Author Topic: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes  (Read 1385 times)

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katycoo

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2013, 09:03:34 PM »
It's not safe to let eggs sit out for a long time, so we only warm up eggs as we need them.

Actually that's recently been refuted - studies have shown that there are no increased risks from using eggs stored at room temperature.

blarg314

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2013, 09:15:14 PM »
As a general note - if you're not an experienced baker, I would *strongly* recommend either finding an already healthified recipe, or cooking the recipe as listed first, before making substitutions.  Baking is much more sensitive to substitutions than regular cooking and it's very easy to mess up the chemistry. With experience you learn what substitutions work, and what don't.

For example - I know that if I substitute brown sugar for white in a chocolate chip cookie recipe, I'll get really chewy cookies, which I like. If I do the same with a shortbread recipe, I won't get shortbread.


Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold margarine or 1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons low-fat yogurt
1 -2 tablespoon cold water (15 or 25 mL)


This is very different than pie crust recipes I'm used to - what I'm used to would have about 1/2 cup fat to 1 cup flour, but no sugar or yoghurt. I suspect this is a low fat recipe, hence the yoghurt and sugar additions. It won't be as flaky as a standard pie crust, because the fat is what makes it flaky.

Brown sugar isn't any more low calorie than white, but it does change the texture of baked goods considerably as it has more moisture than white, so it generally making things moister and more chewy. This can be great in chocolate chip cookies, less so in pie crusts.

Quote
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
0.25 (50 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest (about 2 limes)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1 egg
1 egg white
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons margarine or 2 teaspoons butter

This looks like a pretty standard lemon pie filling, and I don't think you can fiddle with this much. You need the sugar to offset the sourness of the lemon juice (brown will significantly change the flavour). The egg and cornstarch are necessary for thickening, and the butter is important for texture.

Quote
4 egg whites
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Again, a fairly standard meringue recipe. Leaving out the sugar would mean that the meringue won't brown on top. It is possible to make a meringue without sugar, but difficult to do, and it will unfortunately taste like dried out egg whites.

If you want the lemon pie taste but fewer calories/fat I would recommend skipping the pie crust altogether and making lemon custards. You can still top with the meringue if you want, baking in a pie pan or in individual ramekins.

At some level I find you have to accept that desserts tend to contain a lot of fat and sugar, and you just have to eat smaller portions of them to be healthy. There are options for versions with artificial sweeteners, or substituting apple sauce for oil and the like, but these won't work for all recipes, and are hit and miss with taste.







Mental Magpie

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 09:39:33 PM »
Thank you, blarg314, that was very informative!

I know desserts are going to be, as a general rule, unhealthy, but if I can make them a little bit more so, I want to at least try. 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2013, 09:42:41 PM »
It's not safe to let eggs sit out for a long time, so we only warm up eggs as we need them.

Actually that's recently been refuted - studies have shown that there are no increased risks from using eggs stored at room temperature.

Local health codes have not caught up.

What I do at home is different than when I cook in a commercial kitchen


edited for clarity
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 08:46:00 AM by PastryGoddess »

crella

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2013, 02:56:56 AM »
It's not safe to let eggs sit out for a long time, so we only warm up eggs as we need them.

Actually that's recently been refuted - studies have shown that there are no increased risks from using eggs stored at room temperature.

Local health codes have not caught up.


That's right. Health codes are in part to protect the weak (small children, frail elderly) and immuno-compromised . The egg storage rules may not change just to be extra-safe.

When I moved to Japan I was shocked that most supermarkets don't refrigerate the eggs. Doesn't seem to make any difference though.

Edited for clarity.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 02:59:34 AM by crella »

katycoo

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2013, 07:50:46 PM »
Supermarkets are about 50/50 here as to whether eggs are refrigerated or not.

As for health codes - I assumed that most households don't follow them for private cooking - only commercial kitchens.

doodlemor

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2013, 06:55:08 PM »
I would advise that you ditch that pie crust recipe if you want healthy stuff.  It is really high in carbs, which according to recent research are worse for cardiovascular health than healthy fats.  Margarine is generally an unhealthy product, too, I think.  I have read recently that polyunsaturated fats are not so great, either.  And who knows what has been done to a healthy food like yogurt, to make it low or no fat?

If you are going to make a bottom crust for a cream pie or cheesecake that doesn't have to be baked you could try a ground nut crust.  Just mix about 1 1/2 c to 2 c ground nuts for a bottom crust, a bit of sugar if you want, and 2 - 4 T melted butter.  Press it into the pie plate and bake it for about 10 minutes of so to make it stick together.  [A ground walnut crust is my favorite with a marble cheesecake made from the recipe on the back of the little Knox gelatin box.  Make the cheesecake as directed, divide in half, and add about 1/3 - 1/2 c melted chocolate chips to one of the bowls.  Put the chocolate mixture into the crust first, then the vanilla mixture, and then marble it with a knife or spoon, being careful not to go to the bottom and disturb the crust.

Here is my easy recipe for piecrust.  I think that it is an old time recipe, and is easier to handle than many others. 

Vinegar Pie Crust

Mix together:
4 c flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt [I always skip this]

Cut in:
2 c [1 lb] butter

Mix together in bowl:

1 egg, beaten a bit
1 T cider vinegar
half cup or so of water - the entire contents of this bowl should be about 1 cup

Add the liquids to the flour mix and let rest in the fridge or another cool place for a few minutes before you roll it out.  It's okay to add quite a bit more water, but do it by the spoonful if you want the crust to be flakey.  I generally add more water.

Another trick for a flaky pie crust is to cut part of the fat into the flour until the pieces are fairly small.  Then cut in the rest and leave those pieces bigger.

This pie crust stays flakey even though I generally use a good bit of flour to roll it out.  It makes enough pastry for 2 double crust pies.  If you only want to make 1 pie....... when you halve the recipe break the egg into a cup, beat it up with a fork, and dump half down the drain.

When I make a savory pie I leave out the sugar in the recipe.  Very soon I'm going to try the crust recipe with half white flour, and half rye flour for Swedish Vasterbotten Pie.  I'll try to let you know how it turns out.

blarg314

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Re: Lemon Lime Meringue Pie Substitutes
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2013, 08:37:15 PM »

A standard pie crust is basically fat and carbs - the fat is some combination of butter/margarine/lard/shortening, and the carbs are pastry flour - at about a 2/1 ratio (2 cups flour to 1 cup fat). There's not a whole lot you can do to alter that without compromising quality. Decrease the fat, and the crust gets tough (it's the little chunks of fat melting that give you the flakiness) - this is why the first recipe, which has less fat, has the yoghurt added, which will make a softer, less flaky, but not rock hard dough. Decrease the carbs, and you get melted grease. You want low gluten flour, though (aka pastry flour) because too much gluten also makes pastry tough.

As for which fat works best - butter tastes great, but is hard to work with (low melting temperature, high water content). Shortening gives a great texture and is easy to work with, but has no taste. Lard is great to work with, and makes a lovely crust, but is no longer vegetarian (and it's hard to get really good lard). Margarine cooks similar to butter, but doesn't taste as good (and has the same amount of calories). Butter substitute spreads should not be used in baking - only use stick margarine.