Chantilly cream (Belgian recipe)

Blueberries and chantilly cream

This time last week P., the kids and I spent a lovely day at a lake just outside Berlin. The temperature had been above 30C all week so we decided our family needed a bit of cooling off away from car noise and hot concrete pavements. 2 days later, on Sunday evening, the heavens opened and thunder rumbled late into the night. On Monday, Berlin temperatures had dropped down to a comfortable and warm 25C. But summer is still in town even though you can feel that it is starting to make its way out. The air is cooler and cardigans are again part of out morning walk to Kindergarten. I know that pretty soon, socks and jackets will have to come out of the wardrobe and our windows, which have been open all summer, will have to be shut. At least during the nights. No amount of blankets will take away that horrible feeling of a frozen cold nose at 3 in the morning. But for now, we are still holding on to these last summer moments.

Blueberries with chantilly cream

Have you ever been to a pick-your-own-fruit orchard? Last year we took the kids and came home with so many plums that we ate them and baked them until we couldn’t stand the sight of them anymore. This year we plan to go for the berries. Toy buckets full of raspberries, tupperware boxes filled to the brim with blueberries and lots of berry stains on everyone’s clothes.

Late summer memories are made of squashed blueberries and raspberry smudged faces. And we like to make a bit more special by skipping the ice cream and whipped cream and serving our pickings with this Belgian version of Chantilly crème (which is no where near the recipe for the French version but this is what we call this smooth, creamy crème).

top view blueberries and chantilly cream

Belgian chantilly cream

Serves 4 big portions or 8 small portions

Ingredients:

750ml milk

50g sugar

80g cornstarch

1 egg yolk (optional, see Note at the bottom)

1 egg white (optional, see Note at the bottom)

70g soft butter

70g powdered sugar

1 tbsp vanilla sugar

Method:

1. Measure out 750ml milk and then take 200ml from this and set aside.

2. Pour the remaining 550ml milk in a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat on a medium heat until it starts to simmer.

3. While the milk is heating up, mix the 200ml of milk with the cornstarch in a separate bowl. Make sure the cornstarch is completely dissolved and no lumps remain.

4. When the milk simmers take it off the heat and add the cornstarch-milk mixture while continuously whisking. The milk will thicken quickly and you will be left with a pale, shiny crème.

5. Let the crème cool. You can speed up the process by placing the saucepan in a sink or bowl filled with cold water. Stir now and again so it cools evenly.

6. While the crème cools, mix the butter, powdered sugar and egg yolk until smooth and creamy. You can do this with a fork or use a mixer on low speed.

7. Add the butter-powdered sugar-egg yolk mixture to the crème and stir until completely incorporated.

8. Whisk the egg white with the vanilla sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold it into the crème.

You can top the crème with all sorts of berries or just dip sweet strawberries in it.

ENJOY!

Note: This recipe contains raw egg so be sure to use a very fresh egg. If you don’t want to use raw egg, you can just leave it out. The crème will still be delicious.

2 pots of chantilly cream and blueberries

Lemon and raspberry meringue pie

lemon raspberry meringue pie with chocolate decoration

Let’s talk about inspiration for a minute. Where do you get yours? Are you a Pinterest addict with one too many pins on white-grey living room deco? Or do you search books and magazines for quotes that will help you achieve a goal when you need a little bit of extra oomph? You can find inspiration anywhere. You don’t even have to look that hard. Just look around you. If you already knew this it’s worth taking the time to really emphasise it. If not by yourself, by some complete stranger (which is what happened to me…).

lemons raspberries yellow flowers

Last weekend I attended the Hive, a gathering of digital storytellers, tastemakers and bloggers. I am still new to blogging so I have lots of moments where I think to myself: Am I good enough? Am I different enough to stand out? Am I sharing something worthwhile? And here’s the answer: yes, yes, YES! I listened to some very inspirational people. I absolutely loved the fabulous woman behind My Scandinavian Home who reminded us that we are all unique and we need to “be your own kind of beautiful”. I was also very much taken by Chelsea who is the beautiful brains behind Frolic!. She emphasised the importance of being happy in what you do and to know that you will never be able to please everyone. I also had the privilege to watch and listen to Dietlind Wolf who is the most amazing woman. Her styling and photographs are something so beautiful I can’t pull myself away from her blog.

yellow flowers white vase

Where is this leading?

While you, my dearest reader, have been reading this blogpost in search of a lemon and raspberry meringue pie, I’ve had the opportunity to be that complete stranger who has just reminded you of how brilliant, unique and full of inspiration you are.

close up raspberries lemon curd

And now go and make this fabulous pie!

 

Lemon and raspberry meringue pie

Inspired by the Hive’s yellow and pink colour theme

(Serves 8)

For the meringue:

3 egg whites

170g sugar

1 tbsp vanilla sugar

For the lemon curd:

3 egg yolks

60ml fresh lemon juice, strained to remove any pits or pulp (about 2 small lemons)

6 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp cold butter in cubes

For the finishing touches:

250g fresh raspberries

Method:

Start by making the meringue. It takes a while so if you prefer a dry meringue you’ll need to start a good while before you plan to eat the pie. You can make the meringue the night before and let it cool in the oven overnight. Or make it in the morning and leave it to cool in the oven during the day if you plan to eat it in the evening. If you prefer a wet meringue you’ll only need to plan for 2-3 hours total time from start to finish (most of that is the meringue baking so you won’t be in the kitchen for 2-3 hours straight).

1. Preheat your oven to 100 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and mark a circle the size of a plate.

2.In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or hand mixer) whip the egg whites until very soft peaks form. Then add the sugar a tablespoon at the time. Make sure you leave some time in between spoonfuls so the sugar has time to “dissolve”. The meringue is done when you can’t feel anymore sugar grains when you rub some of the mixture between your fingers. And when it is stiff and glossy.

3. Using a piping bag, spoon or spatula, shape the meringue into a thin circle as marked on your baking paper (about 2-3cm/1 inch thick). Smooth out the top. You want it to look like a disk.

4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. Then take out the meringue and let it cool on a wire rack. When cool, carefully peel off the baking paper. Or turn off the oven and leave to cool inside as mentioned above.

Make the lemon curd while the meringue is baking. You can let it cool and store for later. 

1. In a saucepan on medium-low heat, mix the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Keep whisking as it heats up and simmers.

2. Whisk as the curd simmers and thickens. Depending on your hob, this will take between 10-15minutes.

3. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter until melted.

4. Pour the curd in a clean jar and let it cool. It will thicken even more as it gets colder. Close the jar and put it in the fridge until you need it. But remember to take it out leaving enough time to let it adjust to room temperature.

Putting it all together:

Put the meringue on a flat plate or cake stand. Spoon on the lemon curd and spread it out. Don’t go all the way to the edge. Then place the raspberries on top.

lemon raspberry meringue pie with chocolate decoration top view

This is not just any lemon and raspberry meringue pie, it’s my Hive lemon and raspberry meringue pie. Let me know what you think. Does it look good? Did it meet your sweetness needs?

Meringue lemon curd raspberry pie

ENJOY!

chocolate Hive 15 decoration

Chocolate Hive15

yellow flower

Yellow

lemon raspberry meringue pie photo shoot set

In the end, this is real life.