life as an aspiring amateur
It may be cliché, but I found myself using the phrase “When in Rome” quite often while I was, em, in Rome. It was very liberating. Actually, it was a good phrase to travel by anywhere. Many of these places I will probably never get to visit again, and I tried to have as full an experience as I could.
I found this juice in my fridge. It was expired. I still used it.
I mean, come on, I figured that it was citrus juice–how rotten could it get, four months after the expiration date? It won’t kill anybody, anyway. And besides, my family needed a little pick-me-up, clearly. Something to get them through the middle of the week.
So I whipped up some key lime pies, and stuck the leftover juice in the fridge…
I reduced some sour cherry syrup we had lying around (perhaps from last year?) and used it as a garnish.
Mini Key Lime Pies
Adapted from Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice bottle
For the crusts:
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar6 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Mix the crumbs, sugar and butter together, then press into the cupcake liners. Chill for 20 minutes.
For the pie:
3 egg yolks
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
Combine the yolks, milk and lime juice in a bowl. Whisk until smooth, and pour into chilled cupcake liners. Smooth out the tops of the pies with a spoon. Bake until pies are set and just golden at the edges, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes, then refrigerate.
Before serving, garnish with lime zest, lime slices, whipped cream or sour cherry syrup.
Ok, friends. Never mind that this recipe includes the word ‘butter’ in the title.
Never mind that this recipe includes making a yeast sponge.
Never mind that this recipe is supremely un-summer.
And never mind that this 9×13 pan will only last you 24 hours.
It is pretty good. Like, real good. And you deserve it. Because you’re worth it. Or something like that.
You can always lighten it up with some whipped cream, you know, for those real hot days.
P.s. You might want to try baking this at a lower temperature than the original recipe below. I found that my cake got a little browner than I would have preferred. And do let it cool properly.
Gooey Butter Cake
Adapted from misadventuresofmrsb
FOR THE CAKE:
½ cups warm milk
1 envelope active dry yeast, 0.25 ounce packet
¼ cups unsalted butter, softened
¼ cups sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
1 whole large egg
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
FOR THE TOPPING:
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 whole large eggs
5 tablespoons milk
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Put the warm milk in a small bowl. Dissolve yeast in the warm milk, then set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter, sugar and salt. Add egg and beat one minute until well blended. Add flour and mix to combine. Then add the milk-yeast mixture and vanilla to the batter. Mix for three minutes with the dough hook or by hand. If mixing by hand, turn out onto a floured board and knead for one minute. Otherwise, this can be kneaded using the dough hook with your stand mixer.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for one hour or until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare topping and then set it aside.
For the topping:
In a medium sized bowl, cream butter. In another bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Gradually beat the sugar mixture into the butter. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time, just until the mixture reaches a spreadable consistency. It should still be thick!
Putting it together:
Pat dough into a 9×13 pan, bringing dough halfway up sides of pan to hold the filling. Prick dough all over with a fork. Pour topping over dough, spreading evenly. Let cake stand 20 minutes before baking in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Do not over-bake! Topping should be crusty, but gooey. It should jiggle slightly when shaken. Allow cake to cool before cutting, otherwise you’ll end up with all the gooey goodness spewing out like mine did.
Nice, France is a place that will live forever golden in my memory. It was beautiful and fresh and warm and fragrant. Which is why I have chosen to edit the photos this way. In this golden and fragrant sort of way. I hope you get a feel for it.
P.s. I will never really be golden. Maybe someday I will get one of those fake tan things, but for now, it’s all frecks.
This recipe is my own (read: it is something of a botch-up). In an an attempt to use up what has become an alarming number of jello and pudding mixes in my cupboard, I threw together this pie as an additional dessert for some friends. People like to choose, they say. And besides, I don’t like bananas, so it is good to feed it to people who do.
I would do many things differently next time, the most significant of which is freezing this pie instead of refrigerating it. Perhaps if I had used more pudding and less cream or Cool Whip instead of heavy cream, I would not have had such a gloppy mess, but alas, I didn’t do either of those things. The saving grace: it had good flavor!
Try your own version–it’s (nearly) impossible to mess up.
Quick Oreo Banana Cream Pie
1 box banana pudding mix
1 cup cold milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Oreo pie crust
Peel the banana and slice into 1/4″ rounds. Unwrap the crust and place banana pieces all over the bottom, filling the bottom of the crust.
Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer until it reaches a the stiff peak stage. Whisk the pudding mix, cinnamon and the cold milk in a bowl. Once set, fold in the whipped cream into the pudding mixture.
Pour the pudding filling into the Oreo crust tin. Freeze until set. (Or, if you want a gloppy mess, you can refrigerate it for however long you want. :])