Sunday, August 29, 2010

A pot that age has made beautiful

I often wonder where this pot came from. It magically appeared one day, that happens sometimes when you have a gardener. When it first appeared it was a normal pot with normal colors. I think the gardener was trying to replace a pot that I had loved and he tossed out, it was broken and I had put it in a tree branch for decoration. Well...over time this pot has beautifully aged. I notice it daily when I go outside. I rather love it now. I think it's a happy pot. I love the age spots on it and just like my own, Mother Nature provided them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Life Lessons 1 & 2

First life lesson...remember to prebake crust for key lime pie at least 20 minutes before adding filling and baking the 12 minutes which is perfect by the way for filling, cuts perfectly and eggs are bacteria free after 12 minutes...just be sure the pie crust is properly prebaked. It may take longer than 20 minutes, will test that again.
Egg yolks here are very dark orange, hence nearly melon or pumpkin colored key lime pie!

And to Life Lesson number 2. Keep rubber gloves in the bathroom for when your bracelet falls in the toilet! I had to fish out the chain then find the little ball too...ugh..thank you to whoever invented rubber gloves! I soaked them in bleach/dish wash soap and hottest water possible. And always remember to look BEFORE you I once flushed the last $20.00 we had and payday was a few days away.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pie anyone?

This is my key lime tree in my garden in Dubai, two years in a row now it has produced somewhere in the area of 100 lbs of key limes and thus many pies. I decided I must find more recipes using key limes as I have so many and still have frozen juice and zest from last summer! I found this there are several recipes there that sound just terrific.
Several years ago I was interviewed for an article for Friday magazine, a local magazine here in Dubai that comes with your newspaper on Friday. I was required to make six pies and submit the pies for photographing along with the recipes. The lady that interviewed me was from India and she had brought her little ten year old girl along, neither of them nor the Phillipine photographer had ever had pie so we sat and sampled them all after the photo shoot. I use an old recipe for piecrust I found years ago in the Southern Living 1979 recipe book. I learned to make some new pies for the article, one was a coconut cream totally from scratch, it was delicious and fun. I also made pecan, apple, key lime and a cherry and a blueberry though they did not photograph those two. I have so many pie dishes because of that photo shoot! I have given several away full of pie. I also found a site online that shows you how to make individual pies in little canning jars, I made them while at our beach house and shared them with all my little neighbors, so nice as you can put the lid on and freeze them until you want a pie then thaw, heat and eat!
So this is my key lime pie recipe:

Pie Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Crisco
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water or more depending on your altitude

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add crisco and blend with a pastry blender until soft crumbles the size of small peas. Slowly stir in the ice water until able to make a ball of dough. Chill, then roll into a circle, roll it up on your rolling pin and drape over your pie dish, trim the edges and decorate as you please. As you'll see in the picture of the front of the magazine, they picked my American Apple Pie as the small featurette and there it is with the apple falling into the pie...silly me cut the shape all the way around instead of just making slits, then it fell in! Didn't alter the taste at least.

Key Lime Pie
4 large egg yolks
one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of fresh key lime juice
2 teaspoons of key lime zest

Whip the eggs together until thick and creamy, but do not over-whip. Add the sweetened condensed milk. Add the juice a little at a time mixing until well blended. Add the lime zest. Pour into prepared shell (I prebake my pie crust for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven). Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes to kill any bacteria in the eggs and to set the yolk. Remove, cool and keep refrigerated until serving time. Serve with a dollop of home made whipped cream

Home Made Whipped Cream
Pour contents of one small container of whipping cream into a bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of vanilla. Whip until it just barely holds a stiff peak, again do not over-whip. Serve on top of your pie, easy and delicious.