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Key Lime Pie

There are a few different ways to top a Key lime pie, but meringue is the most thoughtful.  It is just as sweet as whipped cream to complement the lime’s tartness, but meringue makes use of the leftover ingredients of the pie filling.  This particular recipe, unlike others found on the web and in cookbooks, calls for an equal number of egg yolks and egg whites: four yolks for the pie filling, and four whites for the meringue.  Imagine that, smart and sumptuous food!

key lime pie

key lime pie

Makes one pie

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups of finely ground graham cracker crumbs

6 tbs. of melted butter

6 tbs. of vanilla-infused sugar (make this by storing a vanilla bean in your sugar container)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Evenly mix the sugar and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.  Stir in the melted butter, making sure that everything gets evenly combined.  Press into a metal or aluminum pie pan, and it’s okay to have an uneven edge because it will be hidden by the meringue.  Bake for 12 minutes, and let cool at least 15 minutes before adding the filling.

graham crust, prior to baking

graham crust, prior to baking

For the filling:

14 oz. (one can) of sweetened condensed milk (we suggest organic if available; same goes for the limes, too)

1/2 cup of Key lime or lime juice

4 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)

1 tbs. of lime zest

condensed milk and egg yolks

condensed milk and egg yolks

Maintain oven at 350 degrees F.  In a bowl, mix together the egg yolk and condensed milk, just enough to break the yolks and distribute.

with lime juice and zest

with lime juice and zest

Whisk in the lime juice and zest, and combine until evenly mixed.  Pour into the cooled pie crust and bake on a cookie sheet for 18-20 minutes, until the filling doesn’t jiggle in the center anymore.  Prepare the meringue towards the last part of the pie’s baking time.

out of the oven, right before adding meringue

out of the oven with a dark golden brown crust

For the meringue:

1/2 cup of vanilla-infused sugar

4 egg whites (leftover from the filling earlier)

1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar

Mix the egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl until soft peaks form.  Slowly add the sugar while the mixer is still stirring, and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

plop it on

plop it on

Once the pie is out of the oven, let cool about 5 minutes so that it’s not extremely hot.  Reduce the oven to 325 degrees F.  Put the meringue on top of the pie and spread out to the edge of the crust.

beautifying with peaks

beautifying with peaks

Using a flat spatula, create peaks across the surface of the meringue by placing the spatula on the meringue and lifting up quickly.

peaked

peaked

Cover the entire surface, including the sides to help hide any uneven crust edge.

perfect

perfect

Bake for 14 minutes at 325 degrees F until the peaks turn golden.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator.  Fully cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.

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Paletas de Cereza y Limón with a Zoku Ice Pop Maker

Almost two years ago, one of our wedding presents was a Zoku ice pop maker.  It seemed so easy based on the instructions, that we were honestly intimidated.  We thought, “There’s no way it could be that easy!”  And so it sat in the freezer, waiting to be used, for almost two years.  Until tonight.

zoku ice pop maker

zoku ice pop maker

Recently, Zach got a recipe book for making paletas, or Mexican style ice pops.  What makes paletas different is that typically they are made with natural fruit juices, so eating a paleta is truly like eating a frozen version of fruit.  Of course, there are paletas with coffee, or even cookies and cream, so fruit is not mandatory.  However, for our first time trying the Zoku, we wanted to try to make something more traditional with such modern technology (a subtle juxtaposition).  Our cherry lime pops came out bien rico!

The Zoku is easy enough, we have no idea why we didn’t start making ice pops years ago.  You don’t need a Zoku to make ice pops, but with it, you can have delicious, natural ice pops with ingredients you control, in as little as 7 minutes.

Makes enough for 15 paletas

1 lb. of cherries, plus one cherry for each paleta

8 limes

2 cups of water

1 1/4 cups of white sugar

x marks the spot for pitting

x marks the spot for pitting

Remove the cherry stems, cut an X on the bottom of each cherry, and squeeze out the pit. 

ready to be juiced

ready to be juiced

Save as many cherries as you have paletas to make, and the rest will be macerated.  Put the cherries to be macerated in a juicer; the goal is to get 1/4 cup of cherry juice.

squeeze the limes over a strainer

squeeze the limes over a strainer

Roll the limes with your hand on a cutting board to make them softer and easier to juice.  Cut in half, and hand squeeze over a strainer to collect any seeds or exceedingly large bits of pulp.  The goal is to get 1 cup of lime juice.

frozen in a jiff

frozen in a jiff

Combine the fruit juices, water, and sugar to make the paleta base.  First insert the ice pop handles, then push in the whole cherries you saved from the juicer.  Pour the juice mixture into the Zoku, and wait 7-9 minutes (for the first batch; additional batches will require more time).

super tool

super tool

Using the Super Tool (included in your Zoku kit), gently remove the paletas before attaching the drip guards (also included).

done and yum

done and yum

Store in a Zoku storage container.  Because this particular recipe is enough for 15 paletas, if you want to make all 15 at once, you will need several storage containers.

Crisp and Creamy Coleslaw

the fresher the better

the fresher the better

The process to make coleslaw is simple and straightforward.  It just takes lots of chopping, since you can’t really put the vegetables in a food processor if you want to maintain their texture and integrity.  What makes Chef Zach’s coleslaw creamier is just a tad of buttermilk.

Makes 4

1/2 of one green cabbage head, shredded

1/2 of one red cabbage head, shredded

2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1/2 cup of mayonnaise

1/4 cup of buttermilk

2 tsp. of Beaver Brand Sweet Hot mustard

1 tbs. of white sugar

The juice of 1/2 of one lime

Mix mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, lime juice, and sugar to make the dressing.  Let the dressing marry for about an hour in the refrigerator.  After that time, fold the dressing and the shredded vegetables with tongs.  Serve immediately.