The Herd Archives

Monday, December 10, 2012

Guest Post w/ Erin Knightley + Giveaway (open INT)


Good morning lovelies! We've got a fun baking post for yall today from Erin Knightley which was inspired by her heroine Jane, who is a baker (love!) in her newest release A Taste for Scandal (loved even more!)!! 

Please join me in giving Erin a warm welcome to the blog! And don't forget to check out the giveaways down at the bottom :) One is linked over to Erin's Blog where she's giving away 36 SIGNED books by a ton of different authors :)


“Close your eyes, concentrate on the beauty of your creation. The tart lemon and the creamy meringue. The buttery crust and the unexpected infusion of . . . well, I don’t know what that other flavor is, but it is delicious.”

Jane sighed heavily, gave Richard another sarcastic look, then closed her eyes. She slowed her chewing, deciding not to waste the opportunity, and to do exactly as he suggested. She had to admit, it did seem to make the flavors that much more distinct. Of course, it also served to intensify her sensitivity to him. The flavors playing over her tongue blended with the smell of his skin, sending an unexpected ribbon of pleasure through her body.

At last she finished and allowed her eyes to flutter open. She gasped, the words poised on the tip of her tongue promptly fleeing when she realized how close he was. He was leaning toward her, regarding her intently. No longer teasing, his eyes seemed to darken to the color of twilight as he watched her.
                                                                   
                                                       ~A Taste for Scandal

Sounds good, doesn’t it? No, not the man – the pie


When I was first writing A TASTE FOR SCANDAL, with its baker heroine Jane and her hero, the Earl of Raleigh, I just knew that at some point, she would bake something that evoked the essence of the earl. This pie, which earned the dubious moniker of Lunatic’s Delight (I swear that will make sense when you read the book, lol), sprang from nowhere and had me drooling even as I wrote it. 

In theory, it sounded delicious: lemon meringue pie laced with rhubarb – the perfect marriage of tart, sweet, and tangy. 

In reality, I hadn’t a clue if such a thing would work. So one day, as I came across a package of fresh, perfectly pink rhubarb at the market, I decided to give it a try. Great idea, right? 

But here’s the thing. I had never actually had rhubarb. All I knew was that it was frequently used in pies, so I assumed it’d be sweet and tangy. What I didn’t expect was for the fresh rhubarb to smell awful. Like celery—which I hate—dressed in blushing sheep’s clothing. With doubt rearing its celery-scented head, I kept chopping, hoping I wasn’t about to ruin a perfectly lovely lemon pie. Taking a deep breath, I took the plunge and tossed the icky pink stalks into the lemon filling. As I stirred, the yellow mixture blushed like the first hints of a summer sunset. 

Well, if it had to suck, at least it would look pretty. 

After topping with some fluffy white meringue, the whole thing went into the oven. I paced nervously, hardly able to wait to see how it would all turn out. It was like a small part of my imagination—my books—come to life, right in my kitchen. I was making the very thing my heroine had invented, a recipe that was meant to capture the essence of her hero. If it was terrible, for some reason I was afraid it would ruin the magic of their chemistry. What if I didn’t know them at all? 

When the peaks were gently golden, I slid the pie from the oven and set it out to cool. It actually smelled quite nice. It was a good sign, but I still had to wait for the pie to first cool, then chill in the fridge.


At long last, dinner had been cleared away and the moment of truth was upon me. I pulled my creation from the fridge, cut a slice, and sat down to my plate with fork in hand. The tines glided through the creamy filling as I gathered my first forkful, took a bracing breath, and popped it in my mouth.

And smiled.

It was absolutely delicious. The rich, tangy filling was like cool silk against my tongue, the tart flavor cut by the sweet, cloud-like meringue. The crust was beyond perfect, buttery, flaky, and just the tad bit sweet. I would have never known that the hint of rouge in the pie was actually rhubarb—it only added an unexpected…something. I don’t know what, just a suggestion of something adventurous.

Exactly as my heroine had wanted :) 
Here it is, my Lemon Blush Pie!
                                     
                                                        ~Erin Knightley

Lemon Blush Pie Recipe

Crust (yes, you can use pre-made or follow the below): 
1 cup and 2 tbsp all purpose flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 cup cold shortening (I refrigerated mine for an hour) 
1 tsp sugar 
3 – 5 tbsp ice water 
  • Combine the flour, sugar, and salt, mix. 
  • Add shortening, and cut into flour using a pastry knife or two regular knives until mixture resembles coarse, pea-sized crumbs. 
  • Add water a little at a time, stirring with a fork until mixture clings together. 
  • Taking care not to over mix, shape into 1 inch thick disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 425. 
  • Roll out dough on floured surface and fit into 9 inch pie pan. 
  • Crimp edges, poke holes in the bottom with a fork, and place in over for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack, 
Filling 
5 tbsp cornstarch 
1 and 1/4 cups sugar 
1 and 1/2 cups water 
1/2 cup lemon juice 
1 tsp lemon extract or 1 tbsp lemon zest 
4 egg yolks (save whites for meringue) 
3/4 cup rhubarb, finely chopped or food processed. 
1 tbsp butter 
  • Whisk cornstarch, sugar, and water together in a medium saucepan. 
  • Add the lemon juice, extract/zest, yolks and rhubarb. 
  • Cook while stirring constantly until mixture begins to bubble and thicken. 
  • Remove from heat and whisk in butter. 
  • Either place directly in crust, or strain to remove fibers/zest (I didn’t strain). 
Meringue 
4 egg whites 
1/3 cup sugar 
  • Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. 
  • Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. 
  • Slowly trickle in sugar until completely mixed. 
  • Beat until the mixture is glossy with firm peaks. 
  • Spread over filling, covering completely. 
  • Lift spatula to create peaks. 
  • Bake until meringue is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. 
  • Cool on rack, then chill in fridge.


Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science.  It was only after earning her B.S. and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn't any fun at all.  Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and now spends her days writing. Together with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina.  

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Get Your Copy of A Taste for Scandal!

I’d like to give a big thanks to Anna for inviting me to join Herding Cats and Burning Soup today :)  With all the yummy baking going on in my book, I’d say we’re a match made in heaven!

So tell me—if you were to make a dessert to capture your essence, what would it be? 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, don’t forget to enter my giveaway at my webpage —there are 36 signed books up for grabs! Click HERE for more information on the giveaway.

55 comments:

  1. I LOVE lemon pie!! I think that what would represent me is chocolate truffles <3

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    1. Mmm - truffles! Smooth, chocolately goodness - good choice! I rather think I'd like you ;)

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  2. My Oma (Great Grandmother) used to make that all the time! I am not a fan of lemon or rhubarb pies but put the two together and I loved it! She was always baking something new...and always from scratch. She said anything worth eating you make and grow yourself...never from a impersonal box!
    I think the delight that would describe me best is Heavenly Hash.... Sweet with a bit of tart. (I am usually described as a sarcastic sweetheart lol)

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    1. Your Oma sounds like a woman I would like! There is nothing like making food from scratch. I only wish I had a greener thumb so I could grow the food, too!

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    2. Oh she was amazing! The only problem, she was used to cooking like 7 course meals for her family. SO when it came down to just her she had no one to cook for at home. If you EVER let her know you really liked something she made over othr things. You ate that for the next 3 months because she would make so much of it! lol She definitely loved to cook.

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  3. This is a tricky one...cause my fav dessert does not capture my essence. I love cheesecake but I am more like a key lime pie, tart and sweet at the same time!

    grapeapril75(AT)gmail.com

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    1. You sound like a southerner ;) Sweet and tart is a great combo!

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  4. My favorite dessert is pecan pie and I only eat it around the holidays because its so not good for you ;) I guess that it would also describe me-sweet and a little nutty.
    Happy Holidays,
    Lori

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    1. Hahaha! Love it :) As for the pecans, we had baked french toast with caramelized pecans this weekend at a B&B, and I tell you, it is a wonder I didn't perish from the decadent deliciousness!

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  5. Your recipe looks yummy, make me hungry. My family was like dessert like chocolate pudding or cake fresh from oven. I think i will try this recipe, maybe my family will like it, and i can adding to my family dessert :)

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    1. Oh, I hope you do try it! Let me know how it turns out :)

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  6. That sounds and looks wonderful!!! Well done!
    lisakhutson @ cox. net

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  7. hum i think i would be a ice cream something swxeet and comforting ( or i least i hope so^^)

    thank you a lot for the giveaway

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    1. Mmmm - I'm a sucker for really great ice cream. Comfort food indeed!

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  8. going with Beehive cake
    CHOCOLATE -- they pour honey & walnuts on it
    then top with whipped cream!!!!!!
    next would be dump cake - well its GOOD
    dump cake mix - pie filling(we prefer cherry) butter, pineapple in pan
    bake - you serve with ice cream to cut the sweetness :)

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    1. Chocolate, honey, walnuts, and whipped cream?? Sign me up!!

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  9. Lol, Rhubarb is a lot of work, you have to peel it, and use lots of sugar to make it eddible enough for me. My mother does make some lovely rhubarb though. I don't know if it a jam or jelly, but we put it in the yoghurt or other deserts (sweeter ones).

    What I would be? Hmmm. Not pretty on the outside, but mighty sweet on the inside. My favourite is that thick yellow bakers cream ...

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    1. I'm sure you're a delight through and through, Aurian :) And I agree - I'd not touch rhubarb without the sugar!

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  10. I like my mom's Romanian dishes. Clatite - which is just our word for "crepe".. with delicious things like fruits/chocolates or cheeses to put in the inside or on top. So plain on the outside, with deliciousness in the middle :)

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    1. Oh my goodness, they brought a crepe making station to my work for a party the other day - talk about a happy Erin!! Savory or sweet, I adore crepes :)

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  11. That's a tough one...

    Maybe caramel peacan pie? Sweet but a bit nutty too!

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    1. LOL! Sounds like the perfect combo to me :) Keeps people on their toes!

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  12. Mmmm yall are killing me here! LOL. Your dishes all sounds really, *really* good!

