Monday, September 28, 2009

Not key lime pie strictly speaking

I bought these limes at the Kapiolani Community College farmer's market about a week ago and so I needed to do something with them. Well, key lime pie of course!

Except they aren't key limes; they're just limes of some other umm non-key sort.



I made the pie anyway.

Graham cracker crust:
1.5 cups of crushed graham crackers
4 TBs of butter, which wasn't enough, so I poured in some pecan oil until it looked moist enough to press. Press into pie pan.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350, then let cool.


4 egg yolks
one can of condensed milk
1/2 cup of lime juice.

Mix the egg yolks together with the condensed milk until well blended. Add in the lime juice. Pour into the pie crust.


Every topping for this that I found online involved either whipped cream or a meringue. I've never made a meringue before, but I had these 4 whites in a bowl from the filling, so I gave the meringue a try.

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar (supposedly superfine is better, but I made it through with granulated sugar, sugar mama (John Lee Hooker reference))
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

Now, I actually have a big powerful Kitchen Aid mixer that N's dad sent to us as a present a few years ago, but it was behind all this stuff, and it sure seemed a pain to get that thing out from the back corner, so I decided to just whip the meringue by hand.

Do not do that.

Well, unless you are trying to lose weight in your forearm. Seriously, how did those French pastry chefs in the 19th century whip out meringue pies all day long? They must have had forearms that weighed more than the rest of their body. I can clearly tell that they moved about by bouncing on the forearm muscles from one place to the next. You just flex one of those puppies and bounce to the next location. I think I spent half an hour whipping this thing, and I had to get N to jump in at least 2 times to give me a break.

So just get out the mixer. Don't do it by hand unless you're going for meringue bragging rights.

Which I am. I rule. You suck, you electric mixer meringue people. You call that a meringue?!

Electric pansy.

Whip the egg whites slowly so that they are full of bubbles. Add in the cream of tartar and continue whipping until soft peaks form. This should occur right around the time that American Idol 22 crowns the winner. Good news: you won't have missed a single episode by living your life. Now, add in the entire cup of sugar... wait for it... 1 TB at a time. That's right. A cup added one TB at a time. Because you have nothing else to do and, when it comes down to it, your life is a puddle of emptiness seeping into a void over an abyss.

Add the TB and whip some more. Add another, whip. You get the idea. Just whip it. Into shape. Shape it up. Get straight. Go for it. Move ahead. Try to detect it. It's not too late. To whip it.

All together.... Whip it good!

Whip until you give up or the soft peaks become stiffer peaks. (Actually, you can get away with softer peaks if you are doing a pie and not one of those baked meringue confections. So I am totally still manly even if I may not have been as stiff as others had wished for. It's totally natural and happens to most men at some time or another. It doesn't mean we aren't attracted to pie anymore. It's a physical reaction and you really shouldn't read so much into it. About meringues I mean.)

Spoon the meringue on top of the pie and place the pie in the oven that is still preheated at 350. Bake for, like, 15 minutes or something. The meringue should be browning on top. Remove. Cool on a rack for a while, then cool in the fridge for 8 hours.

This is what it looked like in rather fuzzy pics:

I may have a little too much meringue there, but you know how I loooove making meringue by hand. Uh huh.


Courtney said...

i don't have amazing looking forearms or anything but we had to do everything by hand in my french pastry school Le Cordon Bleu! i know know it hurts at first! but ur little pastry chef sister is proud of u!!!!!! keep it up!

sylvia said...

I have whipped meringue by hand and I came to the same conclusion - just don't do it! Especially with the risk that it might simply fail! argh!

This pie looks *wonderful*