I have my own Meyer lemon tree but I did have to purchase the lemons for this special treat- this year anyway. My tree is very sparse at the moment- and not that happy. 😦 Hopefully it will have many lemons sometime in the future! Anyway, I love individual desserts. These were silky, creamy and delicious.
This recipe was adapted from The Book on Pie: Everything You Need to Know to Bake Perfect Pies by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Such a beautiful and informational book. The lemon zest and juice can be replaced with Key lime zest and juice for a lime version. Alternate press-in cookie crust variations are included below as well. Very nice.
Yield: 12 mini pies
For the Brown Butter Press-In Cookie Crust:
- 113g / 4 oz / 8 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 50 g / 1/4 cup / 4 T granulated sugar
- 21 g / 1 large egg yolk
- 5 g / 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 210 g / 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 g / 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 15 g / 1 T water
For the Pielets:
- 1 recipe Brown Butter Press-In Cookie Crust (ingredients above)
- 99g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- 288g / 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 60g / 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
- 2g / 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1g / 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, for serving, optional
- Meyer lemon zest, for garnish, optional
To Make the Crusts:
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter begins to simmer and foam, the milk solids turn brown, and the butter smells toasty, about 10 minutes.
- Cool the butter to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the cooled brown butter and sugar on medium-low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla and mix on medium speed to combine. Scrape the bowl well.
- Add the flour and salt and mix on low-speed until fully incorporated, 45 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the water and mix just until the dough is smooth, about 1 minute more.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C with a rack in the center.
- Grease the cavities of a muffin pan with nonstick spray.
- Divide the dough into 12 even rations in each cavity. (I used cookie scoops of various sizes.)
- Use your fingers to press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of each cavity.
- Use a small fork or tip of a paring knife to dock the dough all over.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Bake the crusts until they are lightly golden at the edges and appear set all over, 14 to 18 minutes. If the dough puffs up during baking, prick it with a fork when you remove the crusts from the oven so it lies flat again.
- Cool crusts completely. Then, use an offset spatula to gently unfold the cooled crusts onto a baking sheet. They should release easily. (I found that rotating them helped release them from the pan- the top edges of my crusts did crumble a bit though- still delicious.)
To Make the Filling and Serve:
- In a small pot, rub the sugar and the lemon zest together to combine.
- Add the cream and heat over medium-low heat, whisking, to dissolve the sugar. Do NOT let the cream come to a boil.
- Transfer the mixture to a large container with a pour spout and whisk in the lime juice, vanilla, and salt.
- Carefully pour the custard into the cooled crusts, filling each one just over 3/4 full.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is set, at least 2 hours (or up to 24 hours). Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and garnish with additional zest, if desired, and serve.
- The pielets can be made up to 24 hours ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Any leftover filling can be chilled in a ramekin for a baker’s treat. 🙂
Alternate Press-In Crusts:
To Make an Oatmeal Press-In Cookie Crust: Replace the brown butter with room temperature butter. Replace the granulated sugar with 53 g / 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar. Replace 30 g / 1/4 cup of the flour with 74 g / 3/4 cup rolled oats.
To Make a Coconut Press-In Cookie Crust: Replace the brown butter with room temperature butter. Replace the granulated sugar with 53 g / 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar. Add 50 g / 2/3 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut with the flour.
Posted in Baking, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: browned butter, citrus, coconut, cold-set, cookie crust, cream, custard, dessert, individual, key lime, lemon, lime, meyer lemon, mini tarts, oatmeal, pie, pielets, press in crust, rolled oats, tarts, whipped cream, zest
Pecan pie bars are a favorite Thanksgiving dessert in our house. I chose this pumpkin pie version to serve along with a tried and true brown-butter and vanilla bean apple pie for our intimate Thanksgiving feast. (Yes, we had leftover dessert for at least a week!)
This recipe was adapted from a “staff favorite” Food and Wine recipe, contributed by Sarah Jordan. I appreciated the press-in crust and we all absolutely loved the consistency of the bars. Pie bars have the bonus of easier portion control too- which is crucial on Thanksgiving. 😉 Great.
Yield: Makes on 9×13-inch pie
For the Press-In-Crust:
- 2 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the sugars at medium speed for 2 minutes.
- With the mixer at low speed, beat in the sifted flour-and-salt mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350°, preferably on convection.
- Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on the 2 long sides. (I used a pyrex pan.)
- Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the side all around. (You can cover the dough with plastic wrap and press with the bottom of a measuring cup.) Be sure the corners are not too thick.
- Refrigerate until firm.
- Bake the crust for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown; halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon to smooth the sides and corners of the crust.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.
For the Filling:
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom, optional (I omitted it)
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 large eggs
- One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- Baked Press-In Crust (above)
- crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
- In a small bowl, whisk the sugars with the spices and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs.
- Whisk in the sugar mixture, then whisk in the pumpkin puree and the evaporated milk until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 10 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350° and bake for about 25 minutes longer, until the filling is fully set.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely.
- Cut into bars and serve with whipped cream or crème fraîche, as desired.
Note: Bars should be stored in the refrigerator. Serve chilled or at room temperature. (I prepared them a day prior to serving.)
Posted in Baking, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving
Tags: autumn, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, creme fraiche, dark brown sugar, dessert, easy, ginger, pie, pie bars, press in crust, pumpkin, Thanksgiving
I especially loved this beautiful tart because in addition to being delicious, it is made with a flaky and buttery press-in crust and a cheesecake-like no-bake filling. Nice shortcuts! I topped it with my favorite summer fruit- white nectarines. The original recipe uses peaches which would also be fabulous.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. The chilled temperature and brightness from lemon zest made it very refreshing.
Yield: One 9 or 10-inch tart, about 8 to 10 servings
- 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from about 1/2 of a large lemon), plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 to 3 peaches or nectarines (1 pound)
1 cup fresh blueberries
mint leaves, for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
- Beat butter with confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium-low; add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt and beat until just combined and crumbly (do not overmix).
- Press evenly into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch square tart pan or a 9- or 10-inch round tart pan, with a removable bottom.
- Dock bottom at 1-inch intervals with the tines of a fork. Freeze 15 minutes.
- Place on rimmed baking sheet or pizza tin, and bake until golden brown and set, 23 to 33 minutes. Let cool completely. (Crust can be kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days.)
- Beat together cream cheese, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon juice, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar on medium-high speed until creamy.
- With mixer running, slowly add cream and beat until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. (You should have about 2 cups.)
- Spread mixture into crust; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel peaches/nectarines, if desired; cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. (I left the peels intact.)
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in berries and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Just before serving, spoon macerated fruit over tart and drizzle some of juice from bowl over it. (I used all of the juice!)
- Sprinkle with mint, if desired, and serve.
Posted in Baking, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: blueberry, cheesecake, cookie crust, cream, cream cheese, dessert, fruit, lemon, lemon juice, lemon zest, nectarines, no bake, peaches, pie, press in crust, tart, whipped cream, white nectarines