Category Archives: Lemon

Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chicken with Lemon & OlivesUnsurprisingly, the way to my heart is through my stomach. I mean, I’m a food blogger–of course it is.

To get specific though, it’s through salty, briny, acidic foods. Dessert is a wonderful thing, but I will happily destroy a jar of pickles or smear dijon mustard on everything or give you a tour of my salt collection (nerd alert!) any day of the week. And then I will make you a batch of cookies, because of course I will. But that’s a post for another day.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesToday, we’re talking about Chicken with Lemon & Olives, which is a dream dinner for someone like me. It’s got crispy-skinned chicken thighs, briny roasted olives and a garlicky, herby, dijon-spiked lemon sauce, so…yeah, um, hi. Sign me up.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesThis dish, y’all. It’s so delicious. The sauce is tangy and acidic from the lemon and mustard, and rich (but not overly so) from the chicken and olive oil. And the olives—ohhhh, the olives. They’re cracked open before cooking so that all that tangy, schmaltzy sauce gets in there and gets a little briny and…well, it’s very good.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesSpeaking of olives, I prefer to make this with castelveltranos because they’re my favorite. More of a kalamata person? Want to try a mix? Do what makes you happy. I used olives that still have their pits because, frankly, they always taste better. If you want to use pitted olives though, I won’t stop you. Just make sure to skip the step when you give them a thwack with the bottom of a cast iron skillet—nobody wants to clean that mess.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesI should note that the sauce stays on the thin side. If you’d like it to be thicker, you can reduce the amount of stock a bit when you pour it in, or remove the chicken, etc., and thicken it with a cornstarch slurry after roasting. Truly, the consistency of the sauce was the only thing I had reservations about during testing, but I like it as written. It nestles perfectly into a pile of polenta or mashed potatoes. Next time I’m going to try serving it with slices of toasted baguette.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesCan we discuss how absurdly beautiful this is? I love the golden chicken in contrast with the vibrant olives and roasted lemon wedges. This is definitely one of those mains that works as well for a dinner party as it does for a weeknight. And on that note, if you’re having a dinner party and making this, please invite me.Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chicken with Lemon & Olives
makes 6-8 servings

2 cups olives (with pits), brine discarded (I used castelveltrano)
8 chicken thighs
1/2-3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 lemons, divided
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (based on preference)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 cup chicken stock
polenta or mashed potatoes, for serving
chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a large casserole dish or 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.

Crack olives. On a sturdy surface, sandwich olives between two pieces of parchment. Use a heavy object (bottom of a cast iron skillet, meat tenderizer, large can) to give them a few whacks to crack the skin open a bit. You may also use a sharp knife to lightly score each olive.

Blot chicken thighs with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Use your hands to lightly and quickly massage oil and salt into the meat for even distribution.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches (unless your pan is giant), place chicken thighs in the pan skin-side-down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Meanwhile, juice 1-2 lemons, until you have 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Slice remaining lemon into 8 wedges. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of rendered fat. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary, and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in red pepper flakes and mustard, followed by stock. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Pour sauce into prepared dish. Place chicken in a single layer over the top. Arrange olives around chicken and tuck lemon wedges in between. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake 45-50 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Let cool a few minutes until bubbling stops. Serve over polenta or mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & Olives

Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’mores

Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresIs there any food that celebrates summer quite like a s’more? I don’t think so. I mean, it’s pretty difficult to argue with the near-perfect combination of graham cracker, melty toasted marshmallow, and chocolate on a searing hot day…Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’mores…but I’m going to anyway because of course I am. I like to occasionally dabble in the contrarian arts, and nothing on this blog screams “I do what I want!” louder than today’s Lemon Meringue S’mores!Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresYes, Lemon Meringue S’mores. As in, graham crackers, toasted marshmallow, and lemon curd. As in, a six—er, four—bite summertime treat that tastes just like Lemon Meringue Pie, but is about 1% of the work, permitting that you’ve already made the lemon curd. If you haven’t made it, that number goes up to a whopping 3%.Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresYou see, the lemon curd I use for Lemon Meringue S’mores isn’t just any lemon curd, y’all. It’s Lazy Lemon Curd. I mean, you’ll be hard-presses to find a citrus curd recipe that is particularly challenging, but this is one for the days when you reeeeeally don’t want to whisk something continuously or add butter bit-by-bit or strain anything.*

*I hate straining things. Hate. It. Not as much as I hate cleaning muffin pans, but almost. So, if I tell you to strain something, it means it really needs to be done. Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresThis is an easy three-ingredient, two-step recipe. Whisk together some fresh lemon juice, two egg yolks and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Heat that mixture over a double boiler, stirring if/when you think about it, until it thickens slightly, which takes fifteen minutes. That’s literally it.Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresIf this recipe looks familiar, that’s because it is. Lazy Lemon Curd is just a sunny lemon spin on the filling for my Key Lime Linzer Cookies, and that is just a stovetop version of Key Lime Pie filling. It’s also the combination I use in my easy Pink Lemonade Bars. Sweetened condensed milk, y’all—it’s the unsung hero of my kitchen.Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresOnce your Lazy Lemon Curd has cooled a bit, make yourself some s’mores! Slather a little of the curd on a graham cracker, top it with a toasted marshmallow and sandwich it all with another graham cracker. And then repeat that process because you’re going to want two of these toasty, gooey, lemony treats. And because this stuff keeps well in the fridge, you can make Lemon Meringue S’mores all summer long. That’s something worth celebrating.Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’mores

Lazy Lemon Curd
makes about 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3-4 lemons)
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks, room temperature

Make the filling. Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

In the heatproof bowl, whisk together lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Place bowl over simmering water, creating a double boiler. Let cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer filling to a heatproof container. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface. Let cool completely at room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

Lemon Meringue S’mores
makes 4 s’mores

4 whole sheets honey graham crackers
2 tablespoons Lazy Lemon Curd
4 large marshmallows

Carefully break each graham cracker sheet in half to produce 2 squares (8 squares total). Place bottom-side-up on a surface.

Top 4 of the graham squares with 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) each of the Lazy Lemon Curd.

Toast the marshmallows. Place each marshmallow on a skewer. Turn a gas stove flame (or other heat source) to medium-low. Carefully toast marshmallow over the top before transferring it onto lemon curd. Repeat with other marshmallows. Turn off stove. If you’d like to toast your marshmallows with another at-home method, see here.

Top marshmallows with the remaining graham squares, top-side-up. Serve immediately.Lazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’moresLazy Lemon Curd + Lemon Meringue S’mores

Pink Lemonade Bars

Pink Lemonade BarsI have a love/hate relationship with Facebook’s “On This Day” feature. Yes, it’s fun to see old pictures and moments from my college days, but there’s a dark side to it all. That terrible haircut I’ve blocked from memory? Here it is! Every bad fashion choice I’ve ever made? Displayed prominently on my iPhone screen! What appears to be a solid year of angsty statuses? Just…what?!

Pink Lemonade BarsLast week, I had daily reminders of last year’s vacation to Swans Island, Maine. I am currently sixteen days away from heading up there again and I am so. freaking. ready. Swiping through photos of my friends and me hiking, puzzling, and sunbathing has me going crazy waiting to get out of NYC. Don’t get me wrong–I love living here. I just need a break every once in a while.

The vast majority of our trip pictures from last summer are of the four of us collecting wildflowers and climbing over rocks and floating on inner tubes in the ocean, but there are also a few of my friend Liz and me baking in “our” rustic kitchen. We had a ball working together, and I’m so glad I documented it all on here. Our first effort was a Blue-Razz Pie made with foraged berries, but it’s the Lemon Bars that really have me feeling nostalgic for my favorite island off the coast of Maine. There’s just something about the combination of soft lemon filling and buttery shortbread crust that screams summer, am I right?!

Pink Lemonade BarsToday, I’m taking that classic recipe and combining it with another favorite–Pink Lemonade! These Pink Lemonade Bars are super lemony and delicious, and insanely easy 😊 The whole recipe requires just ten ingredients, and while the filling is just as soft and delicious as a classic lemon bar, it’s much less complicated. Sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks are the heavy lifters here, keeping everything sweet and giving the filling its structure.

