Showing posts with label egg whites. Show all posts
Showing posts with label egg whites. Show all posts

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

by Sheila Connolly

Elizabeth Floyd -- her
engagement photo
This week we’re honoring our mothers, and the food they made that we remember fondly.

My mother did not really care for desserts or anything sweet (she spent most of her adult life battling what she considered a weight problem, probably because she had been a slightly pudgy child). But she did not deprive her family of desserts, thank goodness.

What I remember most happily is the pies she made, all of which can be found in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, AKA Fannie Farmer. She used the 1947 edition, which makes sense because she and my father married in 1948. I still have it (and use it!), its pages market with annotations from three generations of cooks.

The quartet of favorites consisted of lemon meringue pie, chocolate cream pie, chocolate chiffon pie, and lemon chiffon pie. I’ve made more than my share of lemon meringue pies, but I don’t think I’ve ever found an example of lemon chiffon pie in the real world, so that’s what my mother is sending to you, by way of me.

My mother's pie pan
My mother's double boiler

By the way, it was only when I began to assemble what I needed to make this recipe that I realized I still had (and use) my mother’s Pyrex pie pan and double boiler, so this is kind of a double tribute. I hope I’ve made her proud.

Lemon Chiffon Pie

May I remind you that I am
pie crust challenged? At
least it's homemade.
Single pie crust (of your choice), baked

2 tsp gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 tsp grated lemon rind
4 egg whites* (about 1/3 cup)

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water.

Beat the egg yolks, add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and lemon juice and rind.

Cook the mixture over simmering water in a double boiler, stirring until thick.

Add the gelatin mixture and stir until it dissolves. Cool.

Beat the egg whites and the remaining sugar (1/2 cup) until stiff.

When the mixture is beginning to set, fold in the egg whites.

Pour into a baked pie shell and chill. (You can mixed in 1/2 to 1 cup of whipped cream, or top it with the whipped cream instead.)

Raw egg whites
*Some people are concerned about salmonella contamination in raw eggs (cooking kills salmonella). If you are not completely confident in the source of your eggs, you can use pasteurized egg whites, available in the refrigerator section of your market. The pasteurized ones are harder to beat to a foam, so if you’re using them, add a bit of cream of tartar or lemon juice, and be patient.

Pasteurized egg whites

I tried both (see pictures). I measured the equivalent of 4 egg whites of the pasteurized form, and whipped them with the same electric mixer. They appear to have reached the same volume, in the same amount of time. In cooking, though, I used only the unpasteurized egg whites, so I can’t tell you how the pasteurized ones would cook.

Both kinds of egg whites, beaten (the pasteurized ones are on the right).

Rather than promoting any of my books today (none of which my mother ever had a chance to read), I want to thank her for instilling in me a love of reading--she was seldom without a book or magazine in her hand.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Say Cheese for Souffle

I can't tell you how much fun I'm having making cheese dish after cheese dish every week. It's such a fun challenge and tasty, too. It's all in the name of research, of course! Research for all of our books is so important. Yes, the characters and the mystery are key, but the research, like a good recipe, holds the whole book together.

This week I decided to try my hand at a cheese souffle. Now, a souffle is not "easy," but I
decided not to be frightened. After all, I've made Angel Food Cakes and all sorts of things with whipped egg whites. The trick is to make sure they're stiff when folding into the batter.
In my recent newsletter, I had a contest where fans sent in the name of their favorite cheeses. [The next newsletter contest starts this week. Sign up if you want to participate.]

Anyway, Edith from Ipswich won the cheese giveaway. She suggested a Gouda that she'd bought at Trader Joe's. In honor of my contest winner, I decided to make the souffle--typically made with Cheddar or Parmessan--with Gouda. Not just any Gouda. I bought a five-year Gouda at Whole Foods made by Uniekaas. My cheese monger at Whole Foods, Ilbra [what a doll!], shared a taste just to whet my appetite. It was rich with flavors of honey and carmel and a crystallization that popped in my mouth. Yum.

And now, on to the recipe. If I might say so myself, the end result was beautiful and delish!



1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons flour1 ½ ounces (3 tablespoons) butter

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/3 cups milk, hot

4 large egg yolks

6 ounces Gouda, grated

5 egg whites plus 1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon cream of tartar (or you may use baking powder)


Use room temperature 1 tablespoon of butter to grease an eight-inch soufflé mold. Add the grated Parmesan and coat the butter with it. Set in the freezer for five minutes [to make the cheese stick to the butter.]

