I have already told you many times how much I like to cook, especially desserts and pastries. Lately, I have stopped posting recipes since there is already a very professional blog on our portal devoted to this subject, one I highly recommended. I have also told you about the difficulties in preparing any sort of dish that is out of the ordinary here on my planet owing to the scarcity of ingredients and their very high prices. From time to time, however, when I feel like making something different, I try out these wonderful recipes that our mothers and grandmothers used to make so that they are, in some way, not forgotten.

For those who, like me, appreciate this art form, here is a delicious example.

Pie dough:

2 heaping cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup milk

Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the three tablespoons of butter. Using a pastry blender or a pair of knives, cut the butter into very small pieces. Gradually add the yolks, one by one, alternating with the milk. Blend the ingredients together, being careful not to not over mix.

Lemon filling:

3 egg yolks

1 – 1/2 hot water

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 – 1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

7 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup cold water

Mix the cornstarch with the cold water. In a saucepan mix the sugar with the hot water and place over low heat. When it comes to a boil, add the cornstarch mixture. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and becomes transparent. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl beat the three eggs and slowly add them to the mixture. Add the lemon juice and lemon peel. Allow the filling to cool completely and pour it into the shell.

Meringue:

6 egg whites

12 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Grated lemon rind of one lemon

Place pie in a preheated oven and bake until the meringue is golden brown.

Prices for the principle ingredients shown below are in the so-called Cuban peso and in convertible pesos (CUC)*. Both currencies are Cuban and therefore are valid only in this country.

1/2 kg pastry flour, 0.50 CUC

80 grams cornstarch, 0.50 CUC

1/8 lb butter, 0.50 CUC

Lemons, 10 Cuban pesos per lb, 0.50 CUC

Eggs, 6 for 1.50 Cuban pesos, 0.40 CUC

Sugar, 0.10 CUC

Considering that the average salary of a worker on our planet is around 300 Cuban pesos (approximately US$15.00), this dish would cost about 25% of that. To make it means having to save up your pennies. Tell me, how often can you can prepare this sort of treat?

*Translator’s note: There are two official currencies in Cuba: the Cuban peso, in which Cuban salaries are paid, and the convertible peso, or CUC, which is pegged to the US dollar and used in hard-currency transactions.

July 1 2012

Advertisements