I've decided my challenge this year is going to be to master pastry. I'm happy making bread, cake, cookies, etc., but I'm a coward when it comes to pastry. I've made a few simple tarts in the past, but mostly, the few times I've made pies, I've used store-bought crust. I know, I'm ashamed. So I've decided that this year I'm going to try various kinds of pastry, and keep making them until I'm satisfied I've got it down.
I'm at the farm for a couple of weeks and was going to make lemon curd with the Meyer lemons again, but then I thought I'd make a start on the Great Pastry Experiment while I'm here, so found this recipe for lemon meringue at Epicurious and made their basic shortcrust. Of course, the proof is in the eating, but Mom made little pear dumpling things with the scraps of pastry and they were pretty good, so I'm fairly sure the crust part of the pie is OK. I licked the spatula after I poured the filling into the crust and it tasted great, and the meringue looks gorgeous, so I'm confident it will be edible. Dad's been away for a couple of days for medical treatment and it's his favourite pie, so it should be a nice surprise for him when he gets home this afternoon.
On my list of other pastry to try is (in order of ascending scariness):
Choux - for cream puffs, profiteroles, and eclairs.
Flaky - for sausage rolls, pasties, and turnovers.
Puff - for palmiers, pot pies, and croissants.
Filo - for baklava, strudel, and hors d'oeuvres.
I'm hoping that, by the end of the year, I can confidently whip up a pie from scratch at any given moment.