The Amazingly Rich Pots de Creme!

There’s no doubt I’ve been pretty absent on here for several months.  There have been plenty of times that I have wanted to bake and test and type all about it, but life just seems to get in the way these days!  Summer came and went.  Another year of school is well underway.  Fall has begun and the weather has turned cold and crisp.  Aaron and I are currently expecting our second little girl, due in March!

Life just seems to get in the way sometimes…in a good way.

Two years ago we started what we affectionately call “Family Dinner” with two of our dearest friends.  We gather together every Monday night for dinner, coffee, dessert, and fellowship, and it is many times the very best part of my week.  We very seldom cancel our lovely little get together.  The week we were moving into our new home we ate take out food on torn up wood floors at a table made from saw horses and a large piece of plywood.  When I had my first little one we all gathered around the couch where I was recuperating and devoured burritos and enchiladas from our favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant.  This last week marked our two year anniversary of our weekly dinners, and we celebrated by going out for dinner.  It was delightful!

For dessert I tried out The Pioneer Woman’s Pots de Creme and it was absolutely heavenly.  At first glance I was super selfish and wished that there was more to split between all of us, but once we started eating it and realized how incredibly rich it was, I couldn’t even finish what I had!

If you’re looking for an easy but fancy looking dessert to try out, this is the one for you!  I almost always have these few ingredients on hand, so it’s a great dessert to pull out of your hat the day of.

I’m so thankful that even when life seems to fly by with the seasons, some things are certain.

Pots de Creme

Serves 4

The Pioneer Woman

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract ( or liqueur)
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 fluid ounces of strong hot coffee

First thing to do is to take your eggs out of the refrigerator ahead of time and let them come to room temperature before starting.

When eggs are at room temperature you can begin by placing the chocolate chips into a blender. Follow this with the eggs and the vanilla (or liqueur). Add a pinch of salt. Turn on the blender.

While it is blending, remove the circular disk from the blender lid and very slowly pour in 8 ounces of strong, VERY HOT coffee. It is essential that your coffee be extremely hot in order for the final product to be the right consistency and texture.

Blend for a minute or so until mixture is smooth and fairly free of visible bits of chocolate.

Pour the mixture into your serving glasses or little demitasse cups, leaving plenty of room to add a heap of whipped cream later.

Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 4 hours so the mixture has a chance to set.

Garnish with whipped cream and maybe a chocolate curl or two and you have an easy, delicious and yes, elegant, dessert!

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Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee

If you missed my book review of Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist, turn around and read it.  It’s an excellent book full of encouragement to share life around the table with those you love!

When I read the recipe for the Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee I knew it would be one of the first ones I would try.  I’m a sucker for anything that melts butter and sugar and calls it good enough to eat!

IMG_2411

Don’t be fooled by how fancy this toffee looks.  Shauna’s recipe goes against all rules of candy-making by skipping the candy thermometer all together, making it super easy to make!  I’m a rule follower, and when it comes to candy-making I like to be very precise so it was a stretch for me to make this with only my visual instincts to tell me when it was done.  But it worked!  And it is every bit as delicious as it looks!

Make it.  Enjoy it.  Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee

Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

2 cups sugar

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 tsp coarse sea salt

  • In a saucepan, combine butter and sugar, and bring to a boil.  Over medium-high heat, keep stirring until it turns a deep amber color.
  • Remove from heat and pour onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until cool and solid to the touch.
  • Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a pot of gently boiling water.  When the chocolate is smooth, pour it over the toffee and spread with a spatula.  Sprinkle sea salt, and then refrigerate until cooled and solid.  Break into irregular pieces.

#29 Skillet Cherry Cobbler

The Schrader household has used cast iron skillets and griddles for several years now.  We love the way it cooks our food, we love that it’s not leaching chemicals into our meals, and contrary to popular belief, it’s quite easy to clean up.  We have a couple of pieces that have seasoned really nicely, and we never have to use any kind of oil or spray to make sure our food doesn’t stick.  But we do have one skillet that no matter what we do to it, no matter how many times we season it, no matter how careful we are with it, it just won’t stay seasoned.  It’s super annoying.  Every time my brother-in-law comes to town he spends hours upon hours re-seasoning our pan, trying to get it to the point where it won’t return to its sad ways.  And he does an awesome job!  By the time he leaves it looks like we have a 100 year old, well seasoned pan!  And then we cook something in it once, twice, maybe three times, and it refuses to cooperate.  We need a new pan.

I thought this recipe sounded so cool!  I love the idea of baking your dessert in a skillet and serving it this way!  So pretty in an old time, comfort filled, rustic way!  I made this brilliantly red cherry dessert early this morning, and then I served it for breakfast!  That’s right!  Because it’s my birthday week and I wanted everyone to eat dessert for breakfast.  That’s how it works.  🙂

Skillet Cherry Cobbler (recipe courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill Baking Book)

Makes one 8 inch round cobbler

Filling:

4 cups fresh, frozen, or jarred cherries, rinsed, and drained (thawed, if frozen)

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/4 tsp almond extract

Topping:

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup white flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced

1/3 cup buttermilk

Cinnamon and sugar mix for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • If you are pitting the cherries, do so over a bowl so you can catch any juices.  Toss cherries with the cornstarch, sugar, lemon juice, zest, and almond extract.
  • In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Blend in the butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the buttermilk until just combined.
  • Set an 8-inch cast-iron skillet or flameproof baking dish over a medium flame, and add the cherry mixture, bringing it to a boil, stirring until slightly thickened.

  • Remove from the heat, drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the cherry mixture, and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

What I love about this brilliantly red cherry dessert:  It’s gorgeous!  And simple!  And baked in a skillet!

What I hate about this brilliantly red cherry dessert:  Not enough cherries!

#28 Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

I may have had one of the greatest moments of my life yesterday.  My sneaky husband that loves me more than I deserve, and my adorable sister that brings joy to my soul have been keeping a secret from me.  A very big secret.  I came home from lunch with my mother-in-law, walked in the door, and was greeted by my sister and my sweet as a button nephew!  I cried a little…or maybe a lot…as Emery repeated “Nie Nie” over and over again with a big grin between his chubby cheeks.  Having them here to spend my 30th birthday with me is so special!

Since my baking challenge isn’t yet over, Sarah and Emery helped out with the recipe that holds the 28th spot.

It’s a brownie.  If you’ve been following along in this little challenge and remember the last brownie I made with my mom…don’t judge me.  I absolutely DO NOT have a stack of brownie recipes sitting in a box somewhere that I will never try. 🙂  I did, however, have a container of mascarpone cheese that I needed to use up, and this recipe was just asking to be made.  So we did!  And then we got to share them with some of our favorite people ever!

Life is sweet. ♥

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies (recipe courtesy of http://www.food.com)

Serves 16

1 cup unsalted butter

3 oz. best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

For the ganache:

6 oz. best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

6 Tbsp whipping cream

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • Preheat oven to 325°F; have ready a buttered 8-inch square glass cake pan.
  • First, prepare the brownies.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and bring it to just below a boil; have the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl–pour the hot butter over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
  • Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  • Sift in the sugar and cocoa powder (I do this through a sieve, not with a sifter).
  • With a wooden spoon, beat in the mascarpone, eggs (30 minutes on the counter brings them to room temperature) and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  • Gently fold the flour and salt into the batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly–this is important since, if the batter isn’t spread evenly, it won’t bake evenly.
  • Place into preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean (45 minutes did it for me).
  • Place pan on a cooling rack and let brownies cool for 10-15 minutes, while you now make the ganache.
  • Place chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl; in a small saucepan, bring the cream and the butter to just below the boiling point, over medium heat.
  • Pour this hot cream-butter mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth; ganache is now ready to use and can be spread over the brownies.
  • Should you wish to wait a bit, make sure the ganache is warm when you spread over the brownies, as it does firm up which makes spreading hard to do.
  • Don’t cut into the brownies until ganache has firmed up; I find it best to put the brownies into the fridge to speed this along; once the ganache is firm the brownies do not need to be kept in the fridge, though.

What I love about these sinfully chocolate squares:  Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate!

What I hate about these sinfully chocolate squares:  They aren’t much to talk about.  Nothing too exciting, and a little bit too cake like to be a real brownie.

#27 Chocolate Souffle

Yesterday my birthday week got even better when our closest and dearest friends, Shauna and Duane, came into town and spent the evening with us!  At the risk of sounding horribly cliche, time really does fly when we are with them.  I’ve shared before how special they are to us, but I think it’s safe to say that life wouldn’t be as great without them.  We spent the evening eating good food on a restaurant patio, laughing about anything and everything, telling stories, buying popsicle molds, and enjoying the wonderful weather that Bend surprised us with.  Life’s demands sort of stop when we are with them, and for that time, we live the way I think Jesus created us to live.  Community, caring, deep relationship, and lots and lots of laughter.

We ended our night with a little bit of baking.  The best part of this chocolate souffle is the fact that Shauna and I made it together!

They turned out pretty, delicious, and lovely!  Grab your best friend and some ice cream and make them together! ♥

Chocolate Souffle (recipe courtesy of Food Network)

Serves 6

2 Tbsp (1 oz.) unsalted butter

4 Tbsp sugar

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

4 eggs, separated

2 Tbsp orange liqueur

3 egg whites

1/2 lemon, juiced

powdered sugar, for garnish

unsweetened whipped cream

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Butter and dust with about 2 Tbsp of the sugar, 6 (1-cup) souffle dishes.  Chill until needed.
  • Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl set over a double boiler.  Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks and the liqueur.
  • Whip all 7 egg whites until they are stiff but still very shiny.  Stir a quarter of them into the chocolate mixture, and then gently fold in the remaining whites.
  • Fill the molds with the souffle mixture.  Run your thumb around the inside edge of each dish so that the souffles will form a hat.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are set but the middle is still just a little soft.
  • Serve on napkin-lined dessert plates.  Dust the tops with powdered sugar.

  • Spoon a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream into the center of each souffle.  Serve immediately.

What I love about these individual pots of chocolate:  Duh.  The orange liqueur.

What I hate about these individual pots of chocolate:  It’s a little difficult to tell when they are done.  But really, who cares?  Tastes good no matter what! 🙂

#26 Best Ever Rice Pudding

The title of this recipe is no joke.  Its tastiness is quite honestly inconceivable.  Rice pudding is the epitome of comfort food.  I love, love, love it!  When I found this recipe I knew it had to be included in birthday week.  Costco used to sell snack packs of Kozy Shack Rice Pudding that Aaron and I would buy in the summer and they were a dangerous thing to have around.  I loved them so much he probably would have benefited from writing his initials on half of them so he was sure to get his fair share (shout out dad!).  However, we have the same initials, so I still would have grabbed one any darn time I wanted. 🙂

Rice Puddings are found in nearly every area of the world, with only slight variations.  In Algeria it’s called m’halbi, made with cinnamon and rosewater.  In Cambodia it’s made with bananas.  The Philippines cook theirs up with chocolate.  In Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore it’s a black rice porridge.  In North India they create theirs with cardamom and pistachio.  Germans add cinnamon and applesauce or cherries along with many other European countries that prefer to serve this sweet treat during the winter months or at Christmas time.  And the Jamaicans…they kick things up a notch and add a little bit of rum.  Heck. Yes.

The love of rice pudding is universal!  If you are among so many others in this big wide world that love this sweet delight, try this one out.  It’s easy, full of flavor, and magnificent.

Best Ever Rice Pudding (recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking)

4-2/3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup white rice, such as Carolina long grain,basmati, jasmine, or arborio
7 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean (I used 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
1 3-inch cinnamon stick (I used 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon)
2 large egg yolks
Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

  • In a 4-quart saucepan, combine 4 cups of the milk with the rice and sugar. With a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the pan. Add the scraped vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently but gently, until the rice is completely tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot rice mixture. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan, add the remaining 2/3 cup milk, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the mixture begins to boil, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface. Set the bowl in an ice bath to cool the pudding quickly. When cool, discard the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Divide the pudding among 6 small bowls or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve topped with a spoonful of whipped cream, if using.
  • Variation: Prefer your rice pudding warm? Not a problem. Use the recipe here, but when you add the egg yolks, omit the final addition of 2/3 cup milk. Cook as directed; remove the finished rice pudding from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Spoon the warm pudding into small bowls and serve immediately with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

What I love about this treat loved around the world:  I love any kind of pudding, but the flavor of this one is one to be rivaled.  Subtle vanilla with a hint of cinnamon…next time I’m adding some rum. 🙂

What I hate about this treat loved around the world:  I had to wait 3 hours to eat it!

#19 Banana Pudding

Last night I got to celebrate my birthday with my wonderful parents!  My mom made some of my favorite Mexican food, and she chose a banana pudding for dessert!  The entire meal was seriously good, and as I’m writing this, I’m stuffed to the rafters (shout out Brian Regan!).

Banana pudding is normally associated with the south, so she thought it would be a good one to try out since we are all about Texas this week!  This pudding really did have wonderful flavor, but there were several things that irritated us about it, starting with the fact that the recipe is not written well.  It’s pretty vague and the measurements are definitely off.  We got to the end of the recipe and our delicious smelling banana pudding was no thicker than the milk we started with.  We put it back on the heat, hoping to save it, and did finally get it to thicken, but here’s what we did different:

  • Instead of 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch, we used 4 Tbsp.
  • In the directions it never states that you need to allow the milk, sugar and cornstarch mixture to come to a boil, but this is a necessity.  If you don’t let it get hot enough, it won’t ever thicken.  We had completely finished the recipe to the last step and it was still the consistency of milk, so at my mom’s suggestion, we attempted to put it back on the heat to try to thicken it by bringing it to a boil, and it worked!  Mom’s are smart that way.

My dad brought to my attention that this past year I have already been living my 30th year.  This must sound like a very obvious statement to some, but it wasn’t to me, and it made me feel like I just skipped an entire year.  This banana pudding helped ease the jab to my heart that this realization brought. ♥

Banana Pudding (courtesy of Paula Deen)

Makes 8-10 servings

3/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

3 cups milk

4 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 stick butter

3 medium bananas, sliced

1 12-oz. box vanilla wafers

  • Mix together sugar and cornstarch and slowly add milk. This should be cooked in the top of a double boiler, but you can cook it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens–do not leave it unattended.
  • Slightly beat egg yolks and temper with a small amount of the hot custard; stir well.  Add egg mixture to custard pot and cook 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Let cool. In a 9 by 9-inch oven proof baking dish, alternate pudding, bananas, and wafers, beginning with pudding and ending with pudding.  Add topping, if desired.

What I love about this bananaliciousness:  It was super good!

What I hate about this bananaliciousness:  The recipe was extremely unclear, which caused us to almost ruin my birthday dessert!

#18 Blonde Brownies

We spent our first day here in Midland touring the town!  We visited Grande Stadium which is where Midland High plays out their season.  If you’ve never heard how west Texans view high school football, watch Friday Night Lights.  I have never seen a more true to life show.  The importance on high school football is clearly shown in this amazing stadium!

It’s amazing!  Wish I could actually see a game played here.  It’s a different culture for sure, but I’m enjoying every minute of it.

I’m so thrilled to be able to do some of this baking challenge with my sweet mom, who is an amazing baker and cook herself!  I asked her to choose 3 or 4 recipes for us to try while I was here, and her first choice couldn’t have been more appropriate.  Blonde Brownies.  This is one of my mom’s recipe boxes that she owns.

If you look closely you can get a glimpse of the fact that the top 25 in this pile are all brownie recipes.  My sister and I have teased her about her need to clip every single brownie recipe she comes across for years.  Help me out here Sarah…we can agree that it’s out of control, right?  There’s only so many ways to make brownies!  The recipes are all so similar, and in fact nearly all have the words fudgy and chewy in them somewhere.

What makes this even more ridiculous is that despite having so many brownie recipes, when she actually decides to make brownies, she uses a box mix.  No joke.  So she brought out all of her brownie recipes from this box and had me choose which one I wanted to do.

The lovely recipe we chose wasn’t even in the above pile… 🙂

Blonde Brownies (recipe courtesy of The Great American Cookie Cookbook)

Makes 2 dozen brownies

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 package (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chunks

3 1/2 oz. macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped, to measure 3/4 cup (I used pecans)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 13×9-inch baking pan.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.
  • Beat sugar, brown sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts.  Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.  remove pan to wire rack; cool completely.  Cut into 3 1/4 x 1 1/2 -inch bars.

What I love about these cookies in disguise:  They are so easy, so pretty, and smell like a buttery chocolate chip cookie…only chewy. 🙂

What I hate about these cookies in disguise:  Um…nothing.

