Green Bay, WI

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Bren from Green Bay, WI

Bren participated in Week 6: Botanical, and attempted the Citrus Meringue Pie Challenge. Let's see how they did!

How do you rate your baking performance?

Absolutely lovely.

Give your botanical creation a clever name — and tell us about your recipe.

A Timeless Classic: Lemon Meringue Pie. For this challenge, I used a recipe from the "Greater Green Bay Cook Book" published in 1896 by the Ladies Aid Society. At first I wasn't sure that lemon meringue pie would be a creation appropriate to make in the Belgian Farm house at Heritage Hill, but when I consulted this book and saw that no less than four different ladies submitted lemon pie recipes, I knew that bakers in 1905 were indeed making this pie.

Any disasters? Did you take any risks? Proudest moment? Lessons learned the hard way? Tell us about it.

This has always been one of my favorite pies to make as it seems very unlikely to me that it will ever turn out. Who would think that eggs would form a meringue? I love the chemistry of baking! Also as I am baking, the Belgian Farm House is open to the public for tours. It is so much fun to see how interested people are in learning about the way things were done in the past. Sometimes I have people come back to the farm throughout the day so that they can see the process of baking at different points. I love their excitement and enthusiasm. It also makes me proud when someone will come in and say that the food smells delicious, looks tasty, or that it reminds them of their grandma's kitchen when they were growing up. I even had one little girl ask if my lemon pie was real! Finally, when I shared the pie with my friends, they said it was the best lemon meringue pie they had ever tasted.

How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?

My Wisconsin twist is that I baked in the Belgian Farm House at Heritage Hill in Green Bay using a kitchen equipped as it would have been in 1905. So, my meringue was hand beaten, my filling was cooked on top of the wood stove and my pie baked inside. At the farm, we have eight hens that keep us supplied with the eggs necessary for this recipe. Also, the mint that I used to garnish my pie was grown in our garden at Tank Cottage which is another building located at the park.