Luscious Lime Tart

Above the sounds of car doors opening and closing, luggage being loaded, and 30 women exchanging “goodbyes and well wishes,” comments regarding their retreat could be overheard. They were all very positive, especially those regarding their meals. Many of these women love to cook, and are very attentive to—and appreciative of—what they are served.

From what I overheard, their final dessert was the ultimate perfection, and had made quite an impact, sending them off on a high, happy note. As I thought on all of this someone quietly appeared offering me a luscious looking lime creation garnished with a fresh mint leaf and whipped cream on a crystal clear glass dessert plate. Suddenly I was reminded of a favorite verse of scripture in the Old Testament where God in referring to prayer says: “Before they call, I will answer.”

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Luscious Lime Tart
SERVINGS
8servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
8mins
PREP TIME
40mins
READY IN
3hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Add graham cracker crumbs and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended. Transfer to a medium bowl and add coconut flakes and melted butter. Toss to combine completely. Pour the crumbs into an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Set aside to cool completely.
Filling:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Stir until thick and well incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Place the gelatin in a small bowl and cover with water. Let stand two minutes to bloom. Microwave in 10-second bursts until gelatin is dissolved. Cool the gelatin to near room temperature, but do not let it set—very important.
  3. Add the whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer. (If you don't have a stand mixer use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer.) Whip the cream for one minute on a medium speed. Slowly add the sugar to the cream. Turn off the mixer and check to see that the gelatin has cooled, but not set. Add the gelatin and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Separately reserve about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of whipped topping for garnish.
  4. Spoon about 1/2 cup of whipped cream into the key lime filling and lightly stir to combine. Add the rest of the whipped cream and fold completely into the mixture, careful not to deflate the cream too much.
  5. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and smooth over with a spatula.
Topping:
  1. Garnish with whipped cream and thinly sliced lime as desired. Refrigerate for at least two hours for a cloud like dessert. For a frozen tart, freeze at least two hours.
  2. To serve, remove the tart from the freezer and let it sit out on the counter for 10-15 minutes to soften a little before slicing it.

Raspberry Peach Upside-down Cake

Every year after school is out, our young community teenage girls have a 3-week “summer camp” with several of our Sisters. This year they went to New Hampshire for the event.
They were very excited and eagerly looking forward to the many activities ahead of them: lots of time out of doors, hiking, swimming, boating and gardening. I knew that nature crafts would be a part of their learning experiences, and also that there would be indoor activities such as housekeeping and of course, some cooking. I made them promise me that they would surprise me by making something new and different from any of their old standbys. They did not let me down, but kept their promise and came up with this scrumptious, raspberry peach upside down cake, inspired by a raspberry picking event that none of us knew would be happening before they went to camp. I could not have been more pleased!
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Raspberry Peach Upside-down Cake
SERVINGS
10-12people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
50-55minutes
PREP TIME
30 minutes
READY IN
80-85 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice peaches. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Place 6 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until melted then add brown sugar and cook until both are combined and melted, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Approximately 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  4. Arrange peach slices in a circular pattern (overlapping if needed) in skillet on top of sugar. Add raspberries in areas not covered with peaches. Set aside.
  5. Cream together vanilla, 6 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar until creamy. Add eggs and beat until the yellow disappears. Add sour cream and blend.
  6. On low speed, add flour mixture and beat just until combined stopping to scrape the sides a few times. Pour batter onto peaches and smooth out to the edges.
  7. Bake 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  8. Run a knife around the edges to release and invert onto a cake plate allowing the cake to cool another 10 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

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Ginger Pumpkin Custard

Tis the season of the Great Pumpkin! Beginning with Halloween when he takes center stage and captures everyone’s attention right on through to Thanksgiving when he’s sure to appear in and around the traditional holiday dinner and anytime in between. This “jolly good fellow” can make an unexpected appearance in any number of interesting and enticing ways, not the least of which is in this  luscious ginger pumpkin custard.
When this happens he will once again have succeeded in stealing the show, by enhancing a dinner or lovely dessert buffet.
Milder in flavor and less dense than the traditional pumpkin pie this dessert will surprise and please the eater with its unexpected addition of candied ginger – lifting it out of the ordinary into the extraordinary!

