 30 secondes et mixer (mélanger au couteau en 15 mouvements) brièvement jusqu'à ce que la pâte commence à s'assembler et se détacher des bords.
3. Transférer sur une surface de travail légèrement fari
née et amalgamer/presser afin d'obtenir un disque.

4. Emballer la pâte dans du film plastique et l'entreposer au frigo pendant 20 minutes.
5. Sur une surface légèrement farinée rouler le disque de pâte sur une épaisseur de 3cm.
6. Couper un cercle qui mesure 5cm de plus que le moule et transférer la pâte en la pliant en deux ou en l'enroulant autour du rouleau.
7.
Laisser un rebords dépasser du moule d'environ 1.2cm.
8. Fluter les bords.
9. Entreposer au frigo pendant 30 minutes.

10. Préchauffer le four à 180º C.
11. Mettre du papier sulfurisé sur la pâte dans le moule et remplir avec des poids (voir remarques).
12. Cuire pendant 20 à 25 minutes.
13. Enlever le papier sulfurisé (délicatement) et cuire pendant 10
à 15 minutes supplémentaires, jusqu'à ce que la pâte soit dorée.
14. Laisser refroidir (complètement) sur une grille.

Méthode pour la garniture au citron:
15. Dans une casserole moyenne, porter l'eau à ébullition.
16. Retirer du feu et laisser reposer 5 minutes.
17. Mélanger le sucre avec la maïzena.

18. Verser graduellement ce mélange dans l'eau chaude, en fouettant bien jusqu'à ce qu'il soit complètement incorporé.
19. Remettre la casserole sur le feu et cuire, à feu moyen, jusqu'à ébullition et tout en fouettant continuellement.
20. Incorporer 1 tasse de ce mélange chaud aux jaunes d'oeufs battus et fouetter jusqu'à ce que ce ça soit mélangé de manière homogène.
21. Tout en fouettant vigoureusement, verser le mélange
jaunes d'oeufs/maïzena dans celui qui se trouve dans la casserole, mélanger constamment et porter à nouveau à ébullition.

22. Retirer du feu et incorporer le beurre.
23. Ajouter le jus de citron, le zeste et la vanille. Bien mélanger afin d'obtenir un "curd" homogène.
24. Verser dans la pâte à tarte cuite.

25. Couvrir avec un film plastique afin qu'aucune peau ne se forme à la surface et laisser refroidir, à température ambiante.
Méthode pour la meringue:
26. Préchauffer le four à 190° C.
27. A l'aide d'un mixer, battre les blancs d'oeufs - additionnés de crème
de tarte, de sel et de l'extrait de vanille - en neige ferme, jusqu'à ce que des pics se forment.

28. Ajouter graduellement le sucre, en continuant de battre, jusqu'à obtention de pics fermes/rigides et brillants.
29. Empiler cette masse sur la tarte refroidie, en recouvrant toute la garniture au citrons et cela jusqu'aux bords de la tarte.
afin de la sceller complètement.
30. Cuire pendant 15, ou jusqu'à ce que la meringue soit dorée.

31. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.
32. Servir.

Remarques:
Assurez-vous que tous les ingrédients pour la pâte soient aussi froids que possible.
Si la pâte est trop dure à la sortie du frigo et qu'elle ne peut pas être roulée aisément, alors laissez-la reposer quelques minutes à température ambiante.
Pour cuire à blanc la pâte, vous pouvez utiliser les poids suivants: haricots secs, riz ou poids en métal.
Le mélange eau/sucre/maïzena sera très épais, c'est tout à fait normal.

Serving suggestions:
Serve
within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.
Manger comme dessert ou servir à l'heure du goûter avec de la crème fouettée.

96 comments:

  1. Good work I wasn't convinced either.

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  2. Hi Rosa ! I had to change some little things to have a perfect result. But yours looks nice though.

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  3. Tu es cruelle en début de semaine !

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  4. Mieux que chez le pâtissier ! biz

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  5. moi je suis prete a me s a c r i f i e r pour ce dessert !!
    Corinne

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  6. I'm so jealous of your meringue! :) It looks lovely, not like mine, which is too dark. I would love to have one of your little baby pies!