#14 Graham Cracker Crumb Tarts

Two weeks ago I had my first Oregon strawberry of the season!  If you haven’t already heard about my love for Oregon strawberries, then I really haven’t done a very good job of gushing over how amazing they are.  So good that they are worth driving over the pass to purchase in bulk.  Two weeks ago while we were in Salem for Memorial Day weekend, Shauna and I casually walked into the local Roth’s to pick up a few ingredients for dinner…and there they were.  Greeting us with their bright red glow in their aqua colored berry cartons.  It was fantastic.  The first picking of the season, and there was no way Shauna was passing them up!  We later enjoyed them cut up on some vanilla ice cream, and I’m convinced life could not have been much better at that moment.

While the strawberries on these cute little tarts aren’t Oregon berries, I will absolutely be making these once I get back over to Salem to get some for myself!  This was one of the easiest recipes I have ever made.  It’s an excellent alternative to the more time consuming, temperamental baking of a cheesecake, that tastes seriously similar.  Blueberries will be ready in Silverton next month, and I can’t wait to try these tarts with that delightful berry accompanying them!  For those of you outside of Oregon, enjoy this wonderfully easy, no baking required dessert!  For those of us here in Oregon…you can still make it while you dream of what summer will be like when it finally decides to show its face.  Don’t be scared summer…come on out!

Graham Cracker Crumb Tarts (recipe courtesy of Joy of Baking)

Makes: Eight 4-inch tarts or one 9-inch tart

5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 Tbsp white sugar

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

4 oz. white chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp vanilla

Garnish: Any combination of berries or fruit

  • Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Evenly divide the mixture and press onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan(s) with removable bottoms.  If using the 4-inch tart pans, each tart will use 2-3 Tbsp of the graham cracker crumb mixture.  Place the tart shells in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
  • Melt the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (I melted mine in the microwave).  Remove from the heat and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and smooth (about 2-3 minutes).  Add the melted white chocolate and then the sour cream and vanilla, beating until you have a creamy smooth mixture.  Taste and add a little sugar if desired.  Evenly divide the cream among the tart shells, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.  Cover and refrigerate until firm.
  • To serve, top with fresh berries or cut up fruit.

What I love about these summery tarts: I never had to turn my oven on.

What I hate about these summery tarts: Are you kidding me?  They take about 10 minutes to make?  It’s impossible to hate anything about a dessert that takes that short amount of time.

#6 Key Lime Pie

There is a certain beauty about these little limes despite the thin, yellowed, blemished skin.  They were incredibly aromatic before I even started juicing them, causing me to question myself…why have I never made this before?

The answer most likely lies in the fact that the only key lime pie I have ever consumed was from The Village Inn in Sterling.  A key lime pie there is translucent green and tastes more like lime kool-aid rather than the exquisite dessert that came out of my oven today.  This pie is so good you’ll want it on your death bed.  Trust me.  Come that day, if I’m anywhere near, I’ll feed it to you myself.

Key Lime Pie originates in the Florida Keys where these pretty little fruits are from.

It starts with a graham cracker crust, and then is filled with a filling consisting of egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice and lime zest.  The acidic key lime juice and the sweetened condensed milk form a reaction that causes the filling to thicken on its own without any baking.  I found that so interesting!  However, to be safe, this pie is baked for a short time because of the raw egg yolks.  It’s one of the easier desserts I’ve done in a long time, and it will forever have a place in my trusted recipe box!

Key Lime Pie (recipe courtesy of Joy of Baking)

Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 Tbsp granulated white sugar

5-6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

3 large egg yolks, room temperature

1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime juice (you can use regular limes if you want)

2 tsp grated lime zest

Topping:

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in the center of the oven.  Butter or lightly spray a 9-inch pie or tart pan.
  • Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to let cool while you make the filling.
  • In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes).  Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the lime juice and the lime zest.

  • Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 10-15 minutes until set.  Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Once it has completely cooled, place in the refrigerator overnight or at least several hours.
  • Once the filling has chilled, beat the heavy whipping cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form.  Either mound this onto the top of your pie, or pipe it decoratively.

What I love about this pie: It’s incredibly easy, but looks like you spent a ton of time on it.

What I hate about this pie:  I could quite easily consume the entire thing within one day.