Arsip Tag: key

key lime cheesecake – smitten kitchen

I can’t believe I haven’t told you yet about this Key Lime Cheesecake; I have some nerve, don’t I? And I suppose I could get into its texture (dreamy), flavor (bright and promising), topping (thin strips of mango tossed in lime juice) but it wouldn’t be honest of me, as I really only made these for one reason last weekend. Take a look at this bottle; could there be a more enticing Wish You Were Here sign? I take one look at it and just want to yell: I’m coming for you!

key lime juice

Alas, it is still quite January outside in New York, this might be the only piece of Key West we’re getting for several months. But not unlike what I was thinking when I made those lemon bars or that anything-but-clementine clafoutis this month, I hoped that a focus on bright, sunny citrus fruits would take some of the drudgery out of mid-winter. Did it work? Perhaps not, but it was delicious nonetheless.

graham crackersmaking the crustcheesecake crustsmini cheesecakes

I made it for the first time a few years ago–actually, it was the very first cheesecake I ever baked–and learned one undeniable fact: cheesecake is always a show stopper. People go mad for it, and I haven’t figured out if that is because they rarely allow themselves such unbridled decadence or because they so rarely have homemade, innovative versions of it, but either way, it’s a guaranteed hit, even if it can’t bring summer on sooner.

mango, peelingsliced mangomango decorationmini key lime cheesecakes

Cheesecake, elsewhere: Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake, Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake, Nectarine, Mascarpone and Gingersnap Tart (almost no-bake!), Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake, Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares, Black-Bottomed Cupcakes (with a cheesecake filling) and Cream Cheese Marbled Brownies.

One year ago: Paula Wolfert’s Hummus

Key Lime Cheesecake with Mango Ribbons
Adapted from Gourmet, May 2002

In last weekend’s incarnation of this recipe, I finally had a chance to try out my unbearably cute new mini-cheesecake pans. I discovered that halving the recipe made about 12 minis (I had a tad extra), hopefully helpful for future mini-cheesecake endeavors. As for this recipe, I wouldn’t change a thing. However, were I married to someone who didn’t (wrongly) think that coconut is evil, I think adding a little finely-ground coconut to the crust (swapping out graham crumbs, if it is dry coconut) would be delicious, and then you could sing “put thee lime in thee coconut and call the doctor up…” while you cook, even though (again with the husband) not everyone may rejoice at the sound of your afternoon song to a cheesecake crust.

For crust
1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (5 ounces)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For filling
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup fresh key lime juice (strained from about 1 1/2 lb Key limes) or bottled (Nellie and Joe’s is wonderful, as is Manhattan brand, if you can find it)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs

For topping
2 large firm-ripe mangoes
1 tablespoon fresh Key lime juice (strained) or bottled
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Special equipment: a 9- to 9 1/2-inch springform pan; a mandoline or other adjustable-blade slicer

Make crust: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter bottom and side of springform pan.

Stir together crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press evenly onto bottom and one-third up side of pan. Bake crust in middle of oven 8 minutes and cool in pan on a rack.

Make filling: Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy, then beat in sugar. Add lime juice, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Mix in flour and salt at low speed, scraping down side as needed, until just incorporated, then add eggs all at once and mix just until incorporated.

Pour filling into crust and set springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake cake in middle of oven until set in center, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool completely in springform pan on rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.)

Run a thin knife around edge of cake and remove side of pan. If desired, transfer cake with a large metal spatula to a serving plate.

Make topping: Peel mangoes and, leaving fruit whole, slice very thinly lengthwise (slightly less than 1/8 inch thick) with mandoline (use caution — peeled mango is slippery). Halve wide slices lengthwise. Gently toss mango slices with lime juice. (I instead cut the slices with a flower-shaped cookie cutter, thinking they’d be a little neater for the miniature cakes.)

Beat cream with sugar in a bowl with electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks, then spread over top of cheesecake. Bending and curling mango slices, arrange them decoratively over cream.