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  7. Très appétissantes ces tartelettes bien sûr ! et la meringue est magnifiquement dorée.

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  8. Olala, j'ai ma recette de tarte au citron meringuée mais j'avoue que la tienne a l'air démente ! ta crème a l'air exceptionnelle :)

    J'ai fait la semaine dernière des petits gâteaux au citron meringués, ça n 'a rien à voir mais on avait bien aimé aussi :)

    Bises,

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  9. Et bien moi je gouterai avec plaisir je suis fane de tarte au citron et j'en ai rarement vu d'aussi belle ! Bises ,Louna

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  10. Mais qu'est ce que c'est mignon

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  11. Your tart looks good even though you did not cherish it that much.

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  12. Toutes ces photos sont cruelles...
    Avec un bon thé, cette tertelette doit être un régal!

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  13. looks great!
    i felt the same way about this recipe. the result didn't have much oomph but it was a good experience.

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  14. Bonjour Rosa,

    C,était pas la meilleur recette de tarte au citron mais les photos sont ultra appétissantes tout de même.Maintenant , il va falloir trouver ''LA'' recette impec (à moins que tu la connais déja.)
    Bonne semaine!

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  15. my Daring friend,
    congratulations!
    your pie looks very yums yummy :-)

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  16. For me it isn't the perfect pie neither. Anyway your looks great!

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  17. Your tarts look gorgeous! I love the meringue!

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  18. Qu'elles sont appétissantes ! J'en aurais bien fait mon dessert !
    Bises
    Hélène

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  19. Ca a l'air exelent!! J'adore les tartelettes au cirton, il faudra bien que je commence a jour a les faire!!

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  20. C'était moi!!

    http://claire-mes-recettes.blogspot.com/

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  21. Your mini pies look great and yummy...even though you didn't like it too much!

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  22. Oh !!! ce qu'elles me donnent envie tes petites tartelettes au citron avec cette meringue sur le dessus. c'est superbe !
    Bisous et bonne journée, Doria

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  23. Its funny how the opinions are pretty consistent. All goes to show the importance of a well wriiten recipe which I have taken for granted until now.Reagrdless they look great as usual.

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  24. I wonder if it was the vanilla in the filling that masked the lemon slightly, making it taste a bit 'blah'? I tasted before and after adding the vanilla and definitely preferred it without.

    You're absolutely right that the taste was unsatisfying. It just slid off the palate rather than leaving a lingering zing.

    Still, your pie does look amazing!

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  25. C'était la tarte que me réclamait continuellement ma fille lorsqu'elle était encore à la maison !
    Tu me donnes envie d'en refaire !

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  26. le probleme avec les tartes au citrons, c'est qu'on a tous notre recette preferee, apres on n'en change plus. Celle-ci avait l'air si bien reussie pourtant!

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  27. Rosa you got such beautiful meringue! I wouldn't call this an ultimate but I really did enjoy it. I am always impressed with each recipe how much there is to learn even if I don't like the end product. And yes it does finally come down to your own personal taste and that's wonderful!

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  28. they do look lovely! can't wait to see what next month's challenge is!

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  29. alors là, je dois dire que je suis bluffée !!! ta tarte est magnifique, et cette meringue toute dorée et si épaisse me met l'eau à la bouche !

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  30. I loved the pie but I had nothing to compare it to. Next time I would like to try yours. I want that gratifying and orgasmic explosion of pleasure. I dont think my pie had THAT!

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  31. Yours look so deliciously beautiful!

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  32. Je n'ai jamais vu une aussi belle meringue. Si le secret est la crfème de tartre merci de nous l'avoir indiqué. C'est superbe.

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  33. Your LMP looks great. Too bad it didn't live up to your expectations! Oh well....it looks beautiful!!!

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  34. Well they definitely look beautiful -too bad they didn't live up to your expectations tho. It's a shame since you were actually someone who enjoys this dessert- it seems like a lot of DBers were not fans. I used meyer lemons for the juice and had a really nice balance in tart and sweet- maybe the lemons can make a difference?

