Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

As you probably guessed, Key Lime Pie (and key limes) come from the Keys. Many southerners consider the Florida line to be the official end of the south, but it is south of the Mason-Dixon so it counts.

When key lime pie is done right (i.e. made with key limes) it can be magical. Refreshing yet sweet, and creamy and cool.

All of the traditional Savannah restaurants offer some version of key lime pie on their dessert menu. When I speak of traditional Savannah restaurants I am referring to the ones that have been around forever, like the Olde Pink House or Garibaldi’s.

Since summer has officially begun in Savannah, it felt natural to make a southern dessert that is inspired by the season. Note: it is not officially summer, but when you live this deep in the south, the heat makes it feel like summer arrives early.

And to be completely honest, I did not feel like making a pie crust so baking a version of the dessert without a pie crust was my approach for this one. What is just as good a pie crust? Cake!

The base flavors/components for key lime pie recipes are always the same, key limes, graham cracker, and meringue. This recipe includes all of the essential components. A graham cracker cake, key lime pudding, toasted meringue, and a graham cracker crumb.

As for a poke cake, the concept is simple. Bake a one-layer cake in a cake pan and once it is cool poke holes into and pour something delicious over the cake. I finish my version off with a slathering of meringue and a blow torch.

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

Key Lime Pie Poke Cake

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 8 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Whole Milk
  • 12 Graham Crackers, processed into crumbs
  • For the Pudding:
  • 4 Limes or 12 Key Limes
  • 2 Cups of Whole Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2/3 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Eggs Yolks
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • For the Meringue:
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup of Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a square baking pan by greasing it and coating in flour. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the sugar and butter to start making the cake batter. Once combined, cream for approximately 4 minutes on medium speed or until butter is light and fluffy.
  3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  4. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining wet ingredients.
  5. With the mixer on medium, pour in 1/3 of your dry ingredients, followed by 1/3 of your wet ingredients, and continue until all of the ingredients are fully combined and well mixed.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepare cake pan. Bake, on the middle rack, for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool while you prepare the pudding.
  8. First zest half of your limes, then set the zest to the side.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the milk for the pudding, the heavy cream, and the juice from all of the limes. Set aside.
  10. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and limes zest. Whisk together. Next add in the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
  11. Slowly whisk in the milk mixture and stir until smooth.
  12. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick. This should take approximatley 10 minutes. The mixture will coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  13. Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is melted and combined.
  14. Allow the pudding to cool while you prepare the meringue.
  15. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve sugar. Turn the stove to medium-high heat.
  16. Cook the sugar until it reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
  17. While the sugar is cooking, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  18. With the mixer on low, carefully and very slowly pour the cooked sugar down the side of the mixing bowl.
  19. Once the sugar syrup is fully poured in, increase the mixer speed to medium and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  20. Assemble the cake by poking holes into the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon.
  21. Pour over the lime pudding, spreading until the pudding fills all of the holes.
  22. Finish by gently spreading the meringue over the top of the cake. You can toast the meringue with a torch.
  23. Optional: Top each slice with a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2019/05/26/key-lime-pie-poke-cake/

 

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Vanilla Meringues with Rhubarb Jam + Pistachios

Vanilla Meringues with Rhubarb Jam + Pistachios

Confession time.

I love GBBO. If you do not know what that stands for…leave now.

Just kidding, don’t leave. GBBO stands for Great British Bake Off, otherwise known as one of the greatest television shows ever. Naturally I have watched every single episode I could find here in the States, and get very excited when I find a new season is out.

A lot of inspiration can come from this show because the bakes are so different to what is found in America. We love our apple pies, chocolate chip cookies, and banana puddings. (For good reason might I add.)

Occasionally it is nice to get a bit of insight into other cultures, especially if you do not feel like spending thousands to fly to a foreign land. Each episode of GBBO has three rounds of different desserts, the majority of which are traditional British treats.

Have you ever had a bakewell tart, mince pie, or chelsea bun? Have you even heard of those things? Yeah, me either. Although, I would love to try them all.

Another dessert I have never tasted, also featured on GBBO, is the Pavlova. This one is not traditionally British, if you hadn’t guessed by the name.  Pavlova is three large layers of baked meringue and some sort of fruity filling.

And although I am not a fan of meringue, mainly because I have only ever tried the kind you get on top of a pie that is never prepared properly, the idea of a proper meringue sounds very delicious. If done right, the outside is light and crispy, and the inside is like a sweet airy pillow. As for the flavor, it should be reminiscent of a marshmallow.

In order to achieve a good meringue, the sugar has to be added in very slowly. This allows the sugar to dissolve into the eggs (so it will not be grainy), and keeps the eggs from deflating. As for baking, you have to dry them out low and slow to achieve the perfect outer and inner textures.

For this recipe, rhubarb was a no brainer because it is in season. Pistachios would add the perfect crunchy jolt of saltiness. And of course I kept the meringue itself as simple as possible, adding only the flavoring of vanilla. I decided to make little individual meringues, and not shackle myself to one giant cake that would most certainly fall apart before you could finish it. By keeping the meringues small and the toppings separate I could extend the shelf life and allow eaters to personalize their dessert. You could surely impress your friends by featuring them as the dessert for a summer dinner party. They look very fancy once all together.

Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Rhubarb, cubed
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Juice of One Lemon
  • A Pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, water, salt, and lemon.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Once bubbling, turn the heat to medim-low.
  4. Allow the rhubarb to cook over medium-low for approximately 45 minutes, or until the jam is thick and reduced in half.
  5. Allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/06/23/vanilla-clouds-meringues-with-rhubarb-jam-pistachios/

NOTE: This jam can store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Vanilla Meringues

Ingredients: Makes 8-12

  • 4 Large Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
  • 1/2 Cup of Pistachios, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line two baking sheets with slipmats. Set aside.
  3. Prepare a large piping bag with the desired tip. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat egg whites on medium for one minute.
  5. Add in cream of tartar and continue to mix on medium for another minute.
  6. Mix together salt, sugar, and corn starch. Add into mixer, while on medium, one tablespoon at a time.
  7. Continue to beat until soft peaks have formed.
  8. Add in vanilla, and beat meringue on medium until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form.
  9. Gently transfer meringue into prepared piping bags. Pipe meringue, in your desired shape, onto prepared baking sheets. I piped cones, but most people pipe a nest to hold their topping.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until meringues are very lightly golden on the outside.
  11. Let cool in the oven for 4-6 hours before serving.
  12. To serve, top each meringue with a tablespoon of jam and a sprinkling of pistachios.

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