Sooooo…………how’s it going? I guess it’s been a little while since my last post. I’ve been meaning to write, but as you can see that hasn’t panned out too well. I’m starting to feel like the parent who promises to take their kid fishing at the cabin and then bails at the last minute and leaves the kid sad and disappointed on the front stoop decked out in all their fishing gear (and yes, that’s an Arrested Development reference). As it turns out though, I have a legitimate excuse for being such a neglectful blogger the past couple months. Business has been steadily growing over the summer (which is beyond awesome) and I’m currently looking into expanding The Earnest Baker. Hopefully I’ll have some exciting news to share within the next couple months, so stay tuned for that!
As most of you know, I started selling my products at the Farmer’s Market a couple months ago. Business has been great and it’s been such a wonderful experience getting to share my baked goods, meeting the other vendors, and just being a part of the Market community. What I’ve enjoyed most about the market is talking to and getting to know all my regular customers. I can’t even begin to describe how stoked I am to have people who stop by each week to pick up their favorite baked goods. I’ve always loved having that neighborhood bakery feeling where the regulars come in and you greet them by name and know their usual order. That’s the feeling I strive to recreate with The Earnest Baker. You know, kind of like Cheers, but with homemade Pop Tarts instead of beer.
The other reason I’ve been so busy is because I did all the desserts for my friend’s wedding back in July. It was a gorgeous, casual, outdoor wedding by a lake in West Yellowstone and for the desserts we did 250 cupcakes and a small two-tiered wedding cake. That was a fun, albeit a wee bit crazy (or maybe a lot if you ask my boyfriend) of an adventure for me. It was just me, my one oven, my one mixer and two hundred plus cupcakes to bake and pipe. This was followed by a nerve-wracking 90 mile drive through the mountains with the crumb coated wedding cake layers and a ton of cupcakes. Luckily, all turned out well and, most importantly, the bride was happy.
Work has slowed down a little now, which is nice because it allows me the time to write and finally share some recipes with you guys again! Since I’ve been such a bad blogger this summer, I decided to make it up to you by sharing not one, but two pie recipes. This past week I’ve been on a serious pie kick. It all started when I came across a bag of Key Limes at the grocery store. For some reason, I had to have those limes and, for some reason, I had to make a pie (I guess my Miami roots kicked in at the sight of Key Limes). My Dad makes the best Key Lime Pie, so I immediately called him and had him send me his recipe.
Once I had my Dad’s recipe for the filling, I just needed to figure out a recipe for the crust. I love Graham Cracker Crusts and, in my opinion, the more crust the better. I also like the crust to have a decent amount of crunch and texture to give the pie some more depth. So I decided to make a Toasted Pecan Graham Cracker Crust and reserve some extra crust to bake and use as a topping for the pie. The resulting Key Lime Pie was delicious, especially when paired with unsweetened whipped cream.
I really didn’t think I could make the pie any better…….but then yesterday, as I was eating a mango (which I’m obsessed with by the way) and editing pie pictures for this post, I had a sudden burst of inspiration. I needed to somehow combine my super awesome Key Lime Pie with my slightly out of control mango obsession. I knew what I needed to do……..I had to create a Mango Lime Pie. Turns out it was pretty simple to do – I just upped the lime juice, omitted the lemon juice, and replaced it with fresh mango puree. My Mango Lime Pie came out perfect on the first try and, if I say so myself, is even more awesome than the original pie.
I hope you’ll give both of these pies a try. They’re both crazy delicious, super quick to make, and the perfect treat to help take advantage of these last few weeks of summer. And more importantly, I hope they’ll make up for the fact that I’ve been the worst blogger ever lately!
Key Lime Pie
- Yield: one 9-inch pie
For the Toasted Pecan Graham Cracker Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans
For the filling:
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
⅓ cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (preferably meyer lemon)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans, and melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Measure out ⅓ cup of the graham cracker mixture and spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet (this is going to become the yummy, crunchy topping for your pie). Bake for about 8 minutes (stirring every once in a while) or until the crumbs are nicely golden and toasted.
Pour the remaining graham cracker mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan to form the crust. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is set and golden.
To make the filling, place the egg yolks and lime zest in a large bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and zest on high-speed until thick and shiny (about 3 to 4 minutes). With the mixer still running, slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until the mixture is very thick (about 3 minutes or so). Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the key lime and lemon juice and mix until just combined.
Pour the filling into the hot crust and bake for about 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Place the pie on wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, place the pie in the fridge and let chill for at least one hour before serving. When your pie is all nice and cold, cut into slices and serve with a big dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and lots of the super awesome crunchy graham cracker topping. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
* For the Mango Key Lime Pie Variation: Increase key lime juice to ½ cup, omit the lemon juice, and add in ½ cup mango puree (about half a large mango pureed in the blender). Follow remaining instructions as written.