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  35. They do look great even if they didn't knock your socks off!

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  36. Your pies look great, even if you didn't enjoy the flavor!

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  37. Elles sont pourtant bien jolies et appétissantes ces tartelettes. Dommage qu'elles ne t'aient pas plu après tout le mal que tu t'es donnée.

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  38. I'm sorry the pie was not what you expected. My filling was very tart and very fragant. Also it was not custardlike. Strange...
    Your tartlets look wonderful btw!

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  39. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like the pie. But they look very cute!

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  40. Great job!!!! YOur LMP looks great! :)

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  41. Je ne suis pas trop fan de tarte au citron au départ alors je comprends que celle-ci ne t'ai pas "emportée" là où tu t'y attendais. Toute de même félicitation pour cette belle réussite, d'ici elle a l'air parfaite ;)

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  42. quelle montagne de meringue !!! On dirait les sommets de tes montagnes :)
    Je suis ravie de voir cette recette aussi chez toi ! Bravo !

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  43. Je n'ai pas encore trouvé ma recette idéale de tarte au citron, et j'ai des addicts à la maison, je vais essayer la tienne, elle est magnifique!

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  44. Je suis d'accord, ce n'etait pas la meilleure tarte au citron du monde...mais ca etait. La votre a l'air delicieuse!!!

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  45. Love your pie Rosa...& above all it set!! Maybe if we had got yours & mine together...weepy & not so weepy, we'd have made the perfect curd!!! Great post with a good looking pie! Cheers

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  46. That last picture is the money shot. I thought the pie was okay - but not my mom's. I got nervous with how thick the sugar/ cornstarch mixture was...was curious to me!

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  47. Rosa,

    Your pies are very cute. I'm sorry that it wasn't your favourite, but good for you for perservering!

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  48. hi rosa, that looks delicious! i'm so glad you made a merengue i just saw a bunch more and yours is beautiful! i was too lazy so i think i'll have some of yours if thats ok :)

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  49. Je veux bien connaitre celle que tu preferes, si tu veux bien, car je n'ai pas de recette de tarte au citron en particulier; j'ai plutot confiance en ton jugement meme si tu dis que c'est au gout de chacun.

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  50. I've heard that lemon meringue is difficult--not that I would EVER know! lol. You certainly are daring, indeed! xo

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  51. your tarts look scrumptious. i do have to agree with you about this recipe though. it was beautiful but a little lack luster...

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  52. l'eau est en trop, la vanille et 1 jaune d'oeuf aussi :-( la plupart des recettes sont trop 'soft' sur le zeste de citron, c'est à chacun d'en ajouter un peu plus... ah et qu'est-ce que c'est cette lubie de mettre du cornstarch pour garantir que les cossetardes prennent? si on sait faire, ça prend tout seul... c'est comme mettre du maizena dans la hollandaise! tout est dans la cuiller en bois et le tour de main ;-) elles sont pourtant très esthétiques

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  53. Ces tartelettes ont toutes l'air plus délicieuses les unes que les autres.

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  54. awww too bad you didn't really enjoy the pie so much, still congratulations on your great looking tartlets!!

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  55. Sorry it wasn't memorable for you....they look great though.

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  56. How sad you didn;t like it. Ihave yet to make it.

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  57. Très jolie tarte! J'adore les petites pointes sur la meringue, trop mignon! Nice job!

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  58. Inspite of what You say, I think they look lovely and the curd has set so well..

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  59. totally agree with your review!!! :) your pies looked beautiful though!

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  60. Rosa, c'est trop bon pourêtre mangé en 1 minute!!!


    WOW!!!!!! Tu es la reine des gateaux!

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  61. tu es dure avec cette recette pourtant avec tous les ingrédients qu'elle comporte , elle aurait pu etre super , en tous cas tes photos me font saliver , et qui sait ? peut etre l'aurais je trouvé trop délieuse

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  62. Looking great... good job.

    Iisha

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  63. Those tartlets rock! The lemon curd seems to have the perfect texture.

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  64. Tout simplement superbe, moi, qui aime tout ce qui est "citron"!!!
    Bizzzzzzzzzz!!

