Friday, September 30, 2011

Eat Live Love Local

The great thing about our new community is there is an abundance of local farmers who get together at our neighborhood park and sell fresh produce every week. I stopped by yesterday to see what yummy goods I could find for our next meal and for my husband's sweet tooth and I happily came across a variety of local produce. I picked out some fresh kale for dinner, Okinawan sweet potatoes for a future pie just waiting to be made,  green onions for our weekend egg skillet, and the biggest sweetest smelling lemons I have ever seen! Growing up. my siblings and I had some awesome lemon trees in our yard that we used to make fresh lemonade, now I am going to use these lemons to make one of my husbands favorite treats: Lemon Meringue Pie.

If you get a craving for something delicious and nutritious, find your closest farmers market and go explore the goods, pick out the freshest produce you can find, and whip up a meal or tasty treat. Trust me, you can see, smell, and taste the difference. Not only does fresh local produce taste better, it contains far more nutrients (because it is allowed to ripen on the tree), and it boosts your immune system allowing for optimal health and wellness.

If you are interested in trying my gluten-free lemon meringue pie recipe, find some fresh lemons, fresh local eggs, and hormone-free butter and milk. These ingredients make up a big part of the pie. Luckily, lemons grow in many places and you can find local, hormone free milk and eggs even in the supermarket.  The key to a delicious and nutritious wholesome pie is the fresh foods and whole, unrefined ingredients.

Local Lemon Meringue Pie

GF Crust
This recipe should make enough for 2 pie crusts, you can refrigerate one for another time or double the filling recipe and make 2 pies. 
Pre-heat oven to 325
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 cup Wholesome Sweeteners sucanet (aka: unrefined evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/2 teas. sea salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (use organic or hormone-free)
- Grease a glass pie pan with butter.
- In a large bowl, combine and mix thoroughly all the dry ingredients.
- Cut cold butter into small cubes and knead into dry ingredients until well incorporated into a smooth dough.
- With your hands, press the dough evenly into the pan and up the sides.
- Bake the dough on the bottom rack for 15-20 minutes or until edges are slightly brown. 
- Cool the dough as you make the filling and leave the oven on to bake the filling.

GF Pie Filling
  • 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners powdered sugar *gluten-free and unrefined
  •  3 Tbs. tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup almond  milk (or local hormone-free milk)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. butter
- On the stove top, in a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, tapioca flour, lemon zest, almond milk, and lemon juice.
- Bring to boil over medium heat and stir constantly until it thickens into a gel like mixture.
- Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until smooth and then add the eggs into the saucepan with lemon gel mixture.
- Cook over medium heat, add the butter, and stir constantly until fully combined.
- Remove from heat and cover while making the meringue topping. 
*I use Wholesome Sweeteners brand for many of my baking ingredients because of their gluten-free and unrefined products. Be careful of conventional powdered sugar because it is not always gluten-free due to the addition of refined wheat flour.

GF Meringue Topping
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup Wholesome sweeteners powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
- Beat the egg whites and cream of tarter until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar and vanilla extract and keep beating until the filling is light and fluffy.

*When I didn't have an electric mixer, I just used some good ol' arm strength to get the meringue to form. It took quite some time, sweat, and endurance but if you have the willpower then go for it. If you already have an electric mixer it will take you way less time and leave you without the sore arms.

- I realized there are many steps to this, but it is well worth it!
- Add the lemon mixture to the pie then add the merengue on top
- Bake for 20 minutues until the merengue is a beautiful light golden brown color.
- Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

After all that LOVE you just put into making this, you and the lucky people you decide to share with will taste it in every bite!

Today is Aloha Friday, and our awesome little town gathers together for a fun festival where locals sell beautiful art, play live music, and eat. I can't wait to share my pie tonight!


1 comment:

  1. This pie is like love: it is better to have had and lost than to not have had at all!

    Thank you, beautiful wife, for your beautiful creations. I'm so lucky to be able to share my life, and your wonderful food, with you. I love you!