Chocolate Meringue Pie

Dad always keeps interesting recipes aside which he finds in his Star newspaper for me to try when he and mom are visiting.  Angela Day runs a series of recipes with chocolate being the theme for Thursday 17 April 2014.

First on the agenda with the latest batch of recipes was a chocolate meringue pie which came in as winner with a unanimous vote.  Instead of making one pie, I opted for 4 smaller ones which worked very well for halving to share amongst 8 people.

Personally I would have preferred a softer centre and would add a minimum of 50ml extra cream – possibly even 100ml.  Overall though it is a lovely decadent pudding to share.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Ingredients

200g chocolate digestive biscuits crushed
80g butter melted
125ml chocolate hazelnut spread – (I omitted this)
300g dark chocolate
150ml cream – (I would definitely increase this)
125ml sugar
30ml water
5ml lemon juice
3 egg whites

Method

  1. Combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter and press into a 22cm pie plate or loose bottomed quiche tin (I used 4 smaller loose bottomed tins) and place in the freezer (I think the fridge is sufficient) to harden.
  2. Spread the hazelnut spread over the biscuit base or omit like I did.
  3. Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on a low setting for 1 to 2 minutes until melted and smooth.  (I melted the chocolate over a double boiler and stirred in the cream until combined once melted).  Pour over the base and refrigerate until set.
  4. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture reaches 115°C on a sugar thermometer or test by dropping a little mixture into ice water.  If it forms a brittle thread, it is ready. (I took the saucepan off the heat just as the mixture started to colour).
  5. Just before the sugar syrup is ready, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer to form soft peaks.
  6. Once your syrup is ready turn up the speed on the mixer and beat the egg whites, slowly pouring in the hot sugar syrup and beat until the mixture is cool.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe blobs over the chocolate mixture.
  8. Use a blowtorch to brown the meringue or place the pie under a heated grill for a few seconds.

Mom’s Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb is not top of my list of things to enjoy however Pete on the other hand has the fondest memories of it from childhood but has not eaten it since then!  My mom has been wanting to make Pete her world famous pie for the longest time but until recently was unable to source any – now it is everywhere!  First up was the green variety which was home grown by my sister in law Karin and second up was the red variety which is much more tart in flavour.  Pete enjoyed the green variety much more.

Mom’s Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients

Crust

125g butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Filling

± 6cups rhubarb washed and chopped
½ cup sugar – more if needed
1tsp lemon juice

Method

Crust

  1. Cream the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the egg and about 1 tablespoon of the flour and mix well.
  3. Add the flour and combine to form a dough and roll into a sausage and cut in two.
  4. Wrap half the sausage in cling film and store in the fridge to firm up.
  5. Press the remaining dough into a pie dish and prick the base a few times with a fork.

Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and gently simmer until soft.  Once cooked check the rhubarb for sweetness and add more sugar is needed and heat through to dissolve.
  3. Allow to cool slightly and pour into your pastry crust until just under full and grate the pastry directly from the fridge over the top.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  5. Enjoy with ice cream, custard (Pete’s favourite) or double cream.

Bacon, Cheese and Onion Tart

Since being home, I have been looking for arrowroot to use for thickening gravies and making batters for crispy coated veggies and the like but alas everywhere is still out of stock so settled on buying Maizena (cornflour).  On the back of the box are 4 recipes, one of which is for a Bacon, Cheese and Onion Tart which uses puff pastry for the base and includes fresh rosemary and hot English mustard.  The idea of this tart got my taste buds to stand at attention.  During the last week of Mom’s visit (yes I know, it was a long while ago) and while Pete was away on another business trip, Mom whipped it up for our dins – it was quite a lot of work for a savoury tart which was kind-of, more like a flat soufflé.  It was nice but not a huge hit with Mom and I – guess we were expecting more of a “traditional” tart – plus I couldn’t pick up the mustard at all.  No matter, it still made for an enjoyable supper.

Bacon, Cheese and Onion Tart

Ingredients

1 roll puff pastry thawed
30ml oil
15ml butter
1 onion finely chopped
125g rindless bacon finely chopped
15ml chopped rosemary
560ml full cream milk
15ml prepared hot English mustard
30ml cake flour
30ml Maizena
2 extra large eggs separated
250ml graded cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Line a pastry dish with puff pastry.  Chill until needed.
  2. Heat the oil and butter and saute the onion, bacon and rosemary until golden and soft.
  3. Add 500ml of the milk and the mustard and heat.
  4. Mix the flour and cornflour.
  5. Beat the egg yolks and remaining milk together and mix with the flour and cornflour.
  6. Add a little of the warm milk to the flour mixture and add to the heated milk in the saucepan.
  7. Cook until thick while stirring continuously.  Leave to cool.
  8. Add the cheese.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  10. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into the filling.
  11. Spoon into the prepared pastry shell and bake for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for a further 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 160°C and bake for 20 more minutes until golden and risen.

Almond Tart

Tandy’s challenge for this week is to bake something sweet using almonds – I settled on buying flaked almonds and decided to use the filling portion from my recipe for pecan pie and my Aunty Christine’s sweet short crust pastry recipe for the base, which you make and use immediately – no having to put it in the fridge for an hour – what a win!  I am thrilled with the result, so a big thank you to Tandy for this weeks challenge.  I am just sorry that I couldn’t cut through the almonds any neater for a better picture.

Almond Tart

Ingredients

Crust

125g butter
½ cup sugar – I used brown
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder

Filling

3

eggs
60g butter melted
225ml 
brown sugar
80ml
 golden syrup
10
ml vanilla essence
100g
 flaked almonds

Method

Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 °C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and about 1 tablespoon of the flour and mix well.
  4. Add the flour and baking powder and combine to form a dough and roll into a sausage.
  5. Wrap half the sausage in cling film and freeze for another day.  Bonus!
  6. Press the remaining dough into a 23cm pie dish and  prick the base a few times with a fork.
  7. Bake blind for 10 minutes.  (I am sure this step could be skipped as the tart bakes for quite a while.  Will let you know next time what it is like without baking the case first).

Filling

  1. Lightly beat the eggs.
  2. Continue beating and add the butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add the golden syrup and continue to beat until the mixture is foamy.
  4. Add the vanilla essence.
  5. Arrange the nuts in the pastry case and pour the egg mixture on top.  The nuts will float to the top.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool until the pie is set.

Onion and Cheese Tart

I love the simplicity of this tart and for the most part, the ingredients are always in my cupboard or fridge, and it’s especially nice when clearing out for moving plus it is super yummy.  It’s a great recipe for when a couple of friends are coming over for lunch – paired with a crisp green salad or baguette, you have the recipe for a perfect afternoon.

Onion and Cheese Tart

Ingredients

Pastry

270ml flour sifted
2.5ml salt
10ml baking powder
5ml sugar
35ml butter
125ml milk

Topping

500g onions chopped
45ml butter
1ml salt
1ml pepper
125ml thick cream
1 egg
375ml cheddar cheese finely grated

Method

Pastry

  1. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar together.
  2. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the milk and cut it into the flour mixture to form a soft dough.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour then roll out and use it to line a greased 24cm pie dish.

Topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Simmer the onions in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cool and spread over the pastry.
  4. Beat the cream and egg together and pour over the onions.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Dot extra butter on top and bake for approximately 25 minutes until set.


White Onion and Marrow Quiche

Tandy’s (Lavender and Lime) challenge for this week is to use white onions as an ingredient.  I immediately knew that this quiche was the way to go.  It is super quick and easy to make and can be made in advance and reheated just before serving.

White Onion and Marrow Quiche

Ingredients

250ml chopped white onion
750ml grated marrow
3 tbsp butter
3 eggs beaten
250ml cream
375ml grated cheddar cheese
1 pkt white onion soup powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Cook the onion and marrow in the butter until dry.
  3. Add the eggs, cream, cheese and soup powder and mix through.
  4. Place in a dish and bake for 30minutes.

Cindy’s Spinach and Asparagus Tart

Last nights dinner was a vegetarian affair.  I got the idea from Cindy who posted the recipe on her blog last week.  It is a fabulous meal for a busy week night and I served it with a lettuce, red pepper, onion, pineapple, cucumber and coriander salad drizzled with a vinaigrette dressing.


Cindy’s Spinach and Asparagus Tart

 

Ingredients

1 roll brown puff pastry (I used white)
1 packet baby spinach cooked and excess water squeezed out
1 tin white asparagus
(I used a bottle of green asparagus)
1 packet pitted green olives (I omitted these)
1 cup of grated extra mature cheddar
(I used 1 ½ cups)
4 eggs whisked
½ cup of cream
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Ground nutmeg (I omitted this)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a dish with the puff pastry.
  3. Layer the spinach on the pastry shell.
  4. Layer the asparagus over the spinach.
  5. If using the olives, layer over the asparagus.
  6. Cover with the cheese.
  7. Mix the cream into the eggs, seasoning with the salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour into the dish making sure to cover all the cheese.
  8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

 

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus, Mauritius


Low GI Quiche Base

As promised, here is the first of the low GI recipes.  This is a really versatile recipe and is super for lunch boxes for school and work.

