Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bavarian Key Lime Pie

I can remember the first time in Florida when I tasted a key lime pie.  It was in a restaurant located in Destin.  I had one of those: "probably won't like it but at least should try it attitudes."  Not sure why the thought, since I am a big fan of lemon, especially lemonade.  After one ice cold bite of the tart smooth filling with the slight crunch of the graham crust...well lets just say I had a real attitude adjustment in regards to eating key lime pie.

Since then I have made several key lime pies at home.  The one thing that bothered me was that the pie never seemed to have much depth to it.  The filling never really baked up close to the lip of the pie pan.  In scanning the net, I found a pie shop that had double-decker pies.  That is where I got the idea to make this particular pie.

The top layer is white chocolate Bavarian cream and the other layer, of course, is the tangy key lime filling. Also, it has the traditional graham cracker crust.

This pie is really a great cold dessert to serve up in the heat of the summer.  I had a few visitors here that spent most of the day outside that simply devoured the pie after dinner.

Bavarian Key Lime Pie
crust and key lime filling adapted from Bubbie's Homemade Pies
Bavarian layer adapted from Penzey's spices

1/3 cup or 5 1/3 tbs melted butter
1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
3 tbs sugar
pinch of salt

Ingredients/Key lime layer
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Ingredients/White Chocolate Bavarian Cream layer
1 1/2 tsp  unflavored gelatin powder
4 oz chopped white choc bar
2 tbs cold water
1/4 and 2 tbs sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy cream
4 eggs yolks, room temp

For the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then mix together butter, sugar, salt and crumbs.  Pour in melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are moistened.  Transfer mixture to an 8-10 inch pie tin and press evenly into pan.  If you have another of the same pie tin or plate, place it on top of the crumb mixture in the other pie pan and lightly press down.  This will help compact the crust.   Remove the top tin and place crusted tin in fridge for 30 minutes.

Once chilling time is complete, place tin in oven and let crust bake for about 8 minutes.  Remove and let cool to room temperature before filling.

Start on the Key lime filling by preheating the oven to 300 degrees.  Whisk the eggs until frothy.  Then beat in the sweetened condensed milk along with the cream of tartar.  Run the mixer on medium high for 1 minute.  Change the speed to low and pour in a steady stream of key lime.  Once all the key lime has been mixed in, increase the speed to medium high and beat for 5 minutes.  Then fill the crust with the mixture.

Place filled pie tin on the middle rack and then put an empty jelly roll pan on the rack underneath.  Let the pie bake for about 15 -20 minutes.  The pie sets up after it is removed from the oven, so coming out of the oven it will still jiggle in the center a little.  Do not let the filling brown on the edges, that means it is overcooked.

Remove pie and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then transfer to a refrigerator to chill and make note of the time.

For the chocolate layer, start by setting up a double boiler to simmer.  Then break up chocolate and place in top bowl to melt. Keep warm so chocolate stays melted.  Next is the gelatin; fill small bowl with the water and sprinkle gelatin over top.  Then stir, making sure no dry powder remains on top. Set aside so gelatin can dissolve.

In a stand mixer bowl, add egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until frothy.  Set aside.  Place a small saucepan over medium high heat and cook milk until simmering but not boiling. Remove from heat.  Turn on stand mixer to medium low and start mixing the egg yolks/sugar batter again.  As you continue to mix, pour in a steady stream of the hot milk.

Once combined, pour batter back into saucepan and heat over medium low until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  This should take at least 15 minutes.  Then check the white chocolate, making sure it is still melted. If not, heat up again and then add to batter in saucepan and mix until combined. Lastly, stir in the gelatin/water mixture until all is smooth.  Strain into a bowl and let cool.

After batter has cooled, whip 1 cup of heavy cream to medium peak stage.  Stir 1/3 of the whipped cream into the batter.  Remove pie from refrigerator and pour the white chocolate batter over the top.  Then pipe the remaining whipped cream around the edge of the pie.

Place the pie back in the refrigerator to chill.  Chilling time should be a total of 4 hours from the first time it was placed in the refrigerator.  After the 4 hours, it is ready to be served.

Tips and tricks:
1. Should you not be patient and find that the white chocolate mixture when cooled is not the right consistency, you can recover by cooking up in the microwave by using the defrost button. Run for about a minute and stir.  Repeat the process until right consistency is achieved.

2.  The Bavarian cream recipe can be doubled, should you want more white chocolate flavor paired with the lime.

3.  Adding key lime zest will give it an extra punch of lime flavor.  However, keep in mind that this addition will eliminate the smooth texture of the pie.

4.  Also for a more decorative touch you can insert slices of lime, curve side up, in the whipped cream.
                                    **LAST YEAR:Chocolate Irish Cream Cheesecake*