Do ahead: Cheesecake (without topping) can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. If desired, bring to room temperature. Add topping just before serving.

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key lime meltaways – smitten kitchen

Alex loves limes. I mean, loves them. He eats them, and no, I don’t mean dusted in sugar. No, not squeezed into a glass of seltzer. He simply eats them, the way that most people eat those slices of oranges that come with your fortune cookies at suburban Chinese restaurants. He eats the wedges that people put out on their bars for cocktails, the slices that come on top of a pile of Pad Thai, those on the side of a sizzling fajita platter and the other half I haven’t used in a recipe, lying unloved on the cutting board.

one inch limes

The first time I saw him do it, I was taken aback. “Did you just eat a lime?” Perhaps it was because it was from my gin and tonic, it was an early-on date and he’d obtained it in a “Are you using that?” kind of way. But I loved that he didn’t think it was the least bit odd. I love that now we’ll be at a party or bar and one of our friends will notice his lime-eating ways for the first time and be shocked.

I seriously think they dipped his baby bottle in vinegar. It’s the only logical explanation.

golf ball limes

The limes at the small grocery store we frequent more often than it deserves our hard-won dollars are now 60 cents apiece. (That thud you hear is my mother fainting. I mean, sure, they’re in the Canadian Rockies but I suspect that she knows that somewhere, one of her daughters is paying too much for food.) Oh, and they’re lousy. I mean, when you pay 60 cents for a lime, you hope to get at a bare minimum the two tablespoons of lime juice you’ll need for a recipe, but no such luck.

green whisk keeping with the lime theme

I was about to put a kibbosh on buying limes (not that I would. Or could. If you could make someone happy at 60 cent intervals, how could you not?) when I did what I should have done eons ago, and wandered into the Manhattan Fruit Exchange and what do you know, they had these bags of 18 well, somewhat busted but totally good-hearted tiny key limes for $1.99. I thought I’d won the lottery, especially when I squeezed more than a tablespoon and a half of juice from one, one-inch lime.

Thud. The lime obviously doesn’t fall far from the tree.

this helps get it roundsliced meltawaysready to bakeolive tongs, represent

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that you can expect a couple lime-based recipes this week while I work through them, but just one for now. I was horrified to learn that Alex had never had a meltaway cookie growing up. They’re tart and sharp in the middle, but rolled in powdered sugar, keeping the bite in check and giving them their melty qualities. They sounded like they’d be right up his alley, and this Martha Stewart recipe is so simple, it was worth turning the oven on for this weekend. You’ll never even consider those packaged ones again.

lime meltawayslime meltaways

Limes, previously: Key Lime Tartlets and Key Lime Cheesecake with Mango Ribbons
One year ago: Quick Zucchini Saute

Key Lime Meltaways
Adapted from Martha Stewart

You can make these with regular limes as well, but if you run into some key limes, they’re worth it. Trust me and my resident lime addict.

You could also keep the logs frozen for up to two months, and use them as the meltaway craving hits.

Yield: 5 dozen

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 170 grams or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar, divided
Grated zest of 4 tiny or 2 large key limes
2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (235 grams) all-purpose flour (a.k.a. 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.

Between two 8-by-12-inch pieces of parchment paper, form dough into two 1 1/4-inch-diameter logs. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.

Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly, just three or four minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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key lime coconut cake – smitten kitchen

Friends, I may adore you but I have had just about enough of this cold, windy and snow-free excuse for a New York City winter and I’m leaving you. For a week. Maybe more, I’m not making any promises of a swift return.

key limes

I seem to not be the only one with the Caribbean Islands on my brain, because I had barely cracked the cover of the March Gourmet when I saw this lime coconut cake recipe, remembered both the leftover coconut and a bag of withering key limes I had never used in the fridge and knew immediately that this would be the only thing that would get me through the remaining hours between now and that beachfront resort. Tiny violins, please.

toasted coconut

As with previous vacations, you won’t have to miss me at all because I’ve hidden all sorts of posts that will magically pop up over the week that I am gone; the only thing they’ll lack is my comment responses and clarifications. But, hopefully all of the recipes I am leaving you with are clear-cut enough that there should be very few needed. (Aren’t those famous last words?)

key lime coconut cake

And when I get back — dare I say I am actually looking forward to it? — there is so much good stuff ahead. I can think of at least three things that are too cool not to discuss going on this spring — four, if you consider what awesome company I’m going to be in on this trip — but we’ll get to that in due time. For now, I’ll be collecting my freckles and frosty mai tais, and I plan to forget the internet ever existed.

key lime coconut cake

Recipe Index! Aaat laaast… I have a recipe index that is largely up to date. Oh, I always had one but at last count it was about 6 months out of date and I would rather have stuck pins under my fingernails than even considered making up for that lost time. Instead, I have a new, self-updating system and I love it. I am basking in the glow of a recipe page that’s 90 percent functional. How far we’ve come! [Of course, I have made the rather awkward realization that a ton of posts have been creatively mis-tagged and I’m slowly going through them. Yes I see them, no you don’t need to tell me about all the ones I haven’t gotten to, I will fix them all — after vacation. I will hopefully sound less easily exasperated by then too!]

One year ago: Homemade Devil Dog, Ring Ding or Hostess Cake
Two years ago: Red Split Lentils With Cabbage, Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes and Cucumber and Scallion Raita

Key Lime Coconut Cake
Gourmet, March 2009

I am sure you could use standard limes in here, but if you can find them, Key limes are the juiciest (especially for their size) and the tastiest. I plan to put a wedge of one in every frosty beach cocktail.

Serves 8, but I’d argue 16, especially if in squares

1 cup (120 grams) sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups (210 grams) self-rising flour*
3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh Key lime juice, divided
1 cup (120 grams) confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter an 8- by 8-inch square or 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a round of parchment paper.

Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.

Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter into pan and smooth top. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to warm, then turn out of pan and discard parchment.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and rum (if using) and pour over cake. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

* Make your own: You can make your own self-rising flour — I did, when I realized I had self-rising flour in the pantry but my last known use of it was nearly three years ago. Unfortunately, there are many recipes out there and they don’t all agree. The most common one has you add for each cup of flour 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder but some also suggest 1 teaspoon baking powder instead. I’m going to suggest that you use the 1 teaspoon level because I used the higher one and my cake sunk ever so slightly in the center, a suggestion that it had too much leavening in it. So: For every cup of flour, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking powder, whisk together very well and sift the mixture. Measure your self-rising flour from there.

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key lime pie popsicles – smitten kitchen

[Welcome to Popsicle Week, wherein I admit that I had something of a popsicle incident this summer, wherein incident = gotta a little carried away, made too many and now can’t let summer end without sharing the queue with you. This is Popsicle 1 of 3.]

This — and amazingly, not the fudge, banana-nutella-salted-pistachio or the strawberry-lime-black-pepper ones before it — is the popsicle that sent me into a tailspin that begin in late June and continues to this moment, when we managed to squeeze in one last vacation before summer was over but are maybe kind of sad we forgot our popsicle molds? No, that would be weird. Which doesn’t mean that it’s not true, just that I’m not going to admit it.

zesting the limes

You’d think that the one that sent me over the edge into some sort of popsicle fevor/fervor would at least been insanely decadent, all salted caramel ganache and peanut butter penuche. At the least, it would have been extraordinary in complexity, one of those recipes that imagine you’d like to tether yourself to the freezer for an afternoon in the name of a stunning striated popsicle, frozen in segregated layers (but that, sadly, disappear in the exact same amount of time as the frozen juice varieties do). You wouldn’t guess that it might be a popsicle with but five ingredients, one that is no more complicated than a pinch of salt and another that comes straight from a can.

