Pie in the Sky

22 Jul

You know that old saying, “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”?  I beg to differ – anyone who believes that has clearly never eaten homemade pasta, or fresh coconut gelato, or mole enchiladas, or Boi Na Braza – I mean look at this picture of us there – could we BE any happier?

Maybe if we’d remembered to open our eyes….

Anyway, these “people” have definitely never eaten one of my pies.  I obviously love pie – at our wedding we had miniature pies instead of cake!

They were a huge hit – so much so that someone (coughTHEBRIDEcough), only had ONE miniature key lime pie that was delicately fed to me by my groom.  As a sidenote: I really hate when people do that whole feeding at the wedding business and totally smush the cake into each other’s faces.  I think it’s really mean spirited and I’d like to get some statistics on how many of those weddings end in divorce.

As a couple, we find feeding one another very awkward, as is evident in our wedding pictures:

Suffice it to say that pies are an integral part of my marriage, my happiness, and my diet (or lack thereof).  I love to make pies because a homemade pie is getting harder and harder to come by these days and I’ve never been criticized for bringing one to any sort of social gathering.

One of my most favorite pies is the key lime pie.  My parents used to pick these up from the Donut Hole in Florida where we vacationed when I was a kid.  I remember my dad telling me that I may not like this pie, that it had kind of a grown up taste, but I wanted so desperately to have an advanced palate (even at age six), that I pretended to like it and ate it every time they had one until I actually did like it.  Because it has a graham cracker crust, which is far easier to make than pastry, it was also the very first pie I learned to make.  I love it so much, I’m actually going to share the recipe!

Key Lime Pie

Crust:

1 sleeve graham crackers (you will want Nabisco grahams in the red box)

2 T sugar

6 T butter (if you use unsalted, you also need to add a pinch of salt)

handful of coconut.

Run the crackers and sugar through a food processor until they look crumbly, but not to the point of dust.  Melt the butter and pour over the cracker mixture until everything sticks together, then add the coconut.  Press into a pie pan and bake for 8 minutes at 350.

Filling:

1 can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk (the lowfat kind really tastes no different, but if you’re trying to be health conscious, you really shouldn’t be eating pie in the first place…)

1 bag of key limes.

4 egg yolks

1 husband, brother, or combination of the two who don’t pick at their cuticles.

Cut the key limes in half and have one of the men handle juicing them.  This task is arduous, boring, and really stings if you have any sort of wound on your finger.  You can use the pre-squeezed stuff, but it really isn’t good.  You want about a half cup of juice, which is about 20 key limes or one bag of them.  Mix this with the eagle brand and the egg yolks until smooth.  Then pour it all into a pie crust and bake it for 20 more minutes at 350.  Refrigerate for a few hours before you serve and, once it’s chilled top with whipped cream.  I’m a big of a whipped cream snob (it’s homemade or it doesn’t touch my pie).  For that, you just take one small carton of whipping cream and whip it with some vanilla and about a tablespoon of sugar.  Or, if you’re cool like me, you use your whipped cream gun:

The gun, incidentally, also provides a nice way to reward your key lime squeezer.

Another pie that I’ve grown to love in recent months (I’m now going with a wedding theme to this post since I spoke of the mini-pies – key lime pies are old, this one is new…) is the Kahlua silk pie.  It’s no secret that I like to bake with booze – I mean, I’ve been requesting a rum cake for my birthday since I was about five and my fellow teachers say they always know that if I’ve made it, it’s spiked with something.  In fact, should I ever open a small bakery, it will be called the drunken cupcake and offer a myriad of spirited snacks (if you think this doesn’t sound good, ask me to make you some margarita cupcakes with tequila frosting).

When my mom suggested that I made this pie as soon as possible, I did.  If you have a stand mixer, definitely get it out as it takes a lot of mixing.  This is another pioneer woman gem – though I did make a few changes.  She takes much better step-by-step photos than I do (meaning, she takes them), so here is the RECIPE FOR THIS AWESOME PIE!

My changes were to use espresso instead of instant coffee, add about a cup and a half of pecans in the crust (with more Kahlua), and to top with some toasted nuts.  The leftover filling is an awesome dip for graham crackers.  Also, apparently it’s really mean to bring such an awesome dessert to school if you work with women who are pregnant.  They may or may not speak to you for a while.

It’s awesome:

Tomorrow I’m embarking on a mission to pack everything for Vegas AND another two weeks in Dallas.  There will probably be a post about it and I may be a little snarky, so be prepared!

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3 Responses to “Pie in the Sky”

  1. Lori July 23, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    Ahhh 2 of my FAVORITES!

    • Joel July 23, 2010 at 10:22 am #

      You’ve inspired me, I’m making key lime pie next week

  2. Erin July 23, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Margarita cupcakes are delicious! The Drunken Cupcake needs to be well on its way because I would be a regular (you know this)! Thanks for sharing your recipes! Have a fabulous time in Vegas!

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