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  65. Mmmmmm! Des tartes au citron. C'est tellement bon.
    Sont bine belles.
    Ça donne envie d'en chiper une.
    :)

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  66. Serait-ce le Tarte au citron's day?Chez moi aussi.

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  67. I'm sorry you didn't find the recipe for this lemon meringue pie to your liking *but* your tartlettes are absolutely adorable! Thank you for sharing additional recipes because I am curious about trying them =D
    Shandy@Pastry Heaven

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  68. http://sylcuisine.canalblog.com9:01 AM, January 30, 2008

    Moi qui suis fan d'agrumes, tes photos sont une véritable torture, hummm ! :o)

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  69. Rosa, I'm sorry you were so dissapointed - I guess lemons and eggs vary so much don't they. I used large eggs and I think my meringue was a little too eggy. My filling was unbelievably lemony!

    Having said that - your tarts still look fantastic and there's always next month huh?

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  70. Ces tartes sont magnifiques, la tarte au citron est une de mes tartes préférées. Ta meringue est très réussie, hummm !!!
    Bisous.
    Dominique

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  71. So sorry to hear that you didn't like these. Regardless, the tarts look amazing.

    I thought my meringue looked funny too and ended up making it twice. But after seeing everybody's results, I guess it's supposed to be this way.

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  72. Even though you didn't love them, they did turn out beautiful!

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  73. I felt similarly about the pie, Rosa. Your description of it as "sexless" is funny and pretty apt! They do look handsome with the meringue swirls, though!

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  74. J'adore cette magnifique petite recette et j'ai été ravie et soulagée de la trouver en français ! Bravo, c'est maginifique

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  75. Your little pies do look nice, though I can understand the sentiments about the pie. My husband raved over the flavor of the meringue, but me, not so much.

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  76. Oh dear - sorry to hear of the disappointment. They do look very pretty, though...

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  77. Magnificent looking tartlettes, even if the taste wasn't what you were hoping for. Maybe next month.

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  78. Ah well, it is always worthwhile to try these things out once. I found the curd very lemony--maybe it depends on the lemons.

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  79. Wow, your tarts are so cute and pretty! The look delicious too :) Nice job as always!

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  80. Your pies look lovely, even if you didn't enjoy them. Funny how there were such different reactions to the same recipe.

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  81. I think the taste of the filling so much on which part of the world we were and got lemon. Mine was really tart and the texture nice and soft. It was quite unusual to make but interesting. Too bad you did not like it but glad you participated!

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  82. Irrésistibles....trop mimis tes tartelettes !

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  83. Je fonds littéralement pour ces jolies peties tartelettes au citron!

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  84. It isn't my favorite lemon meringue pie recipe, to be honest, but I didn't dislike it quite as much as you. Glad you kept with it though!

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  85. Rosa, well they look good- sorry they left you wanting.
    I prefer the recipe of my Grandmother. But this was ok.
    xoxox

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  86. I definitely would have had a too watery lemon curd, had I not cut the stream of lemon juice flowing into the cornstarch/sugar short...

    I would agree with your assessment of the taste, it needed a little something else to jazz it up, in my opinion....

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  87. Now THAT'S the kind of review I like to read. It was honest, but not bashing the recipe or the hostess. Thank you SO MUCH, Rosa.. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. :)

    xoxo

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  88. Beautiful job even if it wasn't your favorite!

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  89. I'm sorry this one wasn't a wow for you. Like Lisa, I love the way you reviewed this... I totally understand (and have experienced) the "yeah, but" surface level of satisfaction you felt.

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  90. Ton blog est génial !...... ces petites tartelettes aussi d'ailleurs..... je n'en ferais bien qu'une bouchée !

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  91. Your meringue is wonderful...crispy on the outside and fluffy and soft inside. I really enjoyed this and thought that my filling turned out very tart! My dad prefers a traditional pie crust, but I liked the sturdiness of this one.

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  92. Your tarts look wonderful! Wonderful photos too!

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  93. Ces tartelettes m'ont l'air tout simplement divines!

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