you can use regular limes, too

so much lime juice

But when we tried one, I swear, the world stopped for a second. The lime was so bracingly tart, the sweetened condensed milk was so rich with concentrated creaminess, the exterior crunch of ground cookies so brilliant that we had to sit down for a minute and consider the nirvana it all. Tina Fey once said that she believes that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich, but I think it’s just because she hasn’t had one of these yet.

key lime pie popsicles

Before this, I hadn’t considered that popsicles were just a format, a shape you could mold your favorite desserts into, rendering them more portable and perfect for sticky hot summer days. Before this, there wouldn’t have been a Popsicle Week and, lo, how sad that would have been.

key lime pie popsicles

UK Book Tour: Just in case you missed it, I announced some book tour dates on the other side of the pond (no big deal) (SUCH A big deal) last week. All of the details we have are here. More to come. [The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook UK Book Tour]

Three years ago: Eggplant Salad Toasts
Four years ago: Lobster Rolls and Espresso Chiffon Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting
Five years ago: Grilled Eggplant with Caponata Salsa and How to Poach An Egg, Smitten Kitchen-Style
Six years ago: Smoke-Roasted Stuffed Bell Peppers

Key Lime Pie Popsicles
Perfect as printed from Fany Gerson’s Paletas

If you don’t have key limes, you can absolutely use regular limes (as I did). However, the name “lime pie” just doesn’t evoke what I wanted it to, which was the sheer lime-and-cream deliciousness the pie is known for. These popsicles, despite the sweetness from the condensed milk, are surprisingly tart. The preschooler wanted no part in them, which just meant that there were more for us, nyah-nyah.

No popsicle molds? You could any kind of tiny cup to mold them instead, but my favorite is a champagne flute for shape; you could even use those disposable plastic ones. When the mixture is halfway frozen, insert a popsicle stick and now no retro popsicle mold needs to come between you and Popsicle Week.

Makes 10 1/3-cup or 3-ounce popsicles

Approximately 4 large regular limes or 6 to 7 several key limes
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half-and-half (or, 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup milk)
Pinch of salt
3 cups coarsely crushed graham crackers or Maria cookies

Zest however many of the limes needed until you have 2 teaspoons total in the bottom of a medium bowl. Juice limes until you have 3/4 cup fresh lime juice. Add juice, condensed milk, half-and-half and salt to zest and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze for about 5 hours, or until completely frozen.

Dip in lukewarm water for 10 seconds to unmold each popsicle and press each side into crushed cookie crumbs, coating completely.

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key lime pie – smitten kitchen

January, as far as I’m concerned, is a pretty mediocre month. The holiday party tinsel-and-bubbly frenzy of November and December is replaced with hibernation and Netflix binges. The charming first and second snowstorms pass and the ones that follow are met with more of a really? it’s snowing again? Squarely between Christmas and mid-Winter break, it’s too early in the season to be so weary of the cold, but here I am, counting down the days until the hi/bye gloves can literally come off.

butter into graham crumbs, sugar, salt
buttery graham crumbs

Fortunately, just when I’ve resigned myself to thinking it’s going to be as beige and bleak going forward as the paragraph above, January — as if implicitly understanding that it’s going to have to sell itself harder — presents us with a luminous ray of tropical sunshine packaged as citrus fruit. I become obsessed. This ridiculous thing I bought five years ago as everyone around me tut-tutted that it would never earn its keep is put into overdrive as we conduct methodical studies of the pros and cons of cara-cara vs. blood orange vs. pink grapefruit vs. tangerine juice. (Spoiler: they’re all amazing.) Citrus is as good as everything else about a biting cold sleeting day is bad.

a neatly-pressed-in crust

limes, not key
lazy lime juice
got a new zester and it really zests! (duh)
i love sweetened condensed milk so much

Predictably, it doesn’t take us long to graduate from wholesome pursuits such as freshly-squeezed juice and citrus-studded salads (such as these) and onto more urgent matters: pie. There is something about key lime pie that, to me, easily trumps lemon meringue or even the most buttery caramel blood orange tart and that thing is sweetened condensed milk, which is unquestionably the manna of the canned food aisle. Thick, creamy and halfway to dulce de leche, it protects you from the harshness of the lime juice without taking away any of its tart-fragrant charm. Add a salt-flecked buttery graham cracker crust and a raft of whipped cream on top — did I mention you can have this whole thing made in well under an hour? — and I only want to know why we don’t have this around more often. Or, as my friend Claire Zulkey said best, “I never know it’s what I wanted until I’m eating it.”

lime filling
filling into crust
just a little whipped cream
key lime pie

One year ago: Pear and Hazelnut Muffins
Two years ago: Gnocchi in Tomato Broth
Three years ago: Buckwheat Baby with Salted Caramel Syrup
Four years ago: Baked Potato Soup (with the works!)
Five years ago: Black Bean Soup with Toasted Cumin Seed Crema
Six years ago: Light Wheat Bread and Clementine Cake
Seven years ago: Chicken Caesar Salad
Eight years ago: Pancakes, Frisee Salad and English Muffins and Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Easiest Fridge Dill Pickles
1.5 Years Ago: One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes
2.5 Years Ago: Bacon Corn Hash
3.5 Years Ago: Raspberry Ricotta Scones
Plus, since it’s popsicle season where you are: Both last week’s Butterscotch Pudding and this week’s Key Lime Pie have popsicle equivalents in the archives. Make them and send sweltering thoughts our way, please.

Classic Key Lime Pie
Adapted somewhat liberally from the version at Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami, where I am not

Every key lime pie recipe agrees that a can of sweetened condensed milk is the king of ingredients. From there, they diverge. Some use more lime juice, some less. (I use 2/3 cup for a nicely tart filling; use only 1/2 cup if you’re more wary of the tartness of limes.) Some use more egg yolks, some use less. (I find I only need 3 for a good set and flavor, but you can go up to 5 if you’d like something extra-rich.) Not all insist that you whip your yolks until they’re pale and ribbony, but it makes for a lovely final texture and I think is worth it.

Most importantly, despite the name, you don’t need key limes to make this. I mean, if you can get them, please do. They’re wonderful. But I made this, as I often do, with regular grocery store Persian limes and it’s no less dreamy with them.

1 1/2 cups (155 grams) finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10 crackers)
3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons (100 grams) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
3 large egg yolks (though extra-large would do you no harm here)
1 14-ounce (396-gram) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup (155 ml) fresh lime juice (from about 1 dozen tiny key limes or 4 persian/regular limes)

To Finish
3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 to 2 tablespoons powdered or granulated sugar, to taste

Heat oven: To 350°F (176°C).

Make crust: Combine graham crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and stir until mixed. Add butter and stir until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. I like to use the outer edge of a heavy measuring cup to press in neat, firm sides but nobody will be the wiser if you just use your fingertips. Bake crust until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack while you prepare filling. Leave oven on.

Make filling: Zest limes into the bottom of a medium bowl until you have 1 1/2 tablespoons. Beat zest and egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until thickened again, about 3 minutes more. Squeeze zested limes until you have 2/3 cups juice. Whisk into yolk mixture until combined. Pour into graham crust and bake pie for another 10 minutes, until set but not browned on top at all. Let pie cool completely before adding topping — you can do this outside (thank you, January!) or even in your freezer (but don’t forget about it) to hasten the process, and your pie reward, along.

Make topping: In a medium bowl, beat cream and sugar until soft peaks are formed. Spread over top of chilled pie. Ideally, pie should be chilled at least another 2 to 3 hours with the cream on top so that it can fully set before you take a slice, but whether that happens is between you and your pie.

Key lime pie keeps in fridge for a week, though certainly not around here.

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