    Thanks for coming by Erin! Loved the post :) And omg LOVED the book!

    ~Anna

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    1. For dessert I'm going simple chocolate chip cookie. Dependable, gets along with almost everyone and always hits the spot :)

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    2. Aw - thanks Anna! I'm overwhelmed after reading your review just now. THANK YOU!

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  13. Tiramisu, yumminess and om nom nom =)
    Loved your desserts!

    best wishes, Linda

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    1. Ah, tiramisu. The inventor of that one probably has a monument in his honor somewhere!

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  14. Hmm... maybe Death by Chocolate cake. LOL! I have kind of an overwhelming personality and there is nothing subtle about me.

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    1. Hey - there's no such thing as too much of a good thing! :P

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  15. OMG I was so worried it wasn't going to turn out right. I've never had rubarb either :)
    mmmm...I'm thinking something a bit sweet and sour. I have no idea what it is, so you'll have to create a desert for me, lol

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    1. Mmmm what about keylime pie Nae? Little sweet little tart?

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    2. Sounds like Richard's pie would work well for you Nae!

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  16. Chocolate lava cake... looks like a normal little cake on the outside with a surprise on the inside :)
    Great post and excerpt.
    kitcat76(at)hotmail.com

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    1. Ha! Love it - and I love lava cake! Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. It would have to be something with a lot of peanut butter in it. I'm a peanut butter freak. I make a mean peanut butter fudge! It's super awesome.

    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

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  18. I never would have thought to put rhubarb in a pie! My essence would be captured by chocolate covered strawberries!

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  19. Erin, this post brought back memories of my grandmother. She made the best rhubarb pies. She had a recipe that made it custardy and sadly, it passed with her. There was never a recipe because she had it all in her head. Never measured anything. If a dessert was to capture my essence, it would be cherry yum yum. LOVE that stuff!

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  20. Apple pie or anything with apples.Nice post by the way.

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  21. Something with chocolate, dark chocolate, like truffles :D

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  22. Holy cow! After THAT description, so worth it going off my diet for that pie! My favorite is chocolate pecan pie!

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  23. Pumpkin pie - it's my absolute favorite dessert - I have it every year for my birthday instead of cake. It's an autumn dessert and my birthday is the day after Halloween, so I think it fits me perfectly.

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  24. that lemon pie looks yummy - but my essence must have dark chocolate in it since I enjoy it so much - perhaps a chocolate lava cake?

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  25. I love the combination of chocolate and raspberry so it could be something with these two, but on the other hand, I also love cheese cream filling and raspberry (yeah I need some raspberry everywhere!), so I don't really know what to choose among them :)

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  26. It would have to be Kahlua Cream Cheese Pie. It doesn't look like much on the outside because the real surprise is on the inside. It's so good but I haven't had it in years.

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  27. Your recipe sounds yummy...I love all desserts with lemon and/or rhubarb! I also love rapsberries and chocolate...so chocolate lava cake drizzled with raspberry sauce and a scoop of lemon sorbet next to it is heaven!
    ivegotmail8889(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  28. A Dessert to represent me?? This doesn't exsist but...rich, chocolate pound cake layered with lemon or cherry cream pie, covered in real (not lite or ff) whipped cream. A side of real vanilla bean ice cream lightly drizzled with hot fudge and cherry sauce.

    Oh, now I'm craving rich chocolate and good cherries! Bad Erin! But if I can come up with something, hubby will be thankful ;)

    vickykerr(at)sbcglobal.net

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  29. humm not sure, i'd say it depends. It's a toss between a chocolate mousse cake and an banana cream pie :) really it depends on what day it is hehe

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  30. I so don't know! But I'm thinking some kind of cake/pudding, like this peanut butter cake I made once that was sponge covered in chocolate/peanut butter frosting. Or maybe I just think that's delicious :D Not to mention your Lemon Blush Pie. That thing looks incredible!!

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  31. My Mom makes the best homemade lemon meringue pie ever so I love lemon pies. I probably couldn't make it even though one day, I will get her recipe and try:)

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  32. Hi Erin!

    I just wrote down your recipe for lemon meringue pie with rhubarb mixed in and my husband is going to love it!

    I'm more a cherry-covered cheesecake type of woman! I have a "secret family" recipe I got from a friend who had to sneak it out of her house in the middle of the night! The crust is made with ziebach that has been crushed instead of graham crackers and it adds that "special" something that makes is even better. It's a thick cheesecake recipe that literally melts in your mouth with a sweet covering of cherries. I like the combination of the tangy and the sweet and it's not only the perfect ending for a holiday celebration but no matter the time of year you serve it the bright red cheeries reminds you of the holidays and the family all gathered together around the table!

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  33. Beautiful looking pie. I am not a huge Meringue fan. I love lemon pic just without the Meringue but I know how hard and easy it is to mess up. And a good crust can seriously make or break the pie.

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    1. That pie looks and sounds delicious. I think something with peanut butter and chocolate

      susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

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  34. I accidentally replied to someones post! Love the looks of the pie and I think peanut butter and chocolate.

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

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I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

Bloggers don't forget to leave your links!
~Anna