Persian Lime Pie

LimePersianPie

It seems as though every lime pie is named “Key Lime Pie”, and yet fresh Key limes can be much more difficult to find than fresh Persian limes. Since the smaller, yellowish Key limes are considerably tarter than the larger, dark green Persian limes, the two varieties are not perfectly interchangeable. So, I decided to create a pie recipe based on Persian limes. This delicious, citrusy, cheesecake-like pie is wonderful for entertaining because it can be made up to a week ahead of time. Enjoy!

Persian Lime Pie

serves 12

 

Crust

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/3 c. granulated white sugar

1/4 t. salt

10 T. unsalted butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together crumbs, sugar and salt. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture into a 9” pie plate.
  3. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake crust for 8 minutes. (Make filling while crust is baking.) Remove crust from oven.

 

Filling

8 oz. low-fat cream cheese

2 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk

3/4 c. fresh squeezed Persian lime juice

1 1/2 t. lime extract (optional, recipe at bottom of page)

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until perfectly smooth. Scrape down bowl. Beat in sweetened condensed milk until perfectly smooth. Scrape down bowl. On low speed, beat in lime juice until perfectly incorporated. Again, scrape down bowl.
  2. Taste filling. If desired, beat in lime extract.
  3. Gently pour filling into pie crust and then bake (on baking sheet) for 15 minutes. (Filling should be firm/set, but not browned.)
  4. Remove pie from oven. Cool at room temperature for about 40 minutes.  Chill for two hours before serving. (Cover pie with plastic wrap if not serving within a few hours.)

 

Topping*

3/4 c. heavy cream

2 1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 t. lime, lemon or orange extract

 

  1. Combine ingredients in a deep bowl. Whip on high speed until cream holds peaks.
  2. Scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip to garnish pie slices, or dollop cream onto slices, right before serving.

* Canned whipped cream can be substituted.

 

Garnishes

fresh grated Persian lime zest

12 thin slices of Persian limes

fresh blueberries, blackberries or raspberries (optional)

edible flowers (optional)

 

Sprinkle slices of pie with fresh grated lime zest. Place a twisted slice of lime on each piece of pie. Decorate pie servings with berries and or flowers, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

Lime Extract

make several days ahead of time

1/4 c. vodka

2 t. fresh grated Persian lime zest (green rind only, no white pith)

1 t. granulated white sugar

  1. Combine ingredients in a small glass jar. Seal. Shake well to dissolve sugar.
  2. Store extract in cool dark place. (I use the freezer.) Shake extract well after one day.
  3. The following day, shake extract again. Then strain out lime zest, pressing zest through a sieve. Pour extract back into glass jar and cap tightly.

Remembering Ginger

One of our guests at the Bed & Breakfast once declared me to be “a collector of both Boston Terriers and their likenesses” –  a description which still makes me chuckle. My husband and I have had six much-loved Bostons over the years – and we do indeed have quite a few pieces of Boston Terrier memorabilia, many of them kindly given to us by guests fond of our dogs.

Bill and I have some good friends who also are Boston Terrier parents. Knowing that I am a gardener, these friends have very thoughtfully given me flowers to plant as living memorials to several of our canine children who have passed over the years. One of theses is a  daylily named “Punk” given in memory of Ginger.  (“Punk” was one of several affectionate nicknames that we had for Gingie because she was always ready to turn anything into a game.)

Ginger passed away two years ago at seventeen years of age. She brought us tremendous happiness in her lifetime. This is the first time that Punk has bloomed. So I wanted to share  a remembrance of Ginger and photos of her tribute flower which I tend with affection as I remember our punky Ging.

GingerInSweater2

 

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Have a lovely weekend!

Blueberry Mint Iced Tea

June is National Iced Tea Month … perfect timing for warm weather refreshment! Flavored iced teas are easy to make and a are a great way to add personal flair to this summertime beverage for entertaining.

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Blueberry Mint Iced Tea

8 c. cold water

6 bags of good black tea (decaf. ok)

3/4 c. loosely packed fresh mint leaves, washed

3/4 c. raw sugar

7 cups ice cubes

3 c. fresh blueberries (or mixture of blueberries and blackberries), washed and stemmed

Frozen blueberries and ice cubes for serving

Lemon slices for serving

Fresh mint for garnish

 

Directions

1. Bring water to boil in a 4-quart pot. Add tea bags, mint leaves and sugar. Cover pot and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 20 minutes. Stir to make sure that sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Place 7 c. ice cubes into a 1-gallon pitcher. Strain tea into pitcher.

3. Place berries in a food processor and pulse until puréed. Press puree through sieve into tea. Stir until ice is completely dissolved and  purée is incorporated into the tea.

4. To serve, fill glasses with ice cubes, frozen blueberries and lemon slices. Pour tea over ice. Garnish with mint.

Enjoy!

More iced tea recipes …

Black Tea “Sangria recipe.

Iced Minted Orange Juice recipe.

Mint Simple Syrup recipe for adding to iced tea.

Beautiful After The Rain

We had a brief downpour yesterday morning and I just couldn’t resist getting some garden photos as soon as the rain stopped. This is one of my favorites. It is of a pale pink lily, stained by the pollen splattered on its petals.

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Have a beautiful weekend!

Boozy Bourbon Brownies

A little something for National Bourbon Day …

(Not for children)

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Boozy Bourbon Brownies

Makes about 25 small rich brownies

Ingredients:

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. unsalted butter

1/2 c. dried currants

2 T. bourbon

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

2 T. natural cocoa

1/4 t. salt

2 lg. eggs

1/2 c. granulated white sugar

1/2 c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed

Boozy Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting (Recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 9” square baking pan or spray with baking spray.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter together, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the currants and bourbon. Set aside.
  4. In  small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
  5. In large bowl, beat eggs and white sugar together until pale, thick and creamy. (This takes about three to four minutes on high speed. Do not underbeat.) Beat in dark brown sugar and then beat in chocolate mixture. On lowest speed, beat in currants and bourbon.  Then beat in dry ingredients just until they are incorporated. Pour batter into baking pan. Spread evenly.
  6. Bake for about 32 to 37 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out almost clean and the brownies feel firm to the touch.  Place baking pan on a wire rack to cool.
  7. Before serving, cut brownies into squares and remove from pan. Frost tops of brownies with Boozy Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting.

 

Boozy Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost one 9” square pan of baked goods or to decorate about 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

1 T. + 2 t. Bourbon, or to taste

 

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Beat until perfectly smooth. Taste. If desired, slowly beat in more Bourbon. Use to frost baked goods.

 

Have a great weekend!

Downtown Manhattan’s Dining Renaissance

For many years, Manhattan, Kansas has had some great locally owned eating establishments, running the gamut from burger joints and donut shops to truly fine dining. That trend has really seen an uptick in the past few years. To the culinary delight of residents and visitors alike, Manhattan now has approximately fifty local restaurants, cafés, and speciality eateries. That means there is no shortage of choices for where to go for a dining experience unique to Manhattan.

 

The downtown area has been one of the main loci of the dining boom. For several decades, the cornerstone of Manhattan’s fine dining scene has been Harry’s Restaurant, located in the historic Wareham Hotel on Poyntz Avenue. Harry’s offers contemporary American cuisine, hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood during evening hours in the main restaurant. (Its deli serves salads and sandwiches at lunchtime.)

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In 2007, Harry’s was joined on Poyntz Avenue by Della Voce, an Italian bistro serving traditional and contemporary dishes and original cocktails in a vibrant urban atmosphere. The bistro, which recently changed ownership, now has weekly specials featuring locally sourced ingredients.

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4 Olives Wine Bar and Restaurant is the latest upscale restaurant to move in downtown, having relocated from its Westside location at the beginning of the year to a completely renovated corner space at 4th and Houston. The restaurant specializes in dishes made with fresh fish, wild game, local ingredients and artisanal cheeses. It also serves a broad selection of classic cocktails and has an award-winning selection of wines. Its bakery, 4 Cakes, which is quickly becoming a favorite place for cupcakes and sweets, is right next door … and speaking of sweets, Hazel Hill Chocolates is almost right across the street.

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While the fine dining is amazing, there is also a fun variety of casual eateries downtown, all of which have opened or relocated to the neighborhood in the last six years and about half of which have opened this past year. Here is a quick rundown.

 

Having opened in 2008, The Chef Café is one of the oldest of the downtown restaurants. The Chef serves an eclectic menu of breakfast and lunch items, cocktails and wine, and is so popular that its regulars queue up out front to wait for a table on weekends.

TheChefSign

Another neighborhood favorite that has been around for a while is AJ’s NY Pizzeria, known for its creative interpretations of the “pizza pie” and for its large patio area – fun for people watching and outdoor events.

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Just down 3rd Street from AJ’s is a new addition, Karnivore, serving BBQ and burgers and a wide selection of beers in an energetic bar-and-grill type atmosphere.

Karnivore

 

Hibachi Hut is a favorite with K-State alumni who fondly recall its Cajun and Southwestern dishes from back when it used to be in Aggieville. Earlier this year, it moved to Poyntz Avenue under new ownership, but featuring the same recipes.

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Also new on Poyntz is the fun and distinctive Bourbon and Baker - part bakery, and part bar – serving Southern dishes family style or as small plates.

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The latest to open is Radina’s Bakehouse, offering coffees, fresh baked breads, light meals and chocolates made by Annette. The Bakehouse is an expansion of the locally owned Radina’s Coffee House & Roastery brand, which has several locations throughout Manhattan.

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While the growth in local dining, is not confined to downtown – it is an exciting trend occurring all over Manhattan! – it has certainly brought an influx of energy to the downtown area.  And all of these restaurants are within walking distance of The Morning Star! Bon appetite!