Sunday, June 22, 2014

Coconut Crunch Key Lime Pie and a Key Lime Pie Cookbook Giveaway

Today I have some thrilling news to share with you all.  See this cookbook?  No, it's not my cookbook, but that is my photo on the cover!

A little over four months ago, a publisher contacted me about my photos of key lime pie cupcakes and tartlets, to inquire about licensing one of the photos for the cover of a cookbook about Key lime pieImagine my excitement to receive a package in the mail with two beautiful cookbooks, signed by the author, one of which I will be giving away to one of you (giveaway rules are at the end of this blog post).

Other than the title of the cookbook, I knew very little about the project, so the book itself was a complete surprise to me.  I'm usually drawn to lots of close-up color photos of desserts, but although the only color photo is on the cover itself, the cookbook is sprinkled throughout with black and white vintage advertisements, recipes and photos to illustrate the interesting history of Key limes in Key West, Florida.

You all know my fondness for vintage items, and I loved looking at the old photos and reading through the history of how Key limes and Key lime pie originated.  And the cookbook arrived just in time for summer, because I love creamy, light tart desserts like this when it's so warm outside and I don't want to overheat the kitchen with hours of baking.

What I love about the cookbook is how much variety there is.  While I can appreciate a classic recipe from a purist point of view, I have no misgivings about trying new, even unusual, flavor combinations with favorite recipes, something I do with my cakes all the time.

Over 20 pages are devoted just to crusts, with so much more than just a traditional graham cracker crust.  Recipes called "Cinnamon Sin", "S'more to Adore", "Double Rum Yum" and "No Mistakin' Bacon" crusts had me changing my my mind over and over as to which one I wanted to try first.

And then the fillings - "Mango Tango", "Chocolate Chip Charm" and "Fleming Street Flamer" are just a few of the recipes offered with tempting variations of richer or lighter fillings, and even ones with special dietary considerations such as vegan or gluten free.

Surprisingly, there is even a section on sauces, which I would never have thought of, but why not?  Sauces make everything better, and a piece of Key lime pie with creme anglaise, raspberry, chocolate or whiskey butter sauce would just be decadently delicious.

Another section covers toppings, with so many suggestions of flavorings to add to your whipped cream or meringue toppings, such as eggnog, caramel, cocoa or almond.  I will always choose whipped cream over meringue, but if you like meringue, then it's the perfect way to use up all the leftover egg whites, since only the yolks are used in the filling.

Every recipe features an interesting fact or funny quote at the bottom of the page, such as the 1965 legislation proposing a $100 fine to be imposed against those advertising Key lime pies that were not made with Key limes (the bill didn't pass).  One of my favorites was "6 million men between the ages of 35 and 54 have eaten the last slice of pie and denied it."

After deliberating over the recipes, changing my mind several times, and then changing it a few more times after that, I finally decided to try the Coconut Loconut recipe with its extra rich filling of 6 egg yolks instead of 4 and toasted coconut mixed right in.  I also added sweetened coconut to the graham cracker crust instead of sugar, as well as a good pinch of salt because I love the combination of salty and sweet.  I topped my pie with a little more toasted coconut for a nice crunch and lightly sweetened whipped cream flavored with coconut and vanilla.

Unfortunately, there were no Key limes to be found at our grocery store this week (availability of certain fruits and vegetables are hit or miss in Colorado) so I made my pie with bottled Key lime juice and zest from "regular" limes.  I hope the Key lime purists will forgive me.

With as much as I bake, I usually limit myself to tasting just a bite or two, but after I photographed my Coconut Crunch Key Lime Pie, I took a bite, and then another, and it was so good that I finished the whole piece.  I wasn't even sorry.

You're probably wondering by now about that second cookbook I said I'd be giving away, right?  Well, here are the rules:
  • Leave a comment on this blog post - anonymous comments or spam will not be considered, so your name needs to be visible.
  • Comments left on other blog posts or other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) will not be considered.
  • One entry per person - multiple comments left by the same person will only be considered as one entry.
  • The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.
  • Comments left from Sunday, 6/22/14 through Saturday, 6/28/14 will be considered, after which I'll randomly select the winner to be announced on Monday, 6/30/14.
  • Be sure to check back on Monday, 6/30/14 to see if your name is announced, because you'll need to e-mail me your address! :)
  • If you don't win, I hope you order a copy of the book for yourself on Amazon and whip up an amazing key lime pie!

Disclaimer: I received compensation for the licensing of my photo for the cover of the cookbook, but this is not a paid book review, and all opinions expressed are my own.

One Year AgoRed Velvet Strawberry Cheesecake
Two Years AgoRoot Beer Chocolate Cake with Root Beer Float Ice Cream
Three Years AgoPeach and Veggie Skewers

Coconut Crunch Key Lime Pie

coconut crust:
  • 1 1/3 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 3/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray a deep dish pie pan with non-stick spray.  In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, coconut and salt until crushed.  Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and toss with a fork until moist.  Press the crumbs against the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, then cool while you prepare the filling.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, coconut extract and lime zest until smooth, then add the toasted coconut.  Whisk in the key lime juice.  Pour the filling into the crust and bake the pie at 350 for 8 minutes.  Cool the pie at room temperature for an hour, then chill in the refrigerator until firm, several hours or overnight.

Before serving, whip the cream with the powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut extracts until thick.  Serve each piece with whipped cream, a slice of lime, and toasted coconut.

Yields 8 servings

Recipe adapted from The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook by David L. Sloan