Friday, April 3, 2015

Pistachio Graham Cracker Lemon Meringue Dessert

Hi everyone! Happy Easter weekend to those who celebrate! Paula Deen once said, "everything is better with butter" (or something like that), but she was wrong. Everything is better with pistachios, especially pistachios from American Pistachio Growers! I have revamped my graham cracker lemon meringue to include pistachios and let me tell you, it made it 1000x better! I like to put mine into Jello Shot Cups with lids (no other name for those, unfortunately) and top with a little spoon for single servings. These are guaranteed to be a hit at your next party! Share these with your family this Sunday. :)

Pistachio Graham Cracker Lemon Meringue Dessert

Pistachio Graham Cracker Layer:

1 sleeve plus 2 full cracker sheets
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Crush graham crackers. Combine with chopped pistachios in a bowl. Add butter and sugar. Mix together thoroughly. Spoon into the pan or container that you are using for your dessert.
If you are using individual containers, then you will need to by Plastic Jello Shot cups with lids. They are available at your craft or party store. You can also buy little spoons to tape onto the tops to complete your “dessert” look.
If using the plastic shot cups:
Put 1 tablespoon into the bottom of the cup. Using another cup, press down to flatten.

Lemon Filling Layer:

3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons flour
3 cups water

6 slightly beaten egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup to 1 cup lemon juice (I like mine lemony!)

Mix sugar, cornstarch, flour, and water in a pot.  Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat. Now you are going to “temper” your egg. This works the best for me: holding your small bowl of beaten eggs in the palm of one hand, add a teaspoon of the hot mixture in to the eggs and stir. Keep doing this until the bowl feels warm on your palm. When it feels warm, then it is safe to add all the eggs into the flour/sugar mix. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the butter, lemon juice, and the zest to the mix and stir. Spoon over your pistachio/graham bottom layer.

No Bake Meringue Layer:

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 light corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons meringue powder (you can buy this at a craft store in the cake supplies)
1/2 cup water

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, syrup, 6 tablespoons water, cream of tartar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil and sugar has dissolved.  Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl beat the meringue powder and 1/2 cup water until foamy.  Slowly pour hot sugar mixture into meringue mixture.  Beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Spoon onto lemon filling layer.

If using the jello shot cups, use less meringue than you think you need. When you put the lid on, it causes the meringue to spread evenly over the top of your dessert! If you are using individual little spoons, tape one to the top of each cup lid and you are good to go!

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