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Ginger Pumpkin Custard
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
35minutes
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
50minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and fresh ginger until blended. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt until blended.
  2. Pour into 6 (6-ounce) custard cups. Place custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place dish on oven rack in center of oven. Pour boiling water into pan around custard cups to a depth of 1 1/4 inches.
  3. Bake 35 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove custard cups from baking dish and cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and candied ginger just before serving.

Fresh Fruit Lemon Curd Tarts

Years ago, before our Priory Gifts gift shop had come into being, a weekly sale of our arts and crafts took place every Friday out on the front lawn overlooking the Bay. At that time, a suggestion was made that we serve  a plated tea in Bethany dining room. Several of us liked the idea and wanted to give it a try. Out of the butler’s pantry in Bethany kitchen came Mother Cay’s antique silver service, choice china tea cups and lovely fine linens, all of which had been used years before when Bethany, then known as Rock Harbor Manor, was one of Orleans’ foremost Bed and Breakfasts. They had been there all that time, just waiting to once again be put to use.

The speed with which attendance at these teas grew astonished us all. In no time the dining room was filled, overflowed into the living room, then to the sun-parlor, and from there out on to the patio and sometimes on to the lawn as well. I just learned that this Friday’s tea is already full. Our marvelous Fresh Fruit Lemon Curd Tarts are on the menu for dessert. These glorious tarts are not only a perfect finale for a scrumptious three course tea, but great summer dessert for any meal. The wide variety of fresh fruits that are now available make it an absolute joy to prepare.

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Fresh Fruit Lemon Curd Tarts
SERVINGS
201.5 inch cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
1.5 inch cookies
COOK TIME
1 3/4hr.
PREP TIME
15mins.
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

Preparation
  1. Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl.
  2. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.
  3. Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added.
  5. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy.
  6. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.
  7. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan.
  10. Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag (or pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip) with the meringue.
  11. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze.
  12. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 3/4-inch-wide opening.
  13. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner.
  14. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 2-inch-diameter tarts, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart.
  15. Bake the tarts until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours.
  16. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the tarts cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Filling
  1. Mix equal parts of lemon curd and whipped cream.
  2. Top with whipped cream and arrange fruit on top.

Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it's best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.

Tip: To get the most volume from beaten egg whites, it's best to start with whites at room temperature. Submerge them in their shells in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes before using.

Lemon Cream Custard Pie

Lemon meringue pie has always been my most favorite lemon dessert, but recently I was introduced to another lemon dessert that really rivals it: Lemon Cream Custard Pie. Similar in its fresh tangy flavor, but different in texture and topped with whipped cream instead of meringue.  I have only had it once but definitely want it again.

Lemon Cream Custard Pie

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Lemon Cream Custard Pie
SERVINGS
1pie
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
pie
COOK TIME
15 mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN
12hrs.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In saucepan, mix sugar, pinch of salt, cornstarch, butter, lemon peel, lemon juice, egg yolks and milk; stir and cook until thick, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Cool.
  3. Fold in sour cream.
  4. Pour into pastry shell.
  5. Refrigerate at least 12 hours.
  6. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.
  7. Garnish as desired.

Fresh Fruit Meringue

Fresh summer fruits and berries are a dessert maker’s delight.  Cool, colorful and light they are the perfect compliment to any warm weather meal without doing a thing to them.  But with a minimal amount of work they can also become a stunning offering of charm and elegance to send a meal over the top. What I am describing is a Pavlova-like cream filled meringue that showcases a few choice favorite fruits as a breathtaking jewel of a dessert, a striking finale to any lunch or dinner that can take the meal from ordinary to sublime.

Fresh Fruit Meringue
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Fresh Fruit Meringue
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
60-70mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 275°.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Pour the vanilla and vinegar (if using) into a small cup.
  4. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
  5. In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites, cream of tartar (if using) and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/ trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture.
  7. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.)
  8. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. Pipe or spoon the meringue into rounds that are 3 inches wide on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon liner.
  10. With the back of a spoon, create an indentation in the middle of the mound for holding the filling once meringue is baked.
  11. Place baking sheet in the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250° Fahrenheit.
  12. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until the meringues are crisp, dry to the touch on the outside, and white—not tan colored or cracked. (The interiors should have a marshmallow-like consistency.)
  13. Check on meringues during the baking time.
  14. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around.
  15. Gently lift from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
  16. Will keep in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or individually wrapped, for up to a week if your house is not humid.
  17. Serve topped with whipped cream and crushed or whole berries and your choice of assorted fruits.