Our boy got home this past weekend. Have you ever had five weeks off from parenting? Oh my gosh, it’s like it never happened. One day he left, the next day he was back. I could swear there was never any five weeks in between. Not that we’re not happy he’s home safe and sound, and no worse for wear. But wow…who knew that much time could pass in the blink of an eye?! I guess that means we had fun, right? Time flies and all that… And he had an amazing time. We were thrilled that he got the opportunity to spend time with his best friend. It’s tough being a military family when you see your kids make such great friends and have to leave them behind, but the kiddo handles it great, and even though he had a blast, he is happy to be home again.
I made some sweet little pies to celebrate our family being all together again, but…well, first…
Okay, so…do you guys wanna hear something exciting? Well, something that I’m totally excited about anyway? Yes? Alright, you may already know this if you follow me on facebook or twitter, but I totally got an early access account on Pottermore yesterday. Yep. I did. I can’t even try to hide my excitement that I get to be a beta Pottermore user! So don’t ask…it ain’t gonna happen.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I set my alarm to go off at intervals throughout the night, and that I was up and at ‘em at 5 a.m. yesterday, heart thumping and hands shaking, solving the clue for Day 2. If my previous Harry Potter posts haven’t alerted you to how big of a fan I am, perhaps this finally brings it on home for you. I’m totally that girl!
When I first tried to access the site, it was too busy and they had it refreshing every 15 seconds, trying to connect me, so I got out of bed (I was using my iPhone) and headed to the restroom. The site connected right when I was about to brush my teeth. I flung my toothbrush into the sink, whirled around, and BOLTED through the house to my iMac so that I wouldn’t have to fight my phone’s crappy refresh. And what did I find? My computer was shut off! And so was the wi-fi!!
I eventually got everything up and running (all the while still trying to connect with my phone), finally connected to The Magical Quill site, and was redirected to…a Deathly Hallows, Part II promo page…? My first thought was, “Crap. I screwed up…I didn’t make it. They redirected me because I was too late. I missed it.” But then, in a small gallery of thumbnails, I saw it. The Magical Quill!! Quickly, I clicked it and was taken to the registration page! I had done it!! I got into Pottermore! Once I registered, I waited about five minutes before I got my authorization email. I clicked the link and…
If I said that I got accepted to Pottermore with class and dignity…
So… *shuffling feet and kicking imaginary dirt* …yeah. Moving on…
…how bout those cute little baby pies up there? They’re pretty yummy looking, huh? Pay no attention to Darla flipping the heck out. They were pretty yummy tasting, too. Seriously, just ignore her…the excitement will fade…a little…eventually. Let’s just keep going with the pies.
I think I’ve told you before about our fruit trees… We actually have an actual key lime tree in our actual back yard. Fer rillz. Actually…I’m not sure if it’s a key lime tree or a regular lime tree. I’m pretty sure they’re key limes, cause they’re pretty small…but I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen. Not very often (I’m pretty smart), but sometimes.
It’s amazing to me that we have real fruit trees right in our back yard. I’ll never get over it. Besides limes, there are some banana trees (real banana trees!), coconuts (of course), and mangoes. Plus, I’m pretty sure there’s a star fruit tree, or carambola fruit. I must have fruit trees in all of my back yards from now on. Preferably fully grown and producing by the time I arrive. Who can make this happen for me? Anyone?
Well…until then, we’ll stick with the limes and make some pie.
…and finish off with fresh lime juice (hopefully from the actual key lime tree in your actual back yard). Once everything is well combined, set the filling mixture aside to thicken for about 30 minutes while you make the crusts.
Firmly press the graham cracker mixture into mini pie tins. I used tiny little tart pans, which worked great, even the grooves were a bit of a pain. They were pretty, and sometimes that makes the little annoying things totally worth it. The crusts only need to bake for about 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
Once the crusts have cooled completely, put about one tablespoon of filling into each one and bake for another 10 minutes or so at 325 degrees. They’re done when the filling has set, but still jiggles slightly.
Aren’t they adorably beautiful? I just love how cute they are! I had a lot of fun putting the whipped cream on each one in a different little design. I just placed the cream in a small decorating bag fitted with a small French star tip and starting swirling it on the pies. So cute.
These were so very easy. I had no idea, and I’m glad I finally decided to make them, because they were so fast, and totally delicious. The filling is super smooth and more tart than sweet, with the crisp darker flavor of the graham cutting the tartness slightly, and the cool, creamy whipped cream adding the perfect amount of sweetness to the whole experience. Wonderful! Plus, being so small, they were fun and easy to eat, with hardly any major clean up. If you have a spare hour this week, whip up this summer classic in sweet, tiny form…you will be so glad you did. Enjoy!
Mini Key Lime Pies [Printable Version]
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen (about 3-inches across)
**To make 1 9-inch pie, cut the crust recipe in half, and leave the filling recipe the same.
FOR THE FILLING
4 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 2 larger limes’ worth)
1/2 cup (125 ml) lime juice (3 or 4 limes’ worth)
4 egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
FOR THE CRUST **Divide in half for a single 9-inch pie**
18 sheets graham crackers
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (36 grams) confectioners’ sugar
To make the filling: Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together for a minutes or so. Whisk in the condensed milk, followed by the juice. Set aside to thicken for at least 30 minutes.
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (165 C). Lightly spray several mini pie tins (or one 9-inch pie plate) with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
Either crush the graham crackers by hand, until they are like rough sand, or process in a food processor for several pulses. Add the sugar and mix, or pulse, to combine. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly combined and resembling wet sand. Press firmly into mini pie tins, or one large pie plate, being sure to push it up the sides of the pan. Bake until golden and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes (15 to 18 minutes for one large pie crust). Allow to cool completely before filling.
Assemble the pies: Put about 1 tablespoon of lime filling in each mini pie crust (or all of the filling into 1 9-inch pie crust). Arrange the crusts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake (at 325 degrees) for about 10 minutes, until set, but jiggly (bake 1 large pie for 15 to 18 minutes). Allow to cool completely before garnishing with whipped cream.
To make the whipped cream: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until it thickens to form very soft peaks. Reduce speed to low and add the confectioners’ sugar, then increase speed back to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated