cream

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

After I made my 3rd key lime pie, I came to the conclusion that most people have never had *real* key lime pie.  What they thought was key lime pie was usually something made from Cool Whip and Jello, which has nothing to do with key limes.

The big surprise for most people was how tart a real key lime pie is, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the name KEY LIME pie should give you some indication that is contains limes/lime juice.

This is an easy pie to make, and will be a huge hit with anyone who likes/appreciates real lime taste.

Key Lime Pie

Lime Filling
4 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
4 egg yolks
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 11 graham crackers)
3 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp butter , melted

Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

  1. Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.
  2. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Pour mixture into 9″ pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  3. Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)
  4. For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Spread evenly with rubber spatula.
Source: Cooks Illustrated, March/April 1997

 

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What better way to relaunch the website than on National Cheesecake Day?

Yes, July 30th is National Cheesecake Day.  When I realized it was coming up, I also realized that I had never posted my cheesecake recipe on the blog.  Sure, I’ve done some cheesecakes, but never *the* cheesecake recipe that always gets lot of compliments no matter when I make it.

How good is this recipe?  Even non-cheesecake lovers (yes, I was sad to learn such people exists too!) like this cheesecake.  Perfect blend of cream cheese to sugar, and a texture that is out of this world.

The biggest compliment that I received about this cheesecake was from a couple that lives in New York City (a city famous for it’s cheesecake).  Living in NYC, they had been exposed to the city’s best cheesecakes.  In their opinion, my cheesecake was as good, if not better, than anything they had tasted in NYC!  I’ll take a compliment like that any day!

Cheesecake

4oz graham cracker crumbs (1 cup)
1 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp melted butter, plus 1 tsp for greasing pan

2 1/2pounds cream cheese, at room temperature (about 45-60 minutes)
1/8 tsp salt
10 1/2oz sugar (1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
6 eggs

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar together in medium bowl; add 5 tablespoons melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened. Brush bottom of 9″ springform pan with 1 tsp melted butter. Empty crumbs into springform pan and press evenly into pan bottom. Spray a flat bottomed drinking glass with cooking spray (Pam) and press crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, about 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
  • Bring 1 quart of water to boil while making the cheesecake filling.
  • In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula; add salt and about half of sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; beat in remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add whole eggs two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, and scraping bowl between additions.
  • Wrap the springform pan in a double cover of aluminum foil.  Set springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour filling into cooled crust, place in oven, and pour boiling water into the roasting pan, coming no more than 1/2 way up the springform pan.
  • Bake for 2 hours, or until center of cheesecake registers 160 degrees.  Remove pan from water bath and remove foil  from pan.  Transfer cake to wire rack and cool 5 minutes; run paring knife between cake and side of springform pan. Cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)

To serve: remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving plate. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Notes:

  • Make sure you use use 18″ side aluminum foil, and not the 12″ wide. With the 12″ wide, you will have a seam that will let in water
  • As with all cheesecakes, don’t cook it until it looks done, or you will over cook it. The residue heat from the cheesecake itself will continue to cook it even after you take it out of the oven

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

I picked up a copy of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop a few months ago (see my review here) and promptly made some ice cream.  For the sake of my waistline, I put the book (and ice cream maker) away.  After having dug the ice cream maker out for last month’s Daring Bakers challenge, and with summer heat like we haven’t seen in a long time, I figured it was time to get David’s book out and try some more flavors.

It didn’t take long before I came across this recipe and knew it was the one to make.  How can you go wrong with chocolate, peanut butter, and ice cream?

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream

2 cups half and half
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup smooth all natural peanut butter (see my notes below for details)

Whisk together the half and half , cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full rolling boil.  Remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until the peanut butter melts and the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, then follow the directions of your ice cream maker to make the ice cream.

Makes about 1 quart.

Note: Use only all natural peanut butter, the kind that consists of peanuts and salt.  If there are any other ingredients, the ice cream will taste funny.  While I love Skippy Super Chunky peanut butter in a PB&J, when you cook/bake with peanut butter, make sure you use all natural peanut butter.

Source: The Perfect Scoop (p.30) by David Lebovitz

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Swiss roll ice cream cake

Swiss roll ice cream cake

After a hiatus from taking part in the Daring Bakers challenges, I was able to complete the July challenge.

It was also a good excuse to break out the ice cream maker, so it was a win-win situation.

Think of this cake as a thin chocolate & whipped cream cake, with ice cream, fudge sauce, and more ice cream inside.  Yeah, it tasted as good as it sounds.

I would make this again, but next time I think I’d just buy the ice cream and fudge sauce.  While homemade ice cream definitely tastes better than store-bought, for the filling of a cake, store-bought would be good enough.  Not to mention cut down the time to make it to a few hours.

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February’s Daring Bakers challenge was making tiramisu , one of my favorite desserts to make (and eat of course). Big change from my past experiences with making tiramisu was that the mascarpone cheese and savoiardi ladyfingers were made from scratch! [side note: I was very pleased to see that savoiardi ladyfingers could be made, as I can't seem to find any locally that aren't priced into the atmosphere...]

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession.
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