Putting my bitterness to good use.

Lemon meringue slice

Humble pie cooked with sour motives

Last summer, I decided to start a travel blog to share my experiences but also to improve my writing skills and knowledge of social media. Also interested in blogging, my father and I would chat about the whole blogging experience happily for hours at a time. Soon enough, he had a blog of his own; One Man’s Meat. A great blog I must admit, all family bias aside. All was good between us. Every evening when he was home from work, we’d excitedly compare stats and bounce ideas off on another. Mom would roll her eyes and say nothing, secretly enjoying our enthusiasm even though it meant she couldn’t get a word in. Then it started…

Dad’s stats began to shadow mine. Considerably. His once gentle encouragement gradually developed into all-out gloating. Now, many an evening’s study is interrupted by a knock on my room’s door, whereupon opening it, he announces he’s already received 80-something hits… then with a grin that rivals the Cheshire Cat’s he asks how mine’s doing. In short: poorly. I’ve had some small wins; until recently, I had a higher amount of views on my busiest day, however he’s since trumped me. At one point, I’d a much larger number of facebook “likes” than he, but yet again I’ve been surpassed. My number of WP followers was greater than his for a time, yet once more this satisfaction was stolen from me. The time has come to rectify this, along with salvaging some pride. I’ve decided to bring the battle into the kitchen – the place where our sweet relationship turned sour. I shall not be throwing the gauntlet down before him but rather tenderly placing a slice of my very humble, delightfully bitter Lemon Meringue Pie upon his plate. It’s time to get even and what better way to serve revenge, than serve it cold?

For this recipe, I used BBC GoodFood for the filling and meringue and Annie Bell’s Gorgeous Cakes recipe for the biscuit base.

What you’ll need:

Assorted Ingredients

The knife isn’t needed – I just want him to know, I want him to know.

Base:

  • 300g Digestive Biscuits
  • 140g Butter

Lemon Filling:

  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 125-150ml of Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Medium sized orange
  • 3 Egg yolks, 1 whole egg
  • 100g Golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour
  • 85g Butter

Meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 200g Golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour

Line a circular tin (with a removable base) with parchment. My tin is 24cm x 9cm. This will make it easy to get to the good stuff later. Make things even easier for yourself and also preheat the oven at 180° fan.

Measuring parchment

A good baking tin is an indispensable ally

The base is really simple. Just blend the Digestive biscuits and put them into a bowl. Melt the butter and pour this over the biscuit crumbs. Mix well and then press into the tin using your fist; phase one complete.

Butter and Biscuit

Buttery goodness

Compressing the biscuit base

Some more unnecessary violent photos – all in the name of provoking a family feud.

For the lemon filling lob the lemon zest, sieved cornflour and sugar into a pot and mix well. Then slowly pour your fresh lemon juice in. Next, juice your orange and add water to it until there’s 200ml. Add this to the rest and put it on a medium heat. Once it begins to boil, take it off the stove and mix in the egg yolks along with the whole egg and butter. Put it back on the heat and stir vigorously. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes incredibly thick; keep in mind this needs to act as a sturdy base for the meringue. Once this point has been reached, turn off the heat and divert your attention to the meringue.

Bitter Lemons

Bitter enough?

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add in the sugar in two goes, whisking gently. Don’t be alarmed if this erodes your meringue mountains – the mixture will be fine. Finish off by sieving in the cornflour while continuing to whisk. You should notice the texture changes completely.

Soft Peaks, Indeed

Fine whipping here

After quickly reheating the lemon filling, pour it into the prepared biscuit base. Once it’s even, do the same with the meringue. Then pop it in the oven for 20mins.

When you’ve removed this beauty from the oven, let it stand for 30-45mins, then free it from the tin. It will be difficult to exercise some self control at this point but you need to let it sit a further 45mins-1hr; after that’s elapsed, show it no mercy!

The finished piece

NOM!

When I told Dad I’d started this and why, his competitive side which I mirror oh-so-well, came out and he to me go suck a lemon.

Then he taught me how to use his camera. We love each other really.

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22 thoughts on “Putting my bitterness to good use.

  1. Good one… my daughter and I do the same thing. But I’m afraid it will take me years to catch up to her Tumblr stats. Will remember the St. Paddy’s for next year :-)

    • Thank you! In fairness, Dad has taught me pretty much everything I know in regards to cooking. If your household is anyway like mine, I’m sure you’re daughter will accredit you with passing on the passion (and skills) to her too – Your blog looks great after all. She must have learned it from somewhere :P

  2. Thanks for visiting and commenting at my blog. I just took a peek at yours and it looks to be a good one. I’ll be back to visit and see what new recipes you post.

    In ref. to parent/child competition, my son makes a killer pasta alfredo, and he never tires of letting me know how good it is. I have him beat on BBQ, though. :D

    • Cheers – I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I have to admit Dad’s BBQ skills are far superior to mine, however given the tasty stuff he makes for us all I’m not complaining :)

  3. Thought I’d drop by! I enjoyed this post. Great context. I really like your style of writing. You should submit your last photo to foodgawker. If they accept it, you will gain a lot of traffic. Then you can say – take that Dad!

  4. Pingback: Demarcating the internet for everybody’s benefit. | One Man's Meat

  5. I love this kind of family tension. Your old man cooks the kind of thing I naturally gravitate towards – interesting meaty dishes! However your meringue looks very professional so I’m now unsure who has the greatest natural talent. I’ll follow you too and I will ensure that I stir things up occasionally. Good Luck!

    • Hahaha! Please do. Not that we need anyone else fanning our competitive flame – we’re currently updating each other about our stats about 3 times a day :P

  6. I’ve been enjoying reading your Dad’s blog so much in the last few months that I am delighted to welcome his daughter the food blogosphere. Looking forward to more delicious recipes like this one – and tales of Father/Daughter Food Battles too :)

    • Thank you! Things certainly have got more competitive in the house hold. I’m getting around 3 text messages a day from him letting me know how much he’s winning by. Hopefully I’ll catch up with him soon :)

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and the lemon meringue looks easy to make. What perfect timing as my in laws are visiting soon and this can earn me some serious brownie points! :) and oh i suddenly miss my dad, he’s a rockstar in the kitchen with practically no cooking experience ! Thanks for the recipe, cheers :)

    • Thank you. Brownie points are always useful to have in your back pocket – I know this baby certainly has earned me a bunch, which is good as Dad usually steals the show with his main courses :)

  8. A little competition in the family is good. I give you two thumbs up on this recipe which I will definitely try as I love lemons. ;-)

  9. Pingback: How bitterness evolves into resentment. | Decidedly Delicious

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