Showing posts with label key lime pie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label key lime pie. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Key Lime Pie to Celebrate FATAL RESERVATIONS #recipe #giveaway

LUCY BURDETTE: Yippee! Yippee! This week finally marks the publication of Hayley Snow's sixth adventure, FATAL RESERVATIONS. If you started reading this series from the beginning, you might remember Hayley's first visit to the Key West police department. She insisted that she couldn't have delivered a poisoned Key lime pie to the victim because she was afraid of meringue. 

In other words, I was afraid of meringue...

this is one sheet
Since then, Hayley and I have both matured. And we decided to make our first Key lime pie topped with meringue to celebrate FINAL RESERVATIONS. We are also offering one book to a lucky commenter today, so read the post all the way to the bottom to be entered in the drawing.

This recipe is not difficult, but there are a number of steps so read carefully before beginning. (It's not so different from writing a novel--just takes a little planning and a touch of patience, and everything comes together...)

Ingredients for the crust

10 sheets of graham crackers, should measure 1 1/4 cups
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Whir the graham crackers in a food processor until they make fine crumbs. Mix in the sugar and the butter. Press the mixture using the back of a spoon into your nine or 10 inch pie plate. Nine is probably better as my pie was a little low. Bake the crust at 350 for 10 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 325.

Ingredients for the filling

1/2 cup key lime or lime juice, freshly squeezed
Four egg yolks
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons grated lime zest

Squeeze the limes until you have 1/2 cup of juice. (4-5 regular limes, more key limes.) Make sure to strain out the seeds. 


Whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest.  


Add the filling to the pie crust and bake for six minutes. Remove from the oven and set this aside while you make your meringue.


Ingredients for the meringue

Four egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
One half teaspoon vanilla

Using a clean bowl and mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the sugar until the egg whites hold stiff peaks and appear shiny but not dry. Beat in the vanilla. 

Attach the meringue to the hot pie, beginning by adding globs all around the edge of the crust and smoothing them into a circle. (That's the  technical culinary term--add globs.) 

Then add remaining meringue to the center and smooth or shape into peaks as desired. Bake the pie for another 20 minutes. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate until serving.

And now serve yourself a nice piece of pie and start reading...

Fatal Reservations is available wherever books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Independent bookstores, and Books-a-Million. 

To be entered in today's drawing, leave a comment about a cooking fear you'd like to overcome...and don't forget your email!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My 5 Kitchen Disasters -- and Recoveries (with recipes) by Cleo Coyle

"Only God gets things right 
the first time." 

~ Stephen King*

* Tweeted by "Advice to Writers," 
a fun twitter follow at this address: 

This quote leads my post today for
good reason. I'm talking about
Kitchen Disasters
(More on that below.)

But first...


A shout-out to my fellow bloggers Lucy Burdette and Meg London (aka Peg Cochran), both of whom have new releases today: Death in Four Courses, the 2nd entry in Lucy's Key West Food Critic Mysteries; and Murder Unmentionable, the first in a new series, from Meg. To learn more, visit Lucy's home page here or Meg's page here, and be sure to come back for their blog days this week to learn more from the authors themselves. 

Congrats Lucy and Meg/Peg, 
have a great release week!


Cleo Coyle, who hasn't burned
down her kitchen (yet), is
author of
The Coffeehouse
My 5 Kitchen Disasters...
and Recoveries

Anyone who's spent serious time in the kitchen has had their share of gloppy rice, sunken cakes, and, (with apologies to Chef Paul Prudhomme) unintentionally blackened fish. On the other hand, if you click this link, you'll see that Chef Paul actually warns you: 

"If you don't have a commercial hood vent over your stove, this dish will set off every smoke alarm in your neighborhood!"

Which brings to mind my post from last Thanksgiving. That's where my Captain Kirk on fire photo came from, a public service message for those attempting to fry a whole turkey without, oh, say defrosting the bird...or putting the fryer a sufficient distance from flammable objects. 

You can view my post here along with "Eat, Fry, Love," the entertaining little video from Mr. Shatner and State Farm Insurance.

What's my point? Good cooking (like good writing) takes a bit of time: Writers write and re-write. Cooks cook and re-cook. 

A common piece of advice given to culinary students is to go home and practice, calling to mind an adorable scene from the equally adorable movie Julie & Julia. Do you remember it? Julia is determined to get her knife skills up to par in her French cooking class, so she goes home and chops a huge pile of onions in one afternoon. The resulting stench in the house (and sting to the eyes!) sends her husband out of the building for lunch. 

Julia's afternoon of "practice" was far from appealing, but in her cooking class the next day, she triumphed. (A classic set-up/pay-off of dramatic structure, too, thanks to the late, great writer/director Nora Ephron.)

Below are a few of my own stories of Fails that led to...well, better results. To children, we say, "try, try again," and that's the take-away today, I guess, in cooking, in writing, and in life.

~ Cleo

"Leftover Salsa" Pasta Primavera 

Spying a plastic container of leftover salsa one morning, I thought, "Why not give this a go?" Bad idea. Chef Gordon Ramsay would have spat this experiment of mine into his napkin. My lesson: never use leftover chopped tomatoes for anything but sauce!

A Healthier Shrimp Scampi Pasta

This is my my version of Shrimp Scampi, which swaps out the typical 1/2 cup of butter for olive oil with a touch of butter and places it over pasta. I'd like to think Gordon would ask for seconds...

To download my recipe PDF, click here.


Zero Fat Muffins 

Behold my "zero fat" muffin. No butter, no oil--even the milk was skim. Pretty to look at, but this thing was low fat to the point of inedible. Hey, willpower's one thing, but ten minutes after eating this muffin, you'd be tearing into a pan of brownies, just to get the flavor and texture out of your mouth! Major fail.

Oatmeal Cookie Muffins

A tasty little muffin laced with the flavors of an oatmeal cookie. It has the goodness of oats in it and is also low in fat, using canola oil and low fat buttermilk instead of butter. It does have sugar and I wouldn't recommend eating six in one sitting, but it's a useful alternative to a lot of high-fat recipes or fast food muffins.

For my Oatmeal Cookie Muffin recipe, click here.


No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Oh, geez, don't ask. I have the photo because I was hoping it would work out. But it was such a major fail, I threw it out! (Never firmed up for cutting and the flavor was awful.)

Microwave Fudge

Yes, you really can make fudge using just your microwave. It's smooth and tasty and (IMO) nice enough to serve to guests or give as a gift.

For my Microwave Fudge
recipe, click here.


My FAIL #4 
Key Lime Pie 

Distracted one day, I had miscounted the number of eggs in this pie. Woops. The homemade graham cracker crust was delicious and so was the pie, after I froze it.  But serving it thawed was a total disaster. My lesson: pay attention while cooking!

No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake Pie

Another crack at the Key Lime Pie, while actually counting the number of eggs, led to success. But the fail led me to trying the recipe Marc's mom made for him as a kid, most likely from a recipe clipped from a newspaper or cream cheese package. (I tweaked her ratios until I was happy with it, and made it an even easier recipe by using a pre-made crust.)

To download a recipe PDF for the No-Bake Lime Cheesecake Pie, click here.


#5 Not Quite a Fail, more like a... 
Not yet good enough!

Behold my latest try for my
Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Yes, I am still experimenting, trying to get that perfect balance with cake layers as chocolaty as they can be while still being strong enough to hold up to the pudding filling and frosting of the classic Blackout structure.

The experiments continue
into this week! 

When I get it just right, I'll start uploading it on my Web site. Check later in the week at for updates. And I'll be sure to share it with you right here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, too, so no worries. Until next week...

Try, try again... 
(with joy!)

~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lime Sponge Cake by Lucy Burdette

I'm so excited to be here as a part of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen! I love food and cooking and talking about recipes. And I love mysteries! So this blog is the utterly perfect combination. Thank you ladies for inviting me to join you! (And by the way, it happens that this first post falls on my birthday--what a glorious present from MLK!)

Since AN APPETITE FOR MURDER was launched earlier this month, I have a feeling you all must be sick to death of hearing about Key Lime pie. But I could not resist staying with the lime theme, especially because this time of year we have the most amazing thing going on with our indoor lime tree--as you can see in the picture on the right (though sorry it's a little dark.) After we harvest the limes (maybe 8-10 of them), the tree goes back to looking barely alive. Then the cycle starts over. At my husband's insistence, we tried moving the tree outside in the summer. We developed a horrible infestation of aphids that I pinched off the leaves one by one, as I don't like to use pesticides. Obviously, it's never gone out again!

One of my favorite things to make with our limes is a very light but delicious Lime Sponge Cake. It's an excellent cake for spring, but I also made it for a Christmas party and served strawberry ice cream on the side so I'd have that red and green thing going.


6 large eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup flour
powdered sugar (optional)

How to put it together:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In large bowl, place the egg whites with the cream of tartar and beat them with an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks. (You can test this by slowly withdrawing the beaters from the eggs. Soft peaks should stand up with the slightest droop at the top.) Next, gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.

In another large bowl, place separated yolks. Beat them with unwashed beaters until thick. Add remaining sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until the yolks are very thick and ivory colored.

To the beaten yolks, add the grated lime rind, lime juice and water, beating until just blended. Beat in flour and salt at a very low speed. Add the beaten egg whites to this mixture, and fold them in with a rubber spatula--gently.

Turn the cake batter into ungreased 10" tube pan. Cut through batter several times with a knife to break up any air bubbles and then smooth the top.

Bake at 325F for fifty minutes to an hour. The top of the cake will appear golden and the cake should spring back when lightly touched.

Invert on wire rack to cool. Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. Set on serving plate.

When the cake is completely cool, you may sift powdered sugar over top.

(On the left, you will see the most handsome Yoda overseeing the finished product. I don't think he's ever actually tried a piece of cake, but he's fond of posing with them. He is also one of the models for Evinrude the cat, in AN APPETITE FOR MURDER.)

I hope you enjoy the cake--and also hope you'll try reading my first Key West food critic mystery. It's filled with food and Key West characters and mystery of course! You can read more about it at my website or on facebook. And Twitter too, of course, where I enjoy tweeting about food, books, writing, and other things that catch my eye.

Thanks again to the women of Mystery Lovers Kitchen--and to all the wonderful readers too. I'll be back again on second and fourth Saturdays.

Love, Lucy

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger Terry Odell and her 2 Key Lime Pies!

Terry Odell's Frozen Key Lime Pie
A little over a month ago, I tweeted about an ice box lemon pie that author Dean James shared with us here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen.

In the mountains of Colorado, author Terry Odell saw my tweet and tweeted back that Dean's recipe sounded a lot like her Key lime pie, which she used to make when she lived in Miami.

"Hmmm," I thought from my desk in Queens, "why not have a Southern citrus pie showdown?" I invited Terry to come by our virtual kitchen for a bake-off. Because Terry also has a brand new book coming out this summer, I also asked her to give us a sneak peek at her fiction. Terry agreed to both. She even found us two fun scenes with the perfect theme for this blog -- and on the perfect day. Terry writes romantic suspense with wonderful male leads and today, of course, is Father's Day!

And so, by way of the global twitterverse, I am pleased as punch to give you author Terry Odell...

~ Cleo Coyle

Author Terry Odell
Thanks to Cleo for inviting me to appear here at the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. I love reading, writing, cooking and eating. Almost all my books involve food in some way or another—even when it's a heroine whose entire cooking repertoire revolves around kid food.

In my July release, NOWHERE TO HIDE, Graham, the hero, is a gourmet cook. In an early scene, he's faced with creating a meal in the home of a total non-cook, and to make things worse, she's just moved in and hardly has basic ingredients in the house. Here's a peek – Graham speaks first...

"You can go sit down so I don't worry about you. I've got everything under control." He turned to the refrigerator and pulled out a bowl of salad. "You have any balsamic vinegar?"
  "What the hell is that? You're lucky I have vinegar, period. I've been to the market once. There should be some Thousand Island in the fridge."
  He grimaced. "Never mind." He reached into the refrigerator and removed a jar of mustard and a lemon. "This will do."
  She watched in fascination as he began rolling the lemon under his palms. "What are you doing?"
  "Breaking down the pulp. You get a better juice yield." He cut the lemon in half and squeezed it through his fingers into a small bowl.
  "Don't tell me. Straining the pits."
  "Sometimes the God-given tools are the best ones for the job." He added some mustard, salt and pepper and started trickling a stream of oil. "Now go sit down," he said as he mixed everything together.

In WHEN DANGER CALLS, my heroine, Frankie, is the total opposite. Hero Ryan shows up for breakfast. Here's a look at her cooking "expertise."

The youngster smiled at him. "Mommy's making me happy pancakes."
  Ryan, who was comfortable hiding in the jungle, trekking across the desert, or scaling a mountain, had never felt more out of his element than right now in this Mayberry kitchen. He turned, expecting Aunt Bea to wander in with a basket of fresh eggs.
  "Sit down, please," Frankie said. "Juice is on the table."
  Ryan pulled out his chair and sat. His orders were to stay low. Dalton was on his way. Meanwhile, he was starved, and when in Mayberry....
  Frankie opened the oven door, and using mitts shaped like chickens, pulled out a platter of pancakes. She set it on a padded mat, then slid into her seat at the other end of the table. She forked two pancakes onto her daughter's plate.
  "Why don't you pass me your plate," she said to Ryan. "The platter is hot."
  Ryan did as she asked, then gazed at three pancakes, each with two round eyes and a curved grin, staring up at him from his plate. His amusement must have shown, because Frankie laughed.
  "Happy pancakes. It's one of my few specialties. All you do is start the eyes and mouth and let them brown a bit before you pour the rest of the batter. I'm not much of a cook."


In my first book, there's serious bonding over homemade spaghetti sauce. And I think I have an ice cream eating scene in almost all my books!

But today, I promised to talk about my 2 Key lime pie recipes. It's probably a good thing Cleo limited me to those, or I'd be here for months.

We moved from Los Angeles to Miami many years ago, and I was intrigued with trying new-to-me regional dishes. Restaurants all boasted about their Key lime pies, and I quickly learned there were as many variations as there were restaurants serving them.

These were pre-computer days, so no Googling to find recipes, but I found one in a magazine that was supposed to be the classic, original, very best. (And not only were these pre-Google days, but they were also pre-uncooked egg paranoia. I feel like those guys on Good Eats are going to show up and recite chapter and verse about the risks taken when eating uncooked eggs, but honestly, almost all cases of problems come from restaurant eggs, not grocery store eggs.)

Note: It's much better if you can walk into your yard and pick the limes. But you can find Key limes nowadays in grocery stores. At the very least, they sell bottled Key lime juice. The big, green Persian limes are not Key limes. If anyone serves you a green Key lime It might be a lemon meringue pie made with limes, but it won't be a Key lime pie. It's not supposed to look like a classic lemon meringue pie. Ever. Key lime juice is pale yellow. Nobody adulterates a Key lime pie with food coloring. Ugh.

So, here's recipe #1...

Key Lime Pie

Baked pie crust, or Graham cracker crumb crust (my preference). I confess to making a lousy "regular" pie crust.

1 can Eagle brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
6 egg yolks
½ cup key lime juice

Whip sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks together at medium high speed, about 8 minutes. Add the key lime juice; let the beaters rotate slowly about 1-2 seconds. Fold with rubber spatula to blend. Pour into pie shell; let stand.

6 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sugar

Beat egg whites with the cream of tartar about 5 minutes, until stiff. Add the sugar and beat another 5 minutes, or until glossy. Put on pie; brown at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

The next recipe was a variation given to me by a neighbor, who used to whip them up at a moment's notice. The best part is that it's a frozen pie, so you can make it well in advance—or make more than one—and freeze until you have a need for it.

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Graham Cracker Crust
1 can Eagle brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 eggs
½ cup key lime juice
Lime peel, grated
Pinch salt

Separate eggs. Beat whites until stiff. In another bowl, beat yolks, add milk, lime juice and salt. Fold egg whites and peel into the mixture. Pour into crust. Sprinkle with some graham cracker crumbs. Freeze.

Also good topped with whipped cream. Really good.


Now, once you have the basics, you can dress them up any way you like. Lime zest, chocolate shavings, whatever.

Now that I live in the mountains of Colorado, I'm going to have to find new regional recipes to try. Not to mention adjust to cooking at 9100 feet.


To learn more about Terry, her books,
or her popular "Terry's Place" blog,

visit her website at

Thanks again to Terry
for joining us and...



Before you go, I'd like to make sure
you don't miss your chance to enter
our special June contest...

Win Books in Avery Aames's
"You Be The Sleuth" Contest!

The first book in Avery's A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6! To celebrate its release, Avery is running a contest from June 9 to July 6: You be the sleuth!

Track down the recipe on Avery's website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.

One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on Avery's booksellers page. Here is the link to Avery’s website to help get you started. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Key Lime Pie: What a tart!

Congratulations, Julie, on your
Barry and Anthony Awards!
I'm thrilled for you!

In fact, I'm so tickled for you,
I baked you one of my favorites:


Darn, you live too far away for me to deliver it. I'll just have
to eat it myself. The sacrifices I make!

Now we all have staples in our pantries -- flour, sugar and salt --
and in our refrigerator -- milk, butter and eggs. These are the things
we simply can not function without. Growing up in the Northeast, I
remember the emergency runs we made to stock up at the grocery store
when a blizzard (1978, anyone?) or hurricane was predicted. It could get
downright ugly in the canned section if supplies were running low!

Well, one of my staples is Nellie & Joe's Famous Lime Juice.
I use it on everything. Seriously, I can't even look at a fajita unless
it's been doused with Nellie & Joe's.

But my favorite recipe from Nellie & Joe's is the one
right on the back of the bottle for KEY LIME PIE.

Quite simply, it is:

9" graham cracker pie crust
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks (whites not used)
½ cup Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice

Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth.
Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.
Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before
serving, top with freshly whipped cream, or meringue,
and garnish with lime slices.

Does it get any easier than that? Not likely. And let me tell
you, this is one sweet and tart fabulous pie.

You can see more lime-licious recipes at:
And I encourge you to consider adding
Nellie & Joe's to your list of staples.
I know if a blizzard ever hits Arizona,
I'll be relieved to have my Key Lime
juice in the frig!

Jenn McKinlay
March 2010

aka Lucy Lawrence
Sept 2009
April 2010