Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to throw a surprise person for the easiest person to surprise, ever.

How to throw a surprise person for the easiest person to surprise, ever.
Order food and have that birthday person help pick it all up. He may never even notice he was picking up food for 30 people, not just 6.
Clean up the entire house making room for lots of extra chairs.
Bring in extra chairs in front of the person, set them up.
Bring in very large desserts in front of said birthday boy.
Set out lots of silverware and plates.
Have people start coming, birthday boy just accepts them coming as a happy thing.
By the time the third set of people come – he’s finally on to something.
My father-in-law? Easiest person to throw a surprise party for. He didn’t have a clue and it was all happening pretty much in front of him. I just laughed because he was so oblivious.
We were in charge of desserts for the party. Dennis likes Apple Pie and Lemon Meringue Pie so we went with both. Since we had a lot of people coming, we decided to do slab pies, they go farther and are easier to cut and serve. Converting the Lemon Meringue to a slab pie was easy – just doubled our standard recipe and away we went. I did make the crust this time.
I felt like the major accomplishment was the meringue rosettes. I had so much fun piping them and watching them brown up in the oven. The pie itself went over well – Andy did a great job on the filling.
Glad we could be a part of celebrating Dennis’ 70th birthday. It’s good to know we could throw another and he’d never know it was coming.

Lemon Meringue Pie
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/2 cup lard (vegetable shortening)
1/4 cup water
1 egg
2 tsp Vinegar

Cut flour into lard until size of a pea. Combine water, egg and vinegar; blend into flour mixture.
Roll out and form into jelly roll pan, poke with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For Meringue:
6 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoon + 2 Tsp Cornstarch
1 cup Cold Water
For Lemon Filling:
2 cups Granulated Sugar
14 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 cup Cold Water
2 cup Boiling Water
6 whole Egg Yolks
6 Tablespoons Butter
2/3 cups + 2 Tbls Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest
Also for Meringue:
8 whole Egg Whites
8 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

Make it!
Before making pie filling, combine 6T sugar, 2T + 2t cornstarch, and 1 cup cold water. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until clear. Set aside. This will be added to the meringue later.
For Lemon Filling:
Mix in top of double boiler 1 cup sugar and 7T cornstarch. Add 1 cup cold water and mix until well combined.
Transfer to direct heat (low) and add 1 cup boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened over low heat.
Place over boiling water in double boiler again, cover and let cook 10 min.
Beat 3 egg yolks and pour small amount of cooked mixture over yolks, beat. Add a little more and beat again.
Add the yolk mixture to the double boiler mixture. Cook and stir for 3 minutes over the boiling water. Remove from heat.
Beat in butter, fresh lemon juice, and grated lemon zest. Pour lemon filling into baked pie shell.

For Meringue:
With electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy, add sugar – 1 or 2T at a time – until stiff peaks form.
When all the sugar has been beaten in, gradually add the cooled thick mixture (from the beginning). Pour or pipe meringue over filling, making sure to seal in the edges.
Bake until lightly browned, 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Don’t touch it… just don’t do it.

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