Saturday, April 3, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons.....

I couldn't help myself, there were a dozen fresh lemons sitting on the counter in my kitchen, given to me from a kind friend who had an abundance of produce. We rarely have fresh lemons in the kitchen, so I was contemplating what I should do with them, and today I came across a delicious looking dessert "Lemon Berry Tart." It looked like the perfect dessert for our Sunday dinner, especially for tomorrow, given it was created especially for those celebrating the Passover, and was entirely kosher.

I should have left well enough alone, and saved my lemons for another day. First of all, the recipe for the crust called for matzo cake meal and potato starch--of course, where on earth would I get these things, especially here in the Canary Islands, and especially since every store is closed for "Semana Santa." I figure I can substitute Maria cookies and regular starch, since I have those in my cupboard. I grind them up, only to find the recipe calls for half a cup of cold butter. I look in the fridge only to find we are out of that too, so I substitute my diet margarine figuring that will do. Then the recipe calls for one egg yolk poured over the crumb mixture, but I feel lazy and beat a whole egg and pour it on. I try to figure out how this gloppy mess is going to press into my pie pan (I don't even have the proper tart shell pan).

Now I proceed to step two, the filling. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup lemon juice--but I have just squeezed 2 cups of juice and want to get rid of it, so I double the recipe, throw in some corn starch, and hope for the best. It looks decent, but only tasting it tomorrow will tell if my substitutions worked.

I have 6 egg whites left, and I hate to waste anything, so I decide I will try to make a merengue to put over the top, making it more like lemon merengue pie instead of a tart. Once again, I am too lazy to get out the mixer (which only one beater works anyway) and I vaguely recall using the blender once to whip something--so why not give it a try? After searching for the blender parts more than 10 minutes, I put the egg whites in and give it a whirl--only to have them liquify. I try adding the sugar, mistakenly thinking that they will somehow decide to puff up with the addition of another ingredient. Still no success--so I try adding vanilla. Didn't work.

I pour the egg whites into the sink, and decide to go back to the original idea of a lemon "berry" tart and take out some frozen blueberries and put them on top (blueberries are very hard to come by here, and I splurged the other day and bought a few boxes). Now if my tart/pie doesn't turn out, I will really be mad at myself. Those "free" lemons are turning out to be quite expensive!! I'll let you know tomorrow how the family liked it.


Jamie Parfitt said...

That is so funny! I can't wait to find out the results. It reminds me so much of things I do! I guess next time you could follow the rest of the saying, and make lemonade! :-) By the way, I have some great recipes for chicken that call for fresh lemon, if you'd like them.

Carolee's Corner Canary Islands said...

It wasn't as bad as I thought--we took it to church for breaktime between services, and it was eaten up! Now I have an abundance of bananas--we have two banana plants that we are harvesting! We literally have them "coming out our ears : )

Jillian and Emmaline said...

That is too funny! The first thing that came to mind was...must be why they say make lemonade and not a dessert, it's easier and no stress! Glad we are not the only ones that can't find ingredients we want, gets interesting sometimes :)

Bananas! Have you ever made "best banana muffins ever" from the muffin mania cookbook - they are great! We love fruit smoothies with bananas too! Have fun! _Dawn