Low GI Quiche Base

 

Ingredients

250ml flour
125ml oat bran
10ml mustard powder
1ml salt
45ml soft lite margarine
1 egg
45ml ice cold water

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Spray a quiche pan with non-stick spray or 12 muffin tins (then you can use different fillings at once).
  3. Rub the flour, oat bran, mustard powder, salt and margarine together until the mixture forms breadcrumbs.
  4. Combine the egg and water and add 15ml of the egg mixture at a time to the flour mixture and mix to form a soft dough.  Add more flour if the mixture is too sticky.  Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill for 20 – 30 minutes.
  5. Press the dough into the prepared pan/s.
  6. Fill with ham and cheese, asparagus, spinach and feta and a little bacon, or any combination of your choice.  Alternatively combine 375ml milk with 2 eggs, salt and pepper to taste and pour into the base.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes in the quiche pan and 10 minutes for the muffin tins.

 

Submitted by:  Desiree Visagie, Johannesburg

Marrow Quiche

This recipe is always a hit at tea parties and for lunch with friends.  It can be made the day before and reheated just before serving.

Marrow Quiche

Ingredients

1 cup chopped onion
3 cups grated marrow
3 tbsp butter
3 eggs beaten
125ml cream
125ml milk
375ml grated cheddar cheese
1 pkt white onion soup powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  2. Cook the onion and marrow in the butter until dry.
  3. Add the eggs, cream, milk, cheese and soup and mix through.
  4. Place in a dish and bake for 30minutes.

Submitted by:  Elizbe Wessels, Mauritius

Spinach Tart

The tart is full of flavour and is wonderful as a weekend lunch or on a tea table for an afternoon with friends.

Spinach Tart

 

Ingredients

Base

250ml cake flour
250ml grated cheddar cheese
125ml soft margarine 

Filling

350g spinach
250ml cream or sour cream
1pkt mushroom soup powder
1 chopped onion
10ml olive oil
250g smooth cottage cheese
3 extra large eggs
250ml grated cheddar cheese or
125ml feta + 125ml cheddar cheese
2ml salt
Paprika to taste

Base

  1. Mix all the ingredients to form a soft dough and place in a 2 litre container, and place in the fridge.

Filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Wash and cook the spinach.
  3. Mix the cream and soup and set aside for 5 minutes.
  4. Fry the onions in the oil until transparent and mix with the spinach, cream mixture, cottage cheese, eggs and half the cheddar cheese and pour into the base.
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and paprika and bake for approximately 30minutes until cooked.

 

Submitted by:  Pat Pashley, Sundays River

Onion Tart

This onion tart is a great dish for casual gatherings and functions when serving “finger” foods and works well cut into squares and is super yummy served warm from the oven and also at room temperature.

Onion Tart

 

Ingredients

1 roll puff pastry
6 large onions
100g butter
1 tin ideal milk
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Place the pastry into a medium sized baking dish.
  3. Peel and slice the onions and boil for 5 minutes until soft.
  4. Drain well and add the butter, ideal milk, salt and pepper.
  5. Beat the eggs and stir into the onion mixture.

Pour over the pastry shell and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until set.

Submitted by:  Val Olsen, Johannesburg

Savoury Tart

A savoury tart is always a welcome addition to any occasion and it can be made the day before and reheated in the oven or microwave oven just before serving and for a lighter result you can leave out the short crust pastry.  The egg custard will form it’s own crust.

Savoury Tart

Ingredients

Filling

1 packet short crust pastry
1 large onion
1 punnet brown mushrooms
1 packet streaky bacon
250ml cheddar cheese

Egg Custard

250ml cream
125ml milk
2 extra large eggs
½ packet mushroom soup powder
5ml dry mustard powder
2ml pepper
2ml salt

Method

  1. Press the pastry into a 25cm pie dish.
  2. Slice the onion and the mushrooms, chop the bacon, and fry until cooked and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Combine all the egg custard ingredients.
  5. Mix the cheese into the onion, mushroom and bacon mixture and place into pastry shell.
  6. Pour over the custard mixture and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until set.

Submitted by:  Mandy Frielinghaus