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, heat the other 3 tablespoons of butter.

Add the hot milk to the mixture and turn the heat to high. When it starts to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat.In a separate bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt. Whisk the mixture into the melted butter.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolks. Slowly…mix the eggs into the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Add the cheese and stir until smooth and creamy.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar or baking powder until stiff. Fold into the hot milk/cheese mixture by thirds. Gentle, gentle. When incorporated, pour the mixture into the soufflé dish.

Place on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Note: This soufflé will sink the moment it’s served. It’s a shame, but that’s the way it goes.

If you want to check out my website and learn more about the newsletter and future contests, click this link: Avery Aames.

Also, don't forget, MLK has regular contests. This month:

Riley's April Contest


The first book in the Memphis Barbeque series, Delicious and Suspicious, will be released July 6. To celebrate its upcoming release, Riley is throwing a giveaway! :) Are you interested in winning Williams-Sonoma’s Ultimate Grilling Rub Collection? It’s easy enter! Just send an email to with “Contest” in the subject line.

Grilling Rub   Collection Really, really want to up your chances? You’ll get one extra entry if you follow us on Twitter, one extra if you subscribe to our posts (in the right hand sidebar under “Subscribe”), and one extra for becoming a follower (by clicking the “follow” button in the right hand column under our book covers and blog roll.) Just send us an extra email at and let us know what you’ve signed up for. If you’re already a follower or subscriber, let us know that, too!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Angel Food Cake with a No-Brainer Blueberry Sauce

I love eggs. The incredible, edible egg really is an apt description. How many other foods work equally well in savory dishes and sweet ones?

If you're a fan of cooking competition shows like Top Chef and The Next Food Network Star, you've probably heard someone complain about having to bake something. Every season, some pro complains because baking requires exacting measurements and doesn't leave as much room for creativity as cooking. I'm not sure that's always true, but it is true about Angel Food Cake. Recipes for this classic don't vary much.

Around here, now that the cheesecake, cookies, and New Year's Bombe are gone, we're getting hungry for something sweet, so I decided to bake an Angel Food Cake. The ingredients are simple, you probably have them in your kitchen right now, and it's actually not all that hard to make. You do have to have a special pan, though.

You'll find that some recipes are positively scary, requiring superfine sugar and cake flour. I didn't use either. Instead, I mixed the dry ingredients and sifted them together a few times.

Angel Food Cake contains no fat! Yup, it's true. Ideal for all those diets everyone started after the holidays. If you're serving it to a dieting crowd, serve it with fresh fruit and Greek yogurt. Remember it does contain sugar -- it's not calorie-free! If dieting isn't a concern, serve it with whipping cream and fresh fruit. Or serve it with a sauce. I made a no-brainer blueberry reduction that's good enough for company.

Angel Food Cake

1 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

10 - 12 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Sift into another bowl. Sift back into the original bowl. Repeat and set aside.

Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar. Hint #1 Don't overbeat. The egg whites should hold a curling peak, not a stiff peak.

Divide the egg whites. Sift some of the flour mixture on one half, sprinkle on the vanilla, and fold until blended. Repeat until all of the flour mixture has been folded in. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold in. Hint #2 If you add the flour gradually to the egg whites, they'll be more likely to stay fluffy.

Spoon/pour into an Angel Food Cake pan. Do not grease! Bake 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn upside down immediately. Some pans come with little feet, if yours does, you can let it rest on the feet. There are those who think that it's better if the cake is in the air. The conventional method is to hang the middle part from a bottle. The neck holds the cake pan and the bottle is sturdy enough (hopefully) not to topple. My pan has a tiny middle part that doesn't fit over a bottle. I turned four wineglasses upside down and let the edges of the cake pan rest on them. Hint #3 Let cool thoroughly upside down, even overnight. Loosen the edges to remove and turn over a serving plate. Hint #4 Slice with a serrated knife.

No-Brainer Blueberry Sauce

1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup Cognac
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1/4 cup sugar

This is a really a no-brainer reduction. Combine all the ingredients in a small pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Turn down to just a bit more than a simmer (uncovered) and let cook until it reduces by half, about 45 minutes.