Monday, May 25, 2009
Pie In the Sky
There was a picnic this past Saturday. The thing I most like about a picnic is the plethora of food that one did not have to cook oneself! People really outdo themselves at a picnic and that most be why the common rule of "bring a dish" turns into dishes that is more like platters and that can feed a multitude. I decided to bring pies. 2 cream pies and a Key Lime pie, just for variety. I started making the pies the night before, because I wanted them to be perfect and really well chilled and because I am not enough of a morning person to be using measuring spoons and a double boiler in the a.m..''
Turns out it was a good thing (and not in a Martha Stewart kind of way) that I did them the night before. I casually snagged a chocolate pie recipe off the Internet that looked really good.
In spite of cooking the mixture for what seemed like forever, it never thickened beyond what one could optimistically call pudding. Not firm enough to put in a pie shell and subject to 98 degree heat at a picnic that's for sure. I could just hear it now....."Hey who brought the liquid pie?" or "What do you call this, chocolate milk pie?" Yikes!
So I poured the sweet smelling chocolate goo into a bowl, stuck it in the back of the fridge where mistakes go and started over in my effort to create the perfect chocolate pie.
The second time was a charm and I was one down and two to go!
The other two pies cooperated fully. Perhaps they knew that I have a limit to my patience, or maybe they just felt sorry for the woman with chocolate smears all over her arms, but I felt like a semi pro pie person after the banana cream turned out creamy and the key lime turned out well, limey!
The chocolate and banana cream pies got topped with fresh whipped cream which turned out amazingly light and wonderful and the key lime got meringue as its topping. Meringue is some amazing stuff. On its own, it is just the same lowly egg whites I make into an omelet some mornings for breakfast. Mostly fat free and carb free and just some low calorie good for you protein. But when you add that little hit of sugar and vanilla and beat it round and round in a bowl something magical happens. Not to mention when you put it in the hot oven and the air begins to fill with a smell akin to roasting marshmallows. Pretty amazing stuff when you think about it.
Once at the picnic under a swollen purple sky, there was the expected amount of food fit for a king. I met a captivating little old lady who was extraordinarily proud of her baked beans (which were very good) and she gave me her recipe. I love love love it when people are proud of something they feel is their little specialty Her baked beans really were very good and she has a right to be proud of them. Good for her!
1/2 lb. ground beef
31 oz. pork and beans (canned)
1/2 of 8 oz. bottle of Catalina salad dressing
1/2 of 8 oz. bottle of catsup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 TBSP yellow mustard
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Don't saute the onion or bell pepper (she was adamant about this). Brown the meat and drain. Add all ingredients together in a baking dish and bake uncovered for 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees.
Not spicy and slightly sweet but very good~
While I am posting recipes here is a good one for Key Lime Pie. While I did not invent this recipe it does meet my criteria for a great one. The criteria being EASY, FAST & FEW ingredients.
Easy Peasy Key Lime Pie
One 9 inch graham cracker pie shell
One 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks slightly beaten
1/2 cup Key Lime juice.
Blend the milk, eggs and juice together by stirring or with mixer. Pour into pie shell.
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. While beating, gradually add sugar.
Spread meringue on top of lime filling.
Bake pie at 300°F until the meringue takes on a delicately golden color with lightly browned tops.