I spent last week in sunny, warm south Florida and I’m just going to say it.. it was heavenly. The air was fresh, the sun was shinning and the breeze was warm. Nothing wrong with sunny and 75, right? Well.. I can up that a notch or two because not only did this winter-burned New England gal enjoy perfect weather I had the privilege of spending a few days with the brilliant pastry chef, Hedy Goldsmith.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m helping her with her first cookbook so I flew down to spend some time with Hedy at the restaurant – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink – to get a feel for the flavor and vibe of what makes Hedy desserts oh-so-Hedy and delicious.The cast and crew of the restaurant are all wonderful, talented, creative folks .. especially Hedy’s crew Amy and Tru but I’m not playing favorites (well.. sort of).. and I happily ate (TY Bradley, Matt, Amy, Tru & Company) and drank (thank you Eric, Ryan and Nick) my way through everything put in front of me. Really phenomenal food and desserts here so please, please stop by if you are ever in Miami… and tell everyone I say hi.
After meal number 2 (brunch = fabulous!), I rolled – literally “rolled”- over to Hedy’s place where we sat down at their beautiful dining table and got to work. And work we did.. I think it was about 5 hours of non-stop recipe review and discussion save for the short breaks to play with their adorable puppies and fend off Heidi’s requests to play “somm”. Not like me to turn down what I knew would be an outstanding wine choice by Heidi but.. I had business to take care of first. Five hours and 24 recipes later, Heidi uncorked the wine and rolled out an incredible feast from Joe’s Stone Crab. All the faves were there – Stone crab claws (duh…), coleslaw, hashbrowns and, the finally blow to my waist line… key lime pie. It was a spectacular end to a wonderful working weekend.. I know.. I have some nerve calling it “work”..
Here’s a pic of me & Hedy sitting outside enjoying brunch.. check out that Red Velvet Cupcake on the table and please disregard my typical (and, yes, childish) “smile”. Heidi took this snapshot and immediately said “oh nice.. you know we don’t have one decent one..”
Joe’s Key Lime Pie reminded me of my own version of the classic and, in hopes of keeping the warm weather and good food fresh in my mind, I dusted off my own key lime tart recipe.. one of my son Ales’s all time faves. The pic above is drizzled with Hedy’s Strawberry Consumee (you’ll have to wait for the book for that recipe) and I like to top my KL pie with a dollop of creme fraiche and a basil sprig. If basil on your KL isn’t your thing, here’s a pic of it with only the creme fraiche but I really would like you to try it with the basil..
For the crust:
2 cups (9 ounces) finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cup key lime juice (or fresh lemon juice, if you’re in a pinch)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Good pinch of table salt
4 yolks from large eggs
2 large eggs
To make the crust:
Heat the oven to 375°F. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan tightly with a piece of aluminum foil to catch any butter drippings. In a medium bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon until well blended. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and mix and smear the crumbs and butter until well blended and evenly moist. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan. To keep the crumbs in the pan and not covering my hands, I cover the crumbs with a piece of plastic wrap and press the crumbs up the sides of the pan and scatter (again ,using the plastic) the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom. I use a straight-sided, flat-based metal measuring cup or a tart tamper to press firmly but anything with a flat bottom will do the trick. Bake until fragrant and slightly darker brown, 10 to12 minutes and set on a rack to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl, combine the condensed milk, key lime juice, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Add the yolks and whole eggs and whisk just until blended. Scrape the filling into the baked crust. Bake until the center of the filling just barely jiggles when the pan is nudged, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool at least 1 hour before serving. The tart can also be cooled completely, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month.[/print_this]