Key Lime Pie + 5 Pie Free Key Lime Links

keylimepie-5310

I wish I had a story for you, a perfect snippet that makes you feel great, big wonderful things.  But, writing is a slog even in the best of circumstances.  So on this cold, rain-swept June day (damn you New England!) I’ll share a bright, tasty key lime pie recipe with you.  And hope.  Hope the rain clouds move elsewhere (literally, move anywhere else) my mind clears (sleep come back to me!), my chest feels less heavy (the weight of just too much + a cough) and remember this bit of wisdom from T.S. Elliot’s East Coker:

“I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”

 

DSC_5351b

Key Lime Pie     

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

serves 6-8

Ingredients for the crust:

1 + 1/2 cups of finely ground graham cracker crumbs  (takes about 10 graham cracker sheets)

3 tablespoons sugar

a good pinch of kosher salt

a good pinch of ground ginger

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned

Ingredients for key lime filling:

4 large egg yolks

1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice

Ingredients for topping:

3/4 cup heavy cream, cold

2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

zest of two limes

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Make the graham cracker crust.  To make the graham cracker crust, use a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and pulse the graham crackers until fine.  Add the sugar, salt, ginger and melted browned butter.  Pulse several times until the crumbs resemble wet sand.  Pour the crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan and press firmly but evenly across the bottom and up the sides.  Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

Next, make the filling.  Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks until pale and thick, about 5 minutes or so.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined and thick.  Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and whisk in the key lime juice until well combined.  Pour filling into cooled crust.  Bake for 10 minutes or until filling is set but not brown.  Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack before adding the whipped cream.

While the pie cools, beat the cold cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.  Do not over beat!  Spread whipped cream evenly over the pie.  Add lime zest decoratively.   Chill for a couple of hours before serving.  Enjoy!

**Pie will last for a week in the refrigerator.**

5 Pie Free Key Lime Links

Looking for a quick and easy key lime recipe?  Head to Cake Whiz for Abeer’s key lime cookie recipe.

Key lime pie in bar form with a twist: a pistachio graham cracker crust.  Yes, please! Head to Hummingbird High for the recipe.

Craving chocolate?  Check out Sally’s Baking Addiction’s dark chocolate key lime truffles.

Every home baker should try making a magic cake.  A little bit science, a bit of magic and you end up with three layers of cake: sponge, custard and fudge coming together in one subtly sweet bite.  Curious?  Head to Foodness Gracious for key lime pie magic cake recipe that is sure to surprise your taste buds.

For all of the vegans out there I found a vegan key lime pie recipe at Minimalist Baker. Check it out!

Baileys Butterscotch Pudding Pie + 5 Unique Pudding Pie Links

butterscotchpuddingpie-4503

She drove home from the hospital in silence, headlights of passing cars illuminating her briefly before disappearing into the night.  If she hadn’t been alone, one might have noticed the smeared mascara underneath her tired, blue eyes.  Or maybe they would have noticed her wrinkled blue scrubs, a bit of blood splatter on the right leg from a man, or rather, a boy she attempted to save just hours before.

[“Please don’t let me die!” He pleaded while grabbing her shirt, yanking her stethoscope.  She, now, a metaphysical lifeline to a boy nearly gone.  When his grip on her softened, she removed his hand from her shirtsleeve and placed it across his heart.  Stupid kid, she thought.  Look what you have done.  No, she wasn’t cold, but removed.  After all, how could one carry the pain of so many? Damn near impossible.  She had tried.]

The headlights of her station wagon grazed the moonlit snow as pulled into the driveway of her picturesque, yet, modest colonial standing dark and peaceful at midnight.

[Tonight the kids would be asleep.  And her husband?  Passed out in their loveless bed, entangled in the sheets, snoring, farting, reeking of beer.  At least he was in bed.  A welcome change, really, to the nights when he chose to pass out on the living room floor among the toys that were never picked up and the dog hair that blew around the matted carpet like tumbleweeds.]

She sat in her car inside their cluttered garage (bikes, broken toys, Costco bags of toilet paper and paper towels, trash cans permeating the bitter night air) and thought briefly about not going inside.  Is that really an option?  Of course not.

The house-keys slid easily into the lock, reminding her she was home.  She placed her jacket on the overcrowded coat hat rack, someday I’ll organize this, and walked into the kitchen.  Dirty dishes were piled high in the sink, dried ketchup smears decorated their kitchen island, beer cans acted as cairns, marking where his latest, desperate internal battle took place. 

[She sighed.  12:15 AM .  Instead of tackling the mess in the kitchen and the one sleeping in her bed, she would have a drink, ring in the new year with a cold glass of Baileys. ]

The family dog slept curled up against the over-stuffed, milk stained Lazy Boy chair.  She lowered herself into the chair, careful not to wake the dog or spill her drink.  [Did it matter?]  She muted the TV , watched the lovers and strangers in Times Square kiss, desirous for an imagined fresh start.  She understood that craving.

The blue glow from the TV lit her scrubs just enough for the blood splatter to reappear. She rubbed a single finger across it.  The blood soaked in and dry now.  [For a moment she thought of licking  her finger.  A single lick of his blood: water, salt, red and white blood cells, microscopic bits of him dissolving on her tongue and living for as long as she lived.]  She held the glass to her mouth, let the ice cubes hit her lips and took a long sip of the creamy, sweet Baileys.  This year she would save the only life she could save: her own.

butterscotchpuddingpie-4515

Baileys Butterscotch Pudding Pie

pudding recipe adapted from Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen

chocolate wafer crust adapted from Williams Sonoma

Serves 6

Ingredients for Pudding:

5 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup of water

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups of milk (not fat-free)

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2-3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Crème

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

whipped cream for topping (optional)

chocolate shavings or crushed chocolate wafer cookies for topping (optional)

Directions:

Grab a medium bowl and whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch until well combined.  Set aside.

Add the brown sugar, salt, and water to a medium saucepan placing the pan over medium-low heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble.

Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the mixture becomes thick and dark, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the milk and heavy cream.  (Be careful! It will bubble.)  Whisk until all butterscotch bits at the bottom of the pan dissolve.

Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.  Do not step away, the mixture could boil over!  Once it reaches a rapid boil, decrease the heat and slowly pour half of the butterscotch mixture to the egg yolks, whisking well to combine.  Now add the custard to the remaining half of the butterscotch mixture.

Whisk over medium heat until the custards just begins to gently boil and coats the back of your spoon, about 3 minutes. ( The custard is ready when it coats the back of spoon.  To be sure, draw your finger across the back of the spoon.  Your finger should leave a mark through the custard and not run back together.)  Remove from the heat.  Add butter, Baileys and vanilla.  Stir until butter is completely melted and the custard is smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve.  Pour custard into a bowl and chill, uncovered, until very cold and pudding like, about 4 hours.   I chilled it overnight.  Transfer to air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

The pudding can be made two days ahead.

Chocolate Wafer Crust

Ingredients:

1 + 1/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Place chocolate wafer cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until they resemble crumbs.

Stir together cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a bowl until the crumbs are moist.  Pat mixture firmly and evenly into a 9 inch pie pan.  Be sure to cover both the bottom and sides of the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool completely before filling.

Crust will last, unfilled, for several days well covered and at room temperature.

Assembly!

Add pudding to pie crust, filling it to the top.  (You will have leftover pudding.)  Top with fresh whipped cream, shaved chocolate and/or cookie crumbs.  Chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

**Add the pudding to the crust no more than a day before serving it.  The crust will start to get soggy after a couple of days**

5 Unique Pudding Pie Links

Looking for a unexpected spice in your life?  Head to A Cozy Kitchen and make green chili chocolate pudding pie.  Sounds weird but I bet it is delicious.  Embrace the weird.

Vegans rejoice! Ambitious Kitchen has a recipe for vegan chocolate avocado pie that sounds amazing!

A fudgey layer of chocolate pudding covers a sweet chocolate cookie crust and is topped with a light and airy vanilla pudding.  Intrigued? Want the recipe?  Head to Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for the recipe.

Butterscotch pudding meets cheesecake and makes this amazing pie by Bake or Break. Check it out!

Dreaming of peach season in January?  Check out my peach ricotta pudding cream pie recipe.  Swap out the fresh peaches for frozen and you’ll have a bit of summer in January.

Cold Oven Strawberry Pound Cake + 5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links

 

This cake tastes like love Mama!  I think I know what you mean sweet girl, although its been awhile since I tasted love.  Lucky you.  Your first taste, something you will chase and I’m pretty sure find again.

I remember the first time I tasted love.  A hot dog encased in a buttery, toasted bun.  Papa made it for me.  [Do you remember him?  It’s OK.  You were so small, months from your fourth birthday.  You sat next to him on his hospital bed, old westerns playing on TV, though no one was watching. So brave of you!  He didn’t look like himself: pale, listless. Blue, really.  His hands looked like wax; incoherent with morphine.  I’m glad you don’t remember.]

Just shy of 8, on a humid summer day I spent the morning swimming in my grandparent’s pool, like most summer mornings many decades ago; only slightly tired after hours of play, but always famished.

[Can you picture me love?  Full of energy?  Playful?  Try. We are, we will be, more similar than you hope.]

I walked into the kitchen, a towel clumsily wrapped around me, a puddle of water forming around my feet.  Papa stood at the counter, khaki pants, navy t-shirt, sweat puddling above his giant, caterpillar eyebrows.  Eating, barely chewing a hot dog and taking long swigs of a cold Budweiser in between each colossal bite.  He smelled like gas and grass clippings.  [Some days I smell both.  Inhale deeply.  Think of him and feel nothing but gratitude.  A familiar smell may do the same to you someday.  Enjoy it, be thankful for it.]

Hungry? How about a hot dog Kel-bel?” [I wore hunger in my eyes just like you.]  I settled at their small, wooden kitchen table, still in my bathing suit and watched as he got to work. He placed a large dollop of butter into an old, greasy Teflon frying pan.  While the butter melted, he made 3 small slices in the hot dog and grabbed a bun.  Carefully he placed both in the pan while the butter crackled and danced around them.

[The smell of butter still comforting to me.  What will comfort you, goose?]

Minutes later the hot dog was ready, plated and decorated with a long, squiggly strip of ketchup.  I devoured it.  As I drank a glass of cold milk, I heard the the sizzle and sputter of butter in the frying pan, the smell of another hot dog frying to golden perfection.  Smart man.

[That’s the thing with love my one and only girl; once you taste it, you have a hankering for it.  Feast on it. Chase it. And, if you are very lucky, you will find love many times over.]

Cold-Oven Strawberry Pound Cake

A moist pound cake baked with fresh strawberry puree and topped with a slightly sweet strawberry icing

recipe adapted from Food 52 Baking

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened and cubed

1/2 solid shortening

3 cups of sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup  low-fat milk

3 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1 cup fresh, pureed strawberries

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Butter (really butter) and flour your Bundt pan and set aside.

Measure out your flour and add a teaspoon of salt.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

Hull and slice strawberries and puree in a blender.  You will need about 1 cup of pureed strawberries.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter, shortening and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy.  Add the eggs and beat until well combined.  Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl and then continue beating for another minute.

Add the vanilla to the cup of milk and then pour about 1/3 of the milk into the sugar mix.  Next, add a cup of flour and beat until just incorporated.  Repeat the process two more times: milk then the flour, beating until just combined each time.  Pour half of the batter into your prepared pan.  Pour 2/3 cup of pureed strawberries over the batter and swirl gently with a butter knife.  Add the remaining batter and smooth the top with a spatula.  Place Bundt pan in cold oven.  Turn the oven on to 300F and bake for 45 minutes.  Increase the temperature to 325F and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes.  The cake is ready when it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a serving plate.

Using a small bowl add 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons of the remaining strawberry puree.  Stir until smooth.  If the icing is too thick, add a little more of the puree until you achieve the consistency you desire.  Drizzle over the cake.  Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Enjoy!

**The cake will last stored in an air-tight container, at room temperature, for several days.**

 5 Can’t Miss Pound Cake Links!

Cherry season is here so why not throw some into a buttery marzipan covered pound cake? Check out 1 Big Bite’s cherry and marzipan pound cake recipe.

Looking for a low-fat pound cake recipe? Bakers Royale has a recipe for you.

Summer berries are abundant now and perfect in a pound cake.  Head to Orangette for a raspberry-blueberry pound cake that sounds divine!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Coconut Key Lime Pound Cake.  Yes it exists.  Head to Baker by Nature for the recipe.

Lottie + Doof’s  salted caramel pound cake is on my must make list.  I’m drooling.

 

Key Lime Curd Coconut Bars + 5 Key Lime Links!

3:46 AM glows green.  My sleep swollen eyes want more sleep, but my mind has other plans.  Should I just get up? Read? Finish my key lime curd blog post?  Bake muffins? Fill them with the leftover curd?  Maybe I’ll go for a run.  Maybe not.  I turnover and watch my husband: his profile outlined by the ambient light in our bedroom, the chest I rest my weary head on nightly heaves up and down, his handsome face is relaxed, peaceful.  I want to kiss the tiny, fine lines around his eyes.  What are you dreaming about J?  Have you escaped to someplace far away?  I feel such tenderness for him.

Snore. Snore.  Ugh.  A good shove should do it.  And hate.  [Marriage is complicated in the dead of night. First light, we start again.  Love renewed…mostly.]  I turnover, face the blank wall and curl up like a newborn fresh out of the womb.  Tonight, I will chase sleep like a coy lover.  J seduced her a couple of kids ago.  Good for him.

Eyes heavy again.  I’m drifting.  Little voice: “Mama? My belly hurts.”

5:30 am and the day has begun.

Key Lime Curd Coconut Bars

Creamy key lime curd paired with a whole wheat coconut crust and drizzled with melted white chocolate is a dessert you should commit to memory!

Makes 12 bars

Key lime curd recipe adapted from Food 52 lemon curd

Coconut crust adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Lemon Bars

Bars inspired by Taste of Home Easy Lemon Curd Bars

Ingredients for key lime curd:

1/2 cup key lime juice

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1 stick + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 white chocolate chips, melted (for topping)

1/2 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut (for topping)

Directions for curd:

Pour two inches of water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Grab a stainless steel or oven proof glass bowl large enough so it will sit in the rim of saucepan without touching the water.

Using that bowl, whisk together the key lime juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt.  *Do not let the eggs and sugar sit together.  The sugar will start to cook the yolks resulting in a granular texture.*  Place the bowl over the saucepan and whisk constantly until the mixture becomes very thick, about 10-12 minutes or when it registers 180F on a candy thermometer.  You know it is ready when your whisk leaves a trail in the curd.

Remove bowl and allow to cool slightly (5 minutes or so), stirring occasionally.  While the curd is cooling, cut the butter into 1 tablespoon pieces.  Add the butter 1 piece at a time and whisk until completely incorporated.  Alternatively, you could use a blender or immersion blender to incorporate the butter.  The curd will be a slightly pale yellow and super thick.  If you are not making the bars right away, store the curd in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.  Bring to room temperature before using.

Ingredients for Coconut Crust:

1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1/4 powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Spray a 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Spread 1/2 cup of coconut flakes on a small baking sheet and bake until the coconut is golden brown, about 5-6 minutes.  Cool.

Using a medium bowl mix together toasted coconut, flour, powdered sugar and butter until a dough forms.  Spread the dough into the prepared baking pan and press evenly, covering the bottom of the pan.  Bake crust until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Let cool.

Once the crust is cool, pour the key lime curd on top and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with a 1/2 cup of coconut flakes.  Bake until the curd is set and the coconut flakes are golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  Once cool, drizzle with melted white chocolate.  Loosely cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or overnight.  Cut into 12 bars when ready to serve.  Bars will last in an air-tight container for two days.  Enjoy!

5 Key Lime Links!

Looking to combine your love of cheesecake with your love of key limes?  The Merry Gourmet has a recipe for key lime cheesecake that will unite both loves into one delicious dessert.

Nostalgic, handheld desserts are the best kind of sweet treat.  Head to Martha Stewart for her key lime whoopie pie recipe.  Who doesn’t love a whoopie pie?

Key lime doughnuts? Yes, please! A Zesty Bite has the recipe for you.

Part cake, part custard; Foodness Gracious has a recipe for key lime magic cake that is sure to win the hearts of all!

Foodess’ no bake whipped key lime pie is on must make summer dessert list.  I’m drooling…and dreaming of summer.

 

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars + 5 Summer Cheesecake Desserts You Should Check Out!

bcc793

She started this years ago.  Cheesecake, any form, any flavor, equaled special occasion.  My mother’s go to cheesecake recipe featured a vanilla wafer crust, creamy, silky smooth cheesecake topped with canned cherry or blueberry pie filling.  She rarely needed to refer to the recipe.  She knew it by heart.  She also knew how quickly the little individual cheesecakes nestled in their silver cupcake liners would disappear.  A stern warning like “don’t touch them until Christmas Eve or you’ll get coal in your stocking” usually followed the last dollop of pie filling she place on the perfectly browned cheesecakes.  We waited, and not so patiently waited, until she declared, after her final sip of wine, “let’s have dessert!”

bcc772

When she pulled the little bites from the fridge, our mouths watered.  We always ate two immediately and maybe a third if her mood allowed it.  When we got older, the cheesecakes would make a late night appearance usually due to an insatiable case of the munchies.  The baffled look on her beautiful morning face when she discovered just how many we consumed still haunts me to this day.  I’m sure she thought “wtf”?  And then quickly figured out the culprit.  She was, after all, an ER nurse, she grew up during Woodstock, she knew, though pretended otherwise.

When we moved out of her nest, these sweet treats became her go to dessert for any family dinner.  No longer were they just for the holidays. Merely having us in her nest again warranted an appearance of her cheesecake.  We still eat them with the same passion as when we were children.  It’s amazing how food has way to transport you back to a time and place that you still long for, a place we attempt to create in our new families; a place called home, but really home was her.

bcc816I thought about asking her for the recipe, but I knew damn well she wouldn’t share it.  It is still her made from scratch delight.  I get it.  So I drew inspiration from her, but adapted a recipe from Pioneer Woman.  Like my mother’s, the cheesecake is smooth and tangy.  The crust is perfectly sweet, but features graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers.  The blueberry topping is made from fresh blueberries.  Honestly, I could go either way.  I love the canned stuff, but with blueberries abundant this time of year how can you not go fresh?

bcc738bcc734bcc792

I made and shared these bars at a fourth of July party with good friends.  They were a hit.  I saved a few for Bubba and the kids at home.  They asked for them the next day and the day after that.  Maybe this will be the dessert for my kids.  The dessert that reminds them of home, the dessert that reminds them of me.

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

Makes 16 bars

Ingredients for Crust:

2 sleeves of graham crackers

1/2 unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Filling:

3 packages, 8 ounces each, cream cheese, softened

1 + 1/2 cup sugar

1 + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

pinch of kosher salt

Ingredients for Blueberry Topping:

4 cups blueberries, about 2 pints

3/4 cup of sugar

squeeze of lemon juice

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

4 tablespoons water

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.  Line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs.  Add the melted butter and vanilla extract and pulse until the crumbs look like wet sand.  Dump the mixture into your prepared baking pan and the press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla until smooth.   Next, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.  Add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and pinch of salt and mix until well combined.

Pour the filling into the crust and smooth out the top.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Then turn off the oven, leave the door closed and allow it to bake for another 10 minutes.  Lastly, open the oven door a bit and allow it sit in the oven for another 10 minutes.  (Yup, with the door open.)

Remove the cheesecake and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

While the cheesecake cools, make your blueberry topping.  Add blueberries, sugar and 1/4 cup of water to a small pan.  Over medium high-heat, bring to a boil and cook until the juices slightly thicken, about 5 minutes.  ( I mashed some of the berries during this time for a less chunky topping, but it is not necessary.)  In a small bowl, make a slurry: 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 4 tablespoons of water, mix well.  Stir in slurry and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Let it boil for another couple of minutes and then remove from heat.  Allow to cool before adding to cheesecake.

Pour the blueberries over the cheesecake and smooth over the top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.  I think overnight is best.  Once chilled, remove from 9×13 pan by lifting it out with the foil overhang.  Grab a serrated knife and cut into squares.  Enjoy!

(Can be made two days ahead. Keep refrigerated, covered and cut just before serving.)

5 Cheesecake Recipes You Need To Check Out!

Looking for a completely new and creative take on cheesecake?  Check out My Mother’s Apron Strings for The SoNo Cheesecake: pistachio graham cracker crust, cheesecake topped with fresh raspberries. Wow!

If you need a quick and easy cheesecake, head to Food &Wine for their icebox chocolate cheesecake.

Smitten Kitchen’s raspberry swirl cheesecake and strawberry cheesecake ice cream pie are on my must make list!

Check out my lemon ricotta cheesecake. It was a huge hit!

