Tuesday, August 25, 2009

{TWD} Creamy Lime Meringue Pie with Gingersnap Crust, and Lime Cream Ice Cream to kick off Ice Cream Week!

I'm going to say this quietly, in case the subject depresses you, as it does my college-aged daughter J.D.E. Labor Day is fast approaching, and the carefree days of summer are drawing to a close. With the calendar firmly in mind, today's post will have two seasonal desserts: The cool, refreshing and oh-so-summery Tuesdays With Dorie choice for this week, Lime Meringue Pie, and a bonus Lime Cream Ice Cream (yes, the word "cream" is twice in its name).

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)

Creamy Lime Meringue Tart

n.o.e.'s notes:

- 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 guinea pigs family - it was a perfect time to experiment with Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps (these yummy cookies are made with fresh, crystallized, and ground ginger). Here's what I used for my crust:
1 cup gingersnap crumbs (made using my mini-chopper)
1 1/2 T melted butter
1 T brown sugar
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.

- 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.

-- 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.
- 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.)

the verdict:

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.

Lime Cream Ice Cream

Although I've never had the pleasure of visiting 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!


Maria said...

We are huge lime fans! I can't wait to try that ice cream!

Mary Ann said...

Both look wonderful! I love that your crust turned out and the ice cream with it- amazing! I would take it over the raspberries anyday.

I didn't measure my lime curd when I added it to my ice cream- I just used whatever I had left, which was closer to 1/3 cup probably, so my ice cream had tons of flavor.
Thanks for suggesting the ice cream- it was a total hit for everyone last night at dessert.
Thanks for linking me up too!

Mary Ann said...

oh, and I love that you have gingersnaps by your ice cream!

Anonymous said...

I love your mini pies! I'm so excited for ice cream week!

Anonymous said...

Cute photos! Your family was really hamming it up!

I'm looking forward to see what else you have in store for ice cream week!

Jennifer said...

Oh, how I wish I had an ice cream maker!

Your mini pies look wonderful!

Jessica said...

I'm with JDE, I find the end of summer seriously depressing. The pie and the ice cream both look delicious. I didn't get a chance to make the ice cream, time got away from me. I'm such a fan of gingersnaps, and I love that you served them with the ice cream. I bet that the spicy ginger of the cookies was the perfect foil to the lime. I'm very excited for ice cream week!

Audrey said...

Well, I'm glad to see that your family is so staid and serious! If I lived at your house, with all your gorgeous desserts (and etc. etc.) I would NEVER say the butter was bitter (even if it was). Looking forward to ice cream week!!

vibi said...

WOW! What beautiful meringue waves you got on that pie...

And you are getting free models for your pictures I see, paying them with pie aren't we? LOL LOL

I'm sure they're just as happy!

TeaLady said...

Glad these turned out for you. Your dau doesn't know what she is missing, does she??

Looks delish.

Di said...

I love the pictures! Your pie looks great. I'm hoping to make it soon. And I really want to try the ice cream--that sounds really yummy, and a cool technique besides.

Teanna said...

Double dose of lime!!! I love that you are doing the ice cream week as a last homage to summer (that is so sad, but I am looking forward to fall!) and I love that you did the gingersnap crust (and it worked!)

Katrina said...

Ha! I made the lime cream, then out of nowhere decided the kids wouldn't really like the pie, so I turned it into lime cream ice cream! And made graham cracker ice cream sandwiches. YUM! Your scoop of lime ice cream looks GREAT!

mike said...

Guinea Pigs! Love it!!! And it looks like they loved all that wonderful creamy, icy, citrus-y goodness! Nancy, you go all out - love how you branch out into new horizons with your cooking/baking. LOVE gingersnap crusts - especially with cheesecake or lemon bars - try it! I will HAVE to try the ginger/macadamia nut one... that sounds out of this world. So impressed - ice cream to boot!!! Happy end of Summer! :(

natalia said...

Ciao ! I love your minis ! And the idea of gingersnaps is great I'll bear it in mind for next time !!! Ice cream week !!! Fantastic !! Actually I feel like a monster but I can't wait school to start (sept. 14th) to be able to work !!!

isa said...

Love your mini tarts with gingersnaps crust! Beautiful pictures of your family!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

ice cream week--oh yeah! the pies look good, but that lime cream ice cream is a fab idea!

Kieran said...

What a great post! I love your twist on our lemon curd ice cream, and I'm so happy it worked out well. A lime cloud? I'm definitely going to have to try it!

Cathy said...

What a great, limey post! I'm so glad you showed those naysayers at CI how it's done. The gingershap crust sounds fabulous with the lime cream! I wish I read the tip about heating the egg whites before whipping - I did not eat the meringue, but I served it to my husband, and I held my breath for the next 24 hours that I did not poison him with the uncooked egg whites. Sorry the cream didn't totally wow your hubs, but the whole pie package looks great! And the ice cream - wow! And the plate of raspberries - er, wow!

Looking forward to the rest of ice cream week!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love that nursery rhyme!

Kayte said...

I have to say, those raspberries look very good, but I am still going for the other two desserts first. Great photos of the home team. We loved the lime pie and I think we would enjoy the gingersnap crust very much, so I am going to put this on my list to try, and it will be soon, as I made a 7" pie thinking the guys would not be all that interested and they ate the entire thing in one sitting...go figure. The ice cream looks so great and have to find a way to make this in the schedule as lemon, as you know, if my favorite flavor. Everything looks great!

Anonymous said...

Hey! I love ice cream week! Can't wait to see what you have in stock for us the rest of the week. Your pies look wonderful and the ice cream sounds delicious.

margot said...

Everything looks wonderful! I agree that the lime cream was good without butter, I could have stopped there. I admire J.D.E's willpower, how difficult it must be when your mother is always making carby/creamy goodies.

Leslie said...

You're killing me with these lime desserts! And a whole week of ice cream? Sigh. The flavor of the tart could have been a bit limey-er for me. I love it when I can use something from TJ's and make my life easier, so I'm glad this worked out. I'm so intrigued by the ice cream.

Linda said...

I love how your pie turned out, but now you have me totally intrigued by the ice cream.

Can't wait read about all of your delicious ice creams.

Thanks for baking along with me this week Nancy!

Madam Chow said...

Trader Joe's used to sell them where I live under the name "Gingeroos." I was addicted to those cookies, and you just made my day by disclosing that they sell something similar!

AmyRuth said...

You know what? I remember one time making something.... for the life of me I can't remember what it was but it had some zest in it and it had a hint of bitterness. From that point on I just made a mental not not to over zzzaaaeesst the citrus either with the microplane or even when using a juicer so as not to get down to the "bitter part." Does that make any sense? Probably just me, but I totally know what your hubz was speaking about. That happened to me.
I loved this lime cream and I love the lemon cream as well. I think its way cool to make lime yum without the little bottle of key lime juice and eagle brand. Aren't we special!! he he