I seem to be going through a stage of just baking and sharing my sweet treats with you as a Friday Treat Box but as from September I will endeavour to add more savoury and some healthier bakes into the mix as I have had requests for such as these from numerous customers.

This week’s bakes are Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts in celebration of “National Lemon Meringue Pie Day” but I don’t think you need to limit yourself to one day to celebrate this delicious treat and believe me homebaked is so much better than shop bought when it comes to a Lemon Meringue.

The other treat for this week is in celebration of “National Vanilla Custard Day” as I was trying to think of a bake where the custard is the main ingredient and decided upon Vanilla Slice or Custard Slice to some people. A deliciously crisp, pastry sandwiched together with vanilla custard and then decorated with glace icing and a few sprinkles. As I don’t like standard custard I wanted to make a very thick set creme patisserie that would hold its shape when sliced up. Looking at what I baked today I think I achieved it and I was very pleased with the results. Whilst trying a piece I was considering what it would be like if I added cocoa as I think Vanilla Slices are quite bland and tasteless to be honest but I know members of my family love them. Each to their own I know but I am now thinking about how to mix it up a bit and create something different to a Vanilla Slice??

These two bakes are definitely not the healthiest as they have sugar and eggs in the recipes, as well as, butter, plenty of which is used in the pastry for the Vanilla Slice but at the same time you would surely only want to try one little piece or eat one tart and that would be your fill wouldn’t it?

Vanilla Slices

Nutritionally, the Vanilla Slice contains the following:-

  • Calories 219.9
  • Total Fat 11.8 g
  • Saturated Fat 7.0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
  • Cholesterol 75.0 mg
  • Sodium 118.7 mg
  • Potassium 58.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 23.5 g
  • Dietary Fibre 0.3 g
  • Sugars 8.1 g
  • Protein 3.2 g

The sugar and fat content are quite high but the ingredients used are necessary to make these slices. However, maybe some could be changed to make them suited to other dietary requirements. I am thinking I could try using the “Orgran” egg replacer and substitute the egg yolks for it.

To lower the carbohydrate content it would help by removing the cornflour as this is the main thickening agent in the recipe so I might try using xanthan gum as I have some of that in stock or I could try arrowroot powder as I have read that it gives excellent results when making sauces like this.

To lower the sugar content I could replace the sugar with xylitol as this has no calories, zero glycemic index and is just as sweet as sugar. Xylitol is great for diabetics so it is an ingredient which I need to use a whole lot more. Bring it on September.

Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts

For the Lemon Meringue Tarts, nutritionally each tart contains:-

  • Calories 272.4
  • Total Fat 11.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 6.8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
  • Cholesterol 64.4 mg
  • Sodium 48.3 mg
  • Potassium 73.0 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 39.1 g
  • Dietary Fibre 2.5 g
  • Sugars 0.3 g
  • Protein 3.2 g

The lemon meringue tarts have a high carbohydrate, calories and fat content which would all need reducing to make a healthier option for people with other dietary needs.

For the calories I would use xylitol as it will dissolve just like sugar when used in the lemon curd filling (I hope). I have seen recipe ideas where an erythritol  based sweetener called Swerve is used in the recipe which resembles powdered sugar but I haven’t tried this yet. Definitely one to look into in the future. The main problem with using these sweeteners for baking is that the cost of the ingredient is quite high compared to standard sugar and these costs need to be passed on to the customer who may or may not want to pay more. 🙁

The eggs can be replaced with Orgran egg replacer as it makes perfect meringues. I will be trying this again very soon. 🙂

I have bought some of these ingredients from my local Tesco (Holland and Barrett section) but I have added links to the products available on Amazon. It is definitely worth looking around for cheaper versions of these products as they are available in several places now.

As you can see I have picked sweet treats again but I thought I would make my last treat box before my kitchen gets turned upside down and inside out a good one!! My kitchen should be up and running again by the 1st of September and it is going to be greatly missed. How will I survive?? I may have to go to my mother’s house and use her kitchen. 🙂

Even if I am not baking anything I can still keep blogging and keep you up to date with my work and my plans for next month.