Banana Cream Pie Revisited + 5 Banana Cream Pie Riffs!

bcp73aGoogle “revisit” and this is what comes up: consider again from a different perspective.  Two years ago, adrift and raw from the loss of my grandfather, I started this blog with a recipe for vanilla bean banana cream pie.  Though not my favorite pie, it was his favorite.  Hoping to soothe my broken-heart, I made a fresh banana cream freckled with vanilla beans, topped with extra banana slices and surrounded by a crunchy and sweet graham cracker crust.  I imagined him eating it and smiling. Continue reading

Brownie Pie with Raspberry Sauce + 5 Perfect Brownie Recipes for Heart Day!

 

bt209G

I’m prepping dinner.  Taco night again, the one meal the kids and Bubba will eat without complaining.  I could make tacos with eyes closed.  Number of tacos shells for each person, the perfect portion of chopped red pepper, avocado slices and shredded cheese.  Some like black beans only, others a spoonful of ground turkey.  A dollop of Greek yogurt, but never, ever any salsa.  “Too spicy, mama.”  I mindlessly hurry through this task.

My mind wanders to my to do list: valentines, allergists appointment, email C’s teacher, make safe cupcakes for G’s class, well-check for the baby coming up Friday, continuing training and fundraising for the marathon.  How many miles this week?

I’m tired today.  Next time I’m awake at 3am for no reason at all, I’m getting up and working on this list.  Why can’t I sleep?

I look up for a moment and the notice the sky glowing pink, the large naked trees behind our house illuminated in the winter’s setting sun.  To the right, the yellow of the sun shines so brightly, I squint my eyes, wondering if the day is just beginning.  How odd to feel both the beginning and end of a day at once.

I grab my phone and snap a quick picture.  “Mama and her pictures,” chimes C.

“Pink sky goose.” Me.

“I know.” C, unimpressed.

I snap another picture and then one more, attempting to hold on to the colors, carry them around with me, and look at them when I need to.  She doesn’t understand this need, not yet.

“Mama, time to eat!”

I sit down with them at our narrow, wooden kitchen table and look out the window.  A rich, dark blue replaces the pink and yellow, the trees still discernible, but quickly fading into the night sky.

bt222T

 

Brownie Pie  with Raspberry Sauce

Rich, intense chocolate brownie pie paired with a bright raspberry sauce is sure to make your Valentine swoon.  This is easy to make pie will take no time at all so make the day of and serve slightly warm. Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten

Serves 8

Ingredient for Brownie Pie:

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

3 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

3 extra-large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon instant espresso

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F and then grease and flour a 9 inch pie pan or tart pan with removable sides.  ( I used a pie pan.)

Using a medium size bowl, melt the butter over a pan with simmering water.  Once the butter is melted add 2 cups of chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is almost completely melted.   Be careful not to burn the chocolate.  Remove from heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Set aside and cool.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, espresso, vanilla and orange zest on medium/high-speed until pale and fluffy, a few minutes.  Stir in the cooled chocolate. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet batter until just combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes or up to 40 minutes.  The center will puff up and crack.  The inside should be soft.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Melt the remaining chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle all over the pie.

Slice and serve with raspberry sauce.  The pie tastes best the day it is made, but tastes pretty good the next day too.  Maybe add ice cream on day two if it seems too dry.  Enjoy!   Happy Heart Day!

Raspberry Sauce

barely adapted from Emeril Lagasse

makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

1- 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries or 1 pint of fresh raspberries

1/8 cup of sugar

scant tablespoon of lemon juice

Directions:

Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain with a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate in air-tight container for a few days.  Enjoy!

5 Brownie Treats Perfect For Valentine’s Day

Obsessed with Trader Joe’s brownie brittle? Make your own! Bakers Royale has a recipe for a crisp pecan brownie brittle that will convert even the most devoted TJ’s fan.  Check it out!

If you love ice cream even in the dead of winter, check out Top With Cinnamon’s no-churn pistachio, mint, olive oil and fudge brownie ice cream.  I love the idea of these flavor combinations- so creative!

Need a quick, 5 minute dessert for your valentine? Cooking Classy has a microwave mug brownie recipe for you that looks so, so good.

Solo on Valentine’s Day? No worries, you can still enjoy something sweet!  Top With Cinnamon has a recipe for a single lady, vegan, molten fudge brownie and a gluten-free version is available too!

Cookies or brownies? Tough call. How about brownie cookies? Pastry Affair has the yummy recipe for you.

Support YES as I run the Boston Marathon on Aril 20th. https://www.crowdrise.com/youthenrichmentboston2015/fundraiser/kellyfitzpatrick1 Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity!