So the event was a hit! In the end everything came together with a few rough patches. Although now I am Exhausted, with a capital E.
I will definitely share more about Chef's Best next week when the photographer sends us his photos. And for those of you out there that know your celebrity and or reknown chefs you are in for a treat. Don't you love how I keep you on your toes?
But I'm about to share the recipe I've kept you in suspense about for a week now!
I must admit I am a creature of habit. I tend to order the same thing in certain restaurants all the time. Guilty as charged. But I know I'm not the only one. This is a dessert I order every time its on a menu. It's one of those desserts that usually never lives up to my expectations and yet I order it time and time again. I think its this deep down feeling that if I eat it, I will feel like I am in Florida, sitting on the beach with a cocktail in hand while watching the sun set. And yet each time I am completely aware that I am in the North East of the United States nowhere near Florida. Sad I know.
If you haven't guessed I'm referring to Key lime pie.
There's just something about the contrast of flavors, sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy. It doesn't get much better than that. It's the best of summer in your mouth.
Since I haven't had a vacation yet this summer due to the big event at work I've realized that I've been making a lot of desserts that remind me of summers past or to "transport" myself to another place/time, obviously to keep myself sane. This is no exception.
I am a perpetual recipe clipper, any time I see a recipe that looks good in a magazine, online or in a book I have to get a copy, save it to my bookmarks or rip out the page. This recipe for Key lime pie parfaits, I ripped out of a CookingLight magazine years ago, were talking high school people and never attempted it...until now. Que the inspirational/uplifting song, preferably something with steel drums, we are after all going with a tropical theme here.
Key limes are different from our standard green limes. They are small and yellowish in color but boy do they pack a punch. That tart flavor can't be beat. Most stores here in the NE don't sell them so I used key lime juice, the next best substitute.
I somehow convinced myself that key lime filling is difficult to make and has many steps but I was so wrong. You honestly throw all the ingredients in a bowl, stir, and then stir over heat for 5 minutes. That's it folks.
You can definitely use store bought whipped cream for this but if I haven't mentioned just how amazing freshly whipped cream is you need to hear this. Nothing, and I mean nothing can compare to whipping your own cream. All it takes is an electric mixer, some heavy cream and sugar. Not hard people! It makes such a difference.
After buying a package of store brand whole graham crackers I realized that you can buy already crushed graham crackers in the store. Oh well, I saved some money and work out one arm muscle.
Layers of crumbled graham cracker, sweet and tart key lime filling, and cool smooth fresh whipped cream nestled into a petite glass. Yup, heaven in a glass.
I dug into one right away. Wow, and do I mean wow. So good. But if you let them sit overnight in the fridge, the flavors meld and it tastes incredible. I may have eaten one for breakfast the next morning, maybe.
Key Lime Pie Parfaits
~ adapted from CookingLight magazine
1/2 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated lime peel
2 large eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
Grated lime peel
In a bowl add condensed milk, lime juice, sugar eggs, corn starch and lime peel. Mix until combined and put over a boiling pot of water and sit constantly for 5-6 minutes. Chill for an hour
Pour heavy cream into a bowl and beat until it starts to thicken. Add sugar slowly. Set aside.
Crush 8-10 graham crackers in a plastic bag.
In small glasses layer the graham cracker crumbs, whipped cream and key lime custard. Top each with lime zest.
I can already feel the sand between my toes.