Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Pie with Zest, Swirls and Graham Cracker Crust

Perfection for a hot 4th of July party!

It may be a sin to mess with a classic … I know! But I love limes and wanted to deepen the taste of the key lime in the pie. So mess away I did! I started by adding lots of lime zest to the filling and the graham cracker crust. Absolutely love the fleck of green in the filling!

But, as we know, presentation often is everything. So, this year, I pushed the graham cracker crust up high in a spring form pan so that once the pie was finished the crust would rise jaggedly above the filling. Then, I marbled the filling for that extra wow factor. Please let me know what you think!

Ingredients for 9″ graham cracker pie crust:

15 graham crackers (each 3 by 5 inches), broken

1⁄3 c. packed brown sugar

6 T. unsalted butter, melted, (plus more, room temperature to grease the pan)

Zest of 1 lime, finely grated, plus 1 T. fresh juice

1 ¼ t. kosher salt

Ingredients for Key Lime Filling:

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks, whites not used.

1/2 c. Nellie & Joe’s key west lime juice

2-3 lg. limes for zest and garnish slices

Whipped cream or meringue

Directions for the crust:

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter, granulated sugar, lime zest and juice, and salt; pulse until combined. Press crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ spring form pan.

It is a beautiful effect to allow the crust to rise higher than the filling.

Directions for the Pie Filling:

Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice and the zest of the limes. Blend until smooth. (Pieces of zest should be visible.)

Now you can pour the filling into the graham cracker crust for the classic key lime pie (and skip the next two paragraphs)…

…but, if you want to make it “fancy” and are not adverse to adding a little food color, you can make marble-like swirls in the pie. To do so, measure out 1/4 to 1/3 c. and tint that small separated portion, then pour the rest of the filling into the graham cracker crust.

Take the small portioned bowl of the filling and tint it with very small drops of green and yellow food coloring. (The goal is to create a lime green hue.) Start very small and add as you go.

Once you are happy with the tint, you can start to marble the plain filling in the crust with the tinted lime curd. Gently place unequal spoonfuls of the green tinted curd (in no particular fashion) on top of the plain filling batter, leaving some areas plain. Use a skewer or butter knife to gently and lightly swirl the plain and tinted mixtures together to create a marbled effect.

Bake at 350º for 15 min. Allow to stand 10 min. or longer to cool. Refrigerate to ice cold. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream, or meringue, and garnish with lime slices.

Lemony Crisps, by Pillsbury

These cookies are absolutely stand-out, look like they came from a bakery and will pass the test at cocktail parties. And, while most recipes posted here start from scratch, this is THE exception.  It comes from the side of a Pillsbury Moist Supreme Lemon Cake Mix box, and is made in easy moments. I do not even frost these cookies!

If made for kids lunches, you’ll need a half-hour in the morning. (But wrap in brown paper, or cool before wrapping in plastic.) When I pack these for my boys, their friends ask if they can be adopted!

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Hard Rolls, Milwaukee Style #2

The second Milwaukee Hard Rolls has the precise inside we remember. Light and airy, yet with a “chew”, and that very, very slight, sour taste we remember. And this recipe uses hardly any yeast.

photo 1

This is a terrific roll, yet the crust that isn’t quite right. Do not remember the split top, but it is hard and stays hard. But not as flaky.  Perhaps it is the egg wash. Also, the recipe directions result in rolls that are smaller than traditional Milwaukee Hard Rolls. So, if one wants the traditional Milwaukee Hard Roll, just double the size of the roll to make 8-10 rolls instead of 12, and replace the egg white wash with the a starch wash, as in the previous recipe. Make it plain, as directed, or add sesame seeds or poppy seeds. Oh, and be sure to use high protein bread flour!

Anyway, the recipe is the Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls, with great instruction and pictures from PJ Hamel and King Arthur flour on the post “Flourish” at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2011/03/08/they-once-were-lost-but-now-theyre-found-crusty-hard-rolls/.  Here it is, repeated, but please visit her page, as she take you step by step, with pictures!

Crusty European-Style Hard Rolls
Makes 12 small rolls.

Starter
½ c. cool water
1 c. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp. instant yeast
dough
all of the starter
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New England Poached Salmon with Dill, Caper & Egg Sauce

IMG_1124A little wild salmon for post Valentine’s Day brunch. The lightest and, perhaps healthiest, way to gently coax the flavor from the fish.

This dish, is a slight variation (~we just add dill and capers and punch up the flavor of the sauce) of the Salmon with Egg Sauce that was a favorite of President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams, the first family to entertain in the White House.  Poppy Cannon and Patricia Brooks’ 1968 The President’s Cookbook, reveals, Mrs. Adams thought the dish “so memorable she decided the ‘American’ quality of it made it perfect as an Independence Day dinner.” It was served with Green Turtle Soup and Apple Pan Dowdy for dessert.”

So, here is Abigail Adam’s original recipe, with a boost of flavor in italics.

New England Poached Salmon with Dill, Caper & Egg Sauce
4-6 lb. center-cut piece salmon
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Pastry for Two Pie or Tart Crusts

Pie crust used to scare me. That finally changed when I found a heavy marble rolling pin and used butter instead of shortening. Older cooks swear by lard, so feel free to use that too.

Take time getting the butter, flour and salt to the right consistency, but once ice water is added, “the show is on,” do not over handle. This is my current favorite recipe, flaky, crisp and great for anything calling for a crust.

Pastry crust

Ingredients
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 lg. pinches of Kosher salt
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