Archive for May 3rd, 2009

Cream Pies – Easy Key Lime Pie

May 3, 2009

key20lime20pieNot too tart and not too sweet, just 5 ingredients in a graham crack crust, how much easier can it get.  This recipe is off a can of sweetened condensed milk, a common brand name used in the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, which I cannot remember, but it wasn’t Borden or Carnation.  At any rate, you must use a really good quality condensed milk or this pie will flop.  It was one of the best selling desserts at my restaurant in Tonga.  If you’re anti-meringue just top it with whipped cream … or not. 

The native limes in Tonga are very small, like a key lime, so to grow the big beautiful limes from overseas, the plantations grafted the big limes onto their native lime trees.  The same grafting procedure was carried out with Meyer lemons.  Tonga hadn’t gotten around to grafting sweet mandarines yet when I left in 2006, but surely it will happen as the native mandarines are so sour that they’re only good for jams and chutneys, though the Tongans like to eat them out-of-hand.  “Pucker Power” is the phrase I always used to describe the local citrus fruit.  More about Tonga and tropical fruit later…

Key Lime Pie

  • 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Zest of 1 lime (reserve 1 tsp for meringue)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 6 Key limes)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar for meringue
  • 1 graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Pour condensed milk into a bowl.  Beat egg yolks until smooth, gently stir into condensed milk until combined, add zest and lime juice.  Stir gently until combined.  Pour batter into graham cracker crust and chill while making meringue.  To make meringue, whip egg whites until frothy, add zest,  add sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peaks form.  Top pie with meringue, swirling the meringue out to the edges of the crust.  This will seal in the custard.  Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes.  Cool before serving.

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Marguerita Pound Cake

May 3, 2009

pound-cakeIf you love pound cake and margueritas you’ll savor this marriage.  The pound cake recipe is a classic from Sunset Cookbook published in the 90s and the margueritas glaze is myown creation.  Cooking with wine, liqueurs, and liquor adds a whole different dimension to taste enhancement.  A little white wine in soups, a little Kahlua in the marinade, a little gin in the stew and the ordinary becomes extrordinary, not to mention the tenderizing benefits.

Shortly after returning from the South Pacific I had a slice of Starbuck’s lime crumb cake with a tall double latte.  It was impressive, though the latte left much to be desired, with a genuine lime perfume when whiffed and lime flavor on the tongue.  I think this  marguerita pound cake with its heady lime perfume and glaze outshines even Starbuck’s cake.

Pound Cake

  • 1-1/2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 large limes)
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract (Mexican if available)

Marguerita Glaze – makes 1 cup

  • 2 shots tequila
  • 2 shots triple-sec (or Cointreau, or Orange Curacao)
  • 4 shots lime juice (or Roses of Lime)
  • 4 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Grease and flour standard 9X5X3 loaf pan.  Mix flour with baking powder and set aside.  Cream sugar, butter, and eggs.  Beat in flour alternately with milk just until all is incorporated.  Whisk in lime juice and vanilla.  Pour into prepared pan, bake 90 minutes or until it tests done.  Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan, prick top and sides of cake with a wooden skewer.  To make glaze:  boil sugar, lime juice, tequila, and triple-sec in a small sauce pan for 1 minute to dissolve sugar and cook off alcohol.  Pour 1/2 of the glaze over the warm cake.  When glaze is cool, reheat remaining glaze just to pouring consistency and reglaze.  Cool completely before serving.  Serve with a sorbet and your favorite coffee drink.