And as a final tribute to summer: this entire week will be Ice Cream Week here on The Dogs Eat the Crumbs (and yes, the dogs are happy to lick the drips)
- My husband loves lemon (or lime) meringue pie, so I gave him some choices: regular pie crust or graham cracker, meringue or whipped cream. His vote: graham cracker and meringue. After getting my options settled, it was time to make the pie. I even had some graham cracker crumbs that would be great to use up. But then I read in the P&Q comments (and on Twitter) that Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen made a gingersnap macadamia nut crust for her pie, using this recipe for her crust.
I had wanted to make a gingersnap crust way back in the Creamy Cheesecake week, but let myself get scared away by those fear-mongers at Cook's Illustrated (just kidding) who had definitively stated that gingersnap crusts do not work (you can read their quote on my cheesecake post). This time, since I was making just a little bit of pie - and it wasn't going to be served to anyone but my
1 cup gingersnap crumbs (made using my mini-chopper)This was the perfect amount to fit in two 4" mini pie plates and a 2" micro-mini foil pan. I baked the crusts at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
1 1/2 T melted butter
1 T brown sugar
- This week's P&Q post on the Tuesdays With Dorie website was a goldmine of information this week. In addition to crust inspiration from Mary Ann, I learned from Linda of Tender Crumb (who chose this week's recipe - thanks, Linda!) about Dorie Greenspan's "super-charged" way to cook the lime cream over boiling water, AND a terrific way to heat egg whites before whipping them so the meringue ends up cooked. I used both tips and am thrilled with how successful they were:
-- my cream thickened in less than five minutes in a metal bowl over boiling water.- The cream was interesting to make, even if it did generate a sinkful of dirty dishes. I was hoping to get away with a little less than the 2 1/2 sticks of butter that Dorie specifies in the recipe. I tasted it at several stages, and ended up using 1 1/2 sticks, which was creamy but still lime-y. (It was actually delicious with no added butter - nice and puckery.)
-- I heated my egg whites in a different metal bowl (this was one of those dirty-every-bowl-in-the-kitchen recipes) over simmering water until they reached 160 degrees before I whipped them. Once I spread the meringue on the pies I just had to run them under the broiler for a minute to brown them, since the meringue was already cooked.
I thought the crust, cream and meringue were fabulous together. The pie didn't hit the usual lofty taste levels of Dorie desserts for my husband. He loved the crust and the meringue but found something not quite right about the lime cream. First he said it was bitter, then he said too much butter, which made me think of this nursery rhyme:
Betty Botter bought some butter,
But, she said, The butter's bitter;
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter.
But, a bit of better butter
Will make my batter better.
So, she bought a bit of butter
Better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter
And the batter was not bitter.
So, 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.
Well, I know my butter wasn't bitter, and I have no idea what my husband was tasting in the cream, but he thinks he'd have liked it better with less butter, preferring a tarter - but not bitter - pie.Murphy's Ice Cream in Ireland, it has some lovely-sounding flavors. Fortunately, Kieran Murphy includes some recipes on his blog Ice Cream Ireland, including a Lemon Curd Ice Cream that sounds divine. I planned to make that this week. I got busy researching lemon curd recipes, and at the same time I was getting ready to make the TWD Lime Meringue Pie. Finally, the light went on: I could switch the flavor from lemon to lime and use my leftover lime cream, rather than curd, to make the ice cream. The biggest difference between a lime curd and the lime cream that we were making for the pie is the order and manner in which the butter is added. You heat the lime/eggs/sugar/butter together for a curd, which is dense, but you add the butter later for a cream, which gets its creaminess from the emulsification (rather than melting) of the butter into the lime/egg/sugar mixture.
I used Murphy's Lemon Curd Ice Cream recipe as my guide, but used double the amount of lime zest, lime cream, and concentrated key lime juice. (I was trying to amp up the lime flavor because Margaret of Tea and Scones had made the ice cream with lemon curd and said that the lemon flavor was mild.)
Murphy's ice cream recipes use a technique where custard is made with milk and eggs and chilled, and then cream is whipped and folded into the custard just before churning. This produces a wonderfully creamy, almost fluffy ice cream. Combined with the lime cream, the resulting ice cream was like a lime cloud!
Come back every day this week for more of Ice Cream Week!
And if, like J.D.E. below, you are not eating grains, dairy or sugar, you can celebrate summer's bounty with a plate of raspberries for your dessert!