key lime pie

KeyLimePie

This Hungry Texan celebrated the Fourth of July in the Houston homeland with the Lovett clan. We feasted on a red, white, and boil of tasty crustaceans and satiated our sweet teeth post-Fireworks with this sweet and tangy key lime pie.

When life gives you limes, make key lime pie!


KeyLimeCrust Ingredients

Key lime crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 tbl melted butter
2 tbl lime zest

KeyLime Filling

Key lime filling:
4 egg yolks
3 tbl lime zest (from 4 key limes)
1/2 cup lime juice
1 can sweetened condensed milk

This is a one bowl, one whisk pie that requires minimal baking. For your crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, zest and melted butter in a large bowl until it sticks together like wet sand.

MixingCrust

Spray the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with your preferred baking spray and pack your crust into the pie plate until it’s densely and compactly situated. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-minutes or until it’s looking golden and the smells start wafting.

Crust_prebake

For your filling, whisk together 4 egg yolks for about two minutes. Add your lime zest and continue whisking until your mixture is a pale green.

Eggs + Lime

Whisk in your lime juice and condensed milk until your filling starts to thicken. Let rest for at least 20-minutes at room temperature, giving the filling adequate time to firm up. Pour filling into the cooled pie crust and return it to your 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the center of your pie is firm.

Full_Pie

Let your pie rest until it reaches room temperature and then place in the fridge to chill (can be made up to a day in advance).

Slice & serve chilled with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lime!

xoxo,

Julia

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almond peach tart

almondpeachtart

Spring has finally sprung in the District! The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the Nationals’ season is off to a solid start, and thankfully (knock on wood & fingers crossed) we’ve had more sunshine than showers so far this April! This week has been unseasonably warm and visions of summer stone fruits have been dancing through this Hungry Texan’s head. Try this almond peach tart (inspired from a recipe from Peace Meals, the newest Junior League of Houston cookbook) and start and tempt your tastebuds with the summer sweets to come!

You’ll need:

peachtartingredients

almond cream

2/3 c slivered, blanched almonds

1/2 c sugar

6 tbl butter

2 eggs

2 tbl chambord (raspberry liquor, rum would also work)

2 tbl flour

PieCrust

Peaches

tart

1 pie crust (I used frozen!)

2 bags frozen peaches or 5 ripe peaches

glaze

1/3 c peach jelly/jam

4 tsp chambord

Preheat your oven to 425.

almondfilling1

Now, this recipe is really quite simple! To make your almond cream, start by grinding almonds and 2 tbl of sugar to a fine meal in your food processor. Remove the almond meal from the food processor and set aside briefly.

almondfilling2

Cream your butter in the food processor until soft. Then add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue creaming. Add your eggs one at a time and process until smooth. Finally, add back in your almond meal mixture, add the flour, and chambord until well mixed and creamy.

almond filling

Next, assemble your tart! Pour your almond mixture into a prepared pie crust (fork-poked).

FilledPieCrust

 

Arrange peaches in a radiating or concentric design.

Peaches+PieFilling

 

Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven and then reduce heat to 350 baking for another 25 – 30 minutes. Remove and let your pie cool.

Jam+Chambord

When the pie cools, prepare your glaze by bringing peach jam and chambord to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture is melty and wonderful.

Glaze Straining

Then strain through a fine mesh strainer. With a pastry brush, brush the glaze generously over the top of your tart.

Enjoy room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Blue Bell if you’re so lucky!).

Sweet & creamy,

Julia

chess pie

title page southern chess pie

Oh Pi Day- the most delicious contribution from mathematics since Avogadro’s Number.  Get it?  Avogadro sounds like Avocado?

What kind of food nerds would we be if we didn’t celebrate?  And celebrate we did.  I hosted a Pi Day bake-off at the office, and while I may have fudged the scores a bit because of Bakeoff Rule #451 (Though shalt not win thine own bake-off), I think I can spill the beans here: my Chess Pie won!  

Now y’all, I thought I was up a creek without a paddle attachment when I realized that my roommate had taken the stand mixer.  But this classic southern Chess Pie is not only scrumptious, you can also make it with a fork.  No fancy mixer needed here!  Although you can, of course, use a Kitchen-Aid to make your life easy and breezy.

For the Filling:

2 cups sugar
2 tbs cornmeal
1 tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup milk
1 squeeze of lemon or 1 tbs white vinegar (you could also replace milk + lemon/vinegar with buttermilk)
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Pie Crust: Use your favorite!  I’m really not the baker in this friendship, so I would go with any of Julia’s pie crusts.

 

Preheat the oven to 425° and bake your pie crust in a pie pan (you can line with foil and fill with beans, or you can not) for ~5 minutes.

pre baked crust

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, cornmeal, flour, salt, melted butter, milk, lemon/vinegar, and vanilla.  Then lightly beat your eggs and add them to the mixture.  Ok, are you ready for the hard part?

Stir.

add your eggs and stir

Pour into your pie crust.

pre-baked pie

Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes.  After about 10 minutes, wrap the edges of the crust in foil so the edges don’t get too brown.  Once your Chess Pie has cooled completely, enjoy a slice.  Or two.  And then take it to your Pi Day bakeoff and win because it’s basically cheating to make a pie out of butter and sugar.

out of the oven

If you want to mix it up, you can add baking chocolate, lemon, raspberry, or top it with whipped cream or powdered sugar.  You can vary it all you want, but this pie will always be delicious and old-fashioned.

post-baked pie

xoxo,

Liz

pecan pie

Two Saturdays ago I helped sort 7,000 Thanksgiving pies sold as a fundraiser for one of my favorite DC nonprofits, Food & Friends. In case you were wondering, 7,000 pies looks like this about 6-times! This pecan pie recipe is poco complicado, but as you read and mentally prepare yourself to recreate its splendor, if you ever think you’re ready to “next!” this recipe, take a deep breath and remember you’re only making one…not 7,000!

Before we get into the thick of it, there are a couple of things you need to know.

  1. This is a recipe for Pecan (“pi-con”) Pie not “pee-can” pie. Few alliterative phrases irk my ears more than “pee-can” pie, and this is coming from the girl who has her own fair share of Texas twists on pronunciation.
  2. This pie was extra special because it was made entirely from the fruits of one of Mimi & Papa’s pecan trees!
  3. This is my first attempt at a Pecan Pie, but you should know Goode Company Pecan Pie (GCPP) is and always will be the gold standard for this species of pie. Important characteristics worth mimicking in GCPP are: a crumbly crust, whole pecans, and balance in the crust & nuts that cuts the saccharine filling.

My recipe features pecans three ways–as a meal in the crust, whole on the bottom of the crust, & chopped in the filling–and its inspired by Tabard Inn’s Crust & Cooks Illustrated’s filling. To embark on this pie prepping adventure, you’ll need:

For the crust:

1 c pecans (chopped)
1⁄3 c sugar
1.5 c flour
1.5 sticks butter
Pinch salt
2 egg yolks
3 tbls 1/2 & 1/2
1 12-ounce can dulce de leche
8 ounces toasted pecans

For the filling:

6 tbl butter

1 c brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c corn syrup

1 tbl vanilla

2 c whole pecans toasted & chopped

Let’s start with the crust, shall we? First pulse your cup of pecans & sugar in a food processor; pulse until it’s a fine meal. Add flour, butter & salt and continue to pulse until the butter is super crumbly. Then add the eggs and half & half. Once your dough is in a nice ball, flatten it out between two pieces of parchment paper. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. When it’s time to bake, roll or use your hands to fit your crust into a pie pan. Be sure to poke your crust with a fork (many, many times) and then bake for ~20 minutes at 350. I covered mine with parchment paper. True story, I didn’t have pie weights and my crust definitely rose a little. Once it got out of the oven, I needed to smoosh it back down to its home in the pan. Remove once it’s golden brown.

While your crust is baking is the perfect opportunity to make your filling! Setup a double boiler and melt your butter. Then mix in your sugar & salt. Then beat in eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla. Pop your bowl back on your double broiler & stir, stir, stir until your mix is shiny and warm. Remove the bowl from the heat & stir in your 2 cups of toasted chopped pecans. Ta da! You have filling.

Now this is exciting. Take your toasted whole pecans and pop those little guys on the bottom of your crust. Drizzle dulce de leche all over the pecan-filled pie crust. Then pour in your filling. Alas! It’s time to bake this baby. Pop it into your still hot 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes or until your pie filling stands up to a  toothpick test. Let your pie rest until it’s time for dessert (or an extra decadent afternoon treat!). I garnished ours with some Grand Marnier whipped cream & it was the perfect cream to cut the sweet.