Pink Lemonade BarsPink Lemonade BarsPink Lemonade BarsPink Lemonade Bars get their color in two ways. The first is seedless raspberry purée, made from blitzing fresh raspberries in a blender or food processor and then pushing it through a sieve. I know that sounds tedious, but it takes all of five minutes. This will produce about 1/3 cup of purée, although you’ll only need to mix 1/4 cup into the filling.

Pink Lemonade Bars

Raspberry Purée only.

Pink Lemonade Bars

Raspberry Purée and Food Coloring.

You could certainly use only the raspberry purée to color the filling, but the pink may not be very vibrant. I wanted my bars to be a brighter pink, but no amount of raspberry purée by itself seemed to do the trick. Here, I’ve added a tiny amount of pink gel food coloring to achieve a berry color.

Bottom line: whether or not you choose to use food coloring, your bars will still be pink and lemony 😊

Pink Lemonade BarsThese bars bake up quickly, but must cool completely and be chilled before slicing–Pink Lemonade Bars are an excellent make-ahead dessert option. When you’re ready to serve, all you’ll need to do is slice them up and dust them with confectioner’s sugar. Your friends and family will love this twist on an old favorite.Pink Lemonade Bars

Pink Lemonade Bars
makes one 8-inch pan, 9-16 bars

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Filling:
6 ounces fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 large lemons)
red or pink food coloring, as desired (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease foil. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold butter. Use your fingertips to rub butter into flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. It will be powdery, but should hold together when pinched. Pour shortbread mixture into prepared pan. Spread it around to cover the bottom of the pan before using your hand to pack it down into an even layer. Prick several times with a fork. Bake 8-10 minutes, until it begins to set.

Make the filling. Place raspberries in a food processor or blender. Process until puréed. Push raspberry purée through a sieve to remove seeds. This should produce about 1/3 cup raspberry purée. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until homogeneous. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, followed by lemon juice and 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of raspberry purée. Pour filling over warm crust. Bake 18-22 minutes, until the center of the filling just barely jiggles when the pan is jostled.

Let bars cool completely in the pan on a rack. Chill for at least two hours or overnight. Use foil overhang to remove bars to a cutting board. Peel off foil. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice bars.

Immediately before serving, place a cooling rack over wax paper. Place cut bars on rack. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the tops. Remove to a plate and serve immediately.

Leftover bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Add more confectioner’s sugar as necessary.

Pink Lemonade Bars

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue PieFor the next three weeks, I feel like I should call this blog E2 Bakes Fort Worth. I’m in town for the holidays and a family event during the first week of January. Three weeks of family time may seem like an eternity to some, but I think it’ll go by in a flash. When my immediate family and I get together, we just *click.* Everything is more fun with my parents and sisters around. Oh, and I can’t forget about our trusty schnauzer.

We used to do the big family Christmas every year, but these days, we prefer a quieter holiday. We cook and decorate and play Dominoes–it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the best.

Lemon Meringue PieSince we aren’t expecting any company this year, we don’t have to make any specific holiday menu. The plan is to make a lamb pot pie, and I’m hoping to make pots de creme for dessert, but we’ll see. That’s the great thing about Christmas being “just us.” We can make those things…or not. There are no expectations beyond an ear-splitting rendition of “O Holy Night,” and my mom’s all-citrus fruit salad.

But there is something to be said for traditions. I do not come from a family of bakers, aside from my grandmother, Nonnie. She would have been 98 this past Sunday. Nonnie made the best Buttermilk Biscuits and chocolate cake I’ve ever had, but she had much more than those two items in her baking repertoire.

When we were young and she was in good health, she would come over on Christmas Day with boxes and boxes of homemade desserts. Many of them were made up on the fly, using up ingredients she found around her little house. There were strawberry cakes and chocolate cream pies, and I recall one Christmas where my mom allowed us to eat her apple cake for breakfast for days. No two years were exactly alike, save for one item: Lemon Meringue Pie. I don’t remember her ever making one for another occasion.

Lemon Meringue PieLemon Meringue PieLemon Meringue PieWhile Lemon Meringue Pie may not say Christmas to you, it does to my family and me. The flaky crust, lemony base, and airy topping bring back memories of our childhoods. While I was baking this pie yesterday afternoon, my dad stopped in for a few minutes. Instead of remarking at the horrific mess the kitchen had become, he looked at me and said “This brings back memories of being in my mother’s kitchen.” That’s probably the highest compliment he could give me.

Lemon Meringue PieLooking for more holiday recipes? You’ve come to the right place! Check out my Five-Ingredient Salted Marzipan Truffles, Iced Sugar Cookies, Pear & Cranberry Torte, Eggnog Bundt Cake, Gingersnaps, Lindor Truffle Peanut Butter Blossoms, and Chai Shortbread Snowballs. For food gifting, try my Hot Chocolate Mix, Brownie Mix, or pair these Orange Cardamom Pistachio Shortbread with a box of tea.

Lemon Meringue Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough (or other good crust)

Meringue:
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 large egg whites, room temperature

Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
5 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425F.

Roll pie crust to 12-inch diameter. Fit it in a standard pie plate, trim the overhang to 1-inch, and crimp. Line the inside of the unbaked pie crust with parchment (or non-heavy duty foil). Fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully lift out parchment and weights. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes. Set crust aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

Make the meringue. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine cream of tartar and sugar. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, use a fork to whisk together cornstarch, water, and vanilla.

Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat them on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, until frothy. Add sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time, beating until completely incorporated. Add cornstarch mixture one tablespoon at a time, until combined. Continue beating on medium speed until egg whites form stiff peaks. Set aside.

Make the filling. In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to beat egg yolks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in water. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens. Whisking constantly, pour 1/3 cup of the mixture into the egg yolks. Whisking constantly, add egg yolk mixture to the pan. Stir in lemon zest, followed by lemon juice and vanilla. Let simmer for 1 additional minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter. Push filling through a sieve to remove any lumps.

Pour hot filling into prepared crust. Drop spoonfuls of meringue over the top of the filling, and use the back of the spoon to spread it out. Bake 20 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned. Let pie cool completely on a rack before slicing and serving.

Lemon Meringue Pie is best served the day it’s made.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Pink Lemonade

I think the world would be a much happier place if we all stopped for a lemonade break. I mean, think about it.

It’s ten thousand degrees outside. School is starting back up again soon. The holidays are not all that far away.

Yes, I’m thinking about the holidays nearly four months out. Aren’t you?! 😜

 So, how about instead of thinking about all the stuff we have to do, we pause for a glass of cold lemonade and forget everything for five minutes? Real lemonade, not the powdered stuff that you’ve had in your pantry for two years. Definitely not that. Instead, let’s have perfectly sweet-tart homemade lemonade. And let’s make it pink because it’s just more fun that way.

    Homemade Pink Lemonade takes a little more effort than stirring powder into water, but it is also a million times more delicious. You won’t find any food coloring in the list of ingredients either. Nope. The pink color comes from fresh raspberries!

The recipe starts with making a lemony raspberry syrup. Throw some fresh raspberries, a couple of tablespoons of lemon zest, sugar, and water into a small saucepan, and cook it just until the berries start to fall apart. Let it cool for 30 minutes while you juice a bunch of lemons. Then strain the syrup into a pitcher and stir in the lemon juice and some cold water. Serve it over ice with a few slices of lemon and cute straws, and then relax for five whole minutes. Trust me, your to-do list can wait that long.

 Pink Lemonade
makes about 2 quarts

Syrup:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (about 2 large lemons)
3/4 cup water

For Assembly:
1 1/2 cups lemon juice (about 10 large lemons)
3 1/2-4 cups cold water
ice

For Garnish (optional):
1 large lemon, thinly sliced

Make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, raspberries, lemon zest, and water. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries are starting to fall apart. Let cool 30 minutes before pushing through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds and pith.
Make the lemonade. In a large pitcher, combine syrup, lemon juice, and 3 1/2 cups cold water. Stir. Taste, and add 1/2 cup more cold water if it’s too tart.

Serve pink lemonade over ice. Garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

Pink Lemonade