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Baking With Bitters: Key Lime Pie + Citrus Bitters

Still missing that last little taste of summer? I’m not. I’m more than welcoming FALL and all of it’s GLORY!!!! The good thing about Key Lime Pie is, you get get limes all year long. And, Key Lime Pie is super easy to make. That’s why it’s one of my favorites. It’s a clean and refreshing bite that can take you back to the Florida Keys and gives a little relief from all of the heavy flavors of Fall.

We’re adding Hella Bitters Citrus to this pie because we’re just cool like that. The bitters add another dimension to the familiar pie; playing on the bright lime citrus and adding some spice undertones. Even though this pie is baked (briefly), the citrus bitters still come through. Let’s jump into the recipe, shall we?

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A few extra dashes for good measure…

Citrus Bitters Key Lime Pie:

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

3 Egg Yolks

2/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice

3 Teaspoons Hella Bitters Citrus (A few extra dashes for good measure)

For the crust, we’re going with the standard recipe:

1 1/2 cups  finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat your oven to 350°. In a food processor, large plastic bag or bowl, blend the graham crackers until you get smooth crumbs. Add melted butter and remaining ingredients until you get a sand like texture. Fill your pie dish with the graham cracker crust. Prepare filling by first whipping the egg yolks with the bitters for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and pale in color. Only takes about 3 minutes. Add your filling to the pie crust and bake until set, about 10 minutes being sure not to brown. Let the pie cool completely and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream as you desire. Easy as pie!

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You’ll want to go a little finer on the crust than I  🙂

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One last slice of summer you can enjoy all winter long!

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Chocolate [Buttermilk] Pots de Creme

One of the easiest chocolate desserts ever. Minimal ingredients, luscious flavor. Not exactly light in calories but, we won’t count today. Does one really need an excuse to eat chocolate?

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These little french puddings (meaning “pot of custard”) have been around since the 17th century. That really says something. It says good things last forever. You could put any flavor you want in a pot de creme. Espresso, chocolate, mexican chocolate, vanilla, maybe even sweet potato or other fall flavors around the holidays.

The pot de creme recipe is pretty standard and relatively inexpensive. You can easily impress dinner guest with your “fancy” pots de creme. The salted caramel whipped cream will really take them over the edge!

Pots de Creme:

2 Cups Whipping Cream

1/2 Cup Whole Milk [Buttermilk used here]

5oz. Bittersweet Chocolate [Milk or Semi-Sweet if you prefer]

6 Egg Yolks

1/3 Cup Sugar

Preheat oven to 325. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in separate bowl. (After whisking the chocolate into the cream mixture, I like to let it cool for about 5 minutes to further eliminate the risk of any egg scrambling in the chocolate mixture.) After the mixture has cooled slightly, whisk in egg and sugar mixture. Fine strain and let custard cool for 10 minutes. Place [6] ramekins in a baking dish. Fill the ramekins with the custard mixture and cover each with a small piece of foil. Place the baking dish in the over and fill with water, about half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake for 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 3 hours. I let the custards sit out until they come to room temperature and then refrigerate. The custards are really great the next day!

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*Insert reference to Frasier’s “Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs”. Don’t want any in your custard!

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Skim any skins that may had formed on surface of custard after cooling for 10 minutes.

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Prepare the babies for their Bain-Marie (water bath). Don’t want any cracks in the custard!!

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After baking for 55 minutes, it’s whipped cream time!

I had some leftover caramel in the fridge, threw in some salt, heavy whipping cream and BOOM! Salted caramel whipped cream. This caramel is pretty easy to make. There’s no  adding water to hot sugar that could flare up in your face. It’s evaporated milk and sugar. Simple. Take a can of evaporated milk, throw it in your pot and add some sugar. Maybe 1/3-1/2 a cup. Taste to adjust the sweetness to your likeness. Let the mixture simmer on medium to low heat until it begins to thicken, careful no to burn. If you begin to see some black flakes or feel with your spoon on the bottom of the pot that it’s burnt, fine strain into a new pot and lower the heat. I tend to like a slightly burned or “bien cuit” flavor to my caramel. It’s okay if the caramel is loose. It will incorporate easier into the whipping cream. After about 30-45 minutes on low heat, the caramel should coat the back of a spoon. Let the mixture cool. It’s great over ice cream or pound cake and fruit (or all three together!!)

Salted Caramel Whipped Cream:

1/2 Cup Cooled Caramel [Should be kept in the fridge]

1-1 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream

Hefty Pinch of Sea Salt [Maldon, Fleur de Sel, Kosher]

2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar [Adjust sweetness to your likeness]

Whip all ingredients in a bowl until soft peaks form.

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Bon appetit!