Dessert for Any Holiday: Key Lime Pie

Key-Lime-PieSaturday is March 14 — to math nerds, this is known as Pi Day (as in 3.14 — the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). And, as you may know, St. Patrick’s Day is coming up on March 17th. Here at LTD, we wanted to do something to celebrate both holidays (we love holidays here!). What we came up with is also one of our favorite desserts — Key lime pie. Though it’s not pi, it is a perfect circle and it’s not a traditional Irish dessert (surprisingly, there aren’t very many), it’s green-ish. The one thing we can definitely claim is that it’s delicious.

There are many ways to make a key lime pie. Everyone seems to have an idea on how it should be done, so there’s not really a wrong way to make it, but there are a few things it has to include: a graham cracker crust, lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk. As the name suggests, it originated in Key West, Florida and it’s the official dessert of the state of Florida. As the legend has it, Florida’s first millionaire, William Curry, had a cook who created the Key lime pie. Her name was Aunt Sally, but some people believe she adapted it from what fishermen made on their boats. This was in the early 20th century when they didn’t have refrigeration on boats so they relied on canned milk (sweetened condensed milk) and the egg yolks didn’t require cooking (the acid in the lime juice cooks the eggs, but most people don’t feel safe doing that now). And, of course, they’re made with Key limes which are no longer plentiful in Florida — the ones we get at the store are usually grown in Mexico (they are a bit more tart than our regular limes and much, much smaller, but regular limes are a reasonable substitute — plus, they’re easier to work with than Key limes and they’re less expensive).The idea that fishermen made it on board a vessel makes perfect sense — but we’re not here to make sense, we’re here to make Key lime pie!

Key Lime Pie

Crust:

  • 12 graham crackers (one regular packet plus three more)
  • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Filling:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest (optional)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup Key lime juice (regular lime juice is fine — freshly squeezed is best)

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Key-Lime-Pie

To make the crust, crush the graham crackers into a powder. You can do this by pulsing them in a food processor or by putting them in a sealable plastic bag and hammering them with a wooden mallet. Mix the crumbs with the sugar. Add the melted butter and mix it with your hands until you have what looks and feels like wet sand. In a 9” pie plate, press the mixture into the bottom and along the sides. Use a measuring cup to press it tightly and make it dense so it doesn’t crumble. You don’t have to make a lip around the edges — it will fall away when you serve it — but it doesn’t hurt to have it there. Bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Key-Lime-Pie

 

Place the egg yolks and lime zest in a bowl fitted to a stand mixer. Using the whip attachment, mix the ingredients on high until the yolks are creamy — 4 or 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the condensed milk and sour cream and continue mixing until everything is well-combined — occasionally scraping down the sides. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the lime juice. When it’s combined, pour the mixture into the cooled graham cracker crust. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and the pie is set — the top should be smooth with no cracks. Let cool completely on a wire rack. After about an hour, refrigerate (it’s best served cold). It’s good by itself, but a dollop of whipped cream doesn’t hurt!

 

Alternatively, you can use this recipe for mini Key lime pies — this can be made into two 4” pies or if you want to go tiny, you can use a mini muffin tin (which is great for parties!)

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or honoring Pi Day, LTD Commodities has ideas and products to make your holiday special!

 

Key-Lime-Pie

Best Places to Fish Around the Country

Fly-Fisherman-CastingThe Bassmaster Elite at Chickamauga Lake is coming up. But even if you don’t live in Tennessee, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a weekend of fishing. Here are the Tennessee, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a weekend of fishing. Here are the best places to fish around the country right now.

California

Shasta Lake in Northern California near Redding is a prime spot for angling. Both warm water and cold water fish call it home. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass make waves there along with catfish, crappie, rainbow and brown trout, and bluegill among others. According to fisherman reporting on fishsniffer.com, kokanee and king salmon are buzzing right now with trout and bass performing a great side show.

Texas

Cedar Creek Lake outside of Dallas is one of the biggest lakes in Texas – and if it’s big in Texas, it’s HUGE to the rest of us. According to Cedarcreeklake.com it has about 320 miles of shoreline so there’s plenty of room to cast your line. Largemouth and white bass, crappie and blue catfish are yours for the fishing. According to bigcrappie.com, heavy rains are making shallow water great for reeling in crappies as the catfish move to deeper waters. Cedar Creek Lake isn’t just good for the fishing – it’s also a vacation spot and is rumored to be one of the best places to retire.

Illinois

Not too far from Carbondale, Lake of Egypt is the base for some of the best fishing in Illinois. There’s about 95 miles of shoreline between the Trail of Tears State Forest and the Shawnee National Forest. It’s a privately owned lake with public access for a fee — but it’s a great recreation destination. According to lake-link.com Largemouth and smallmouth bass, white and black crappie, bluegills and carp glide through the water of Lake of Egypt. Right now bass and bluegills are biting but the bigger fish are moving to deeper water.

Florida

About halfway between Tampa and Palm Bay, you’ll find Lake Kissimmee and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes where some of Florida’s best fishing is done; that’s saying a lot because Florida is peppered with great lakes. Lake Kissimmee is known for its bass – the Florida Game and Fish laws limits angler bounty to five fish per day – only one can be more than 24 inches long. Right now, the water is warm so it’s best to do your fishing earlier in the day before the heat slows the fish down.

Fly-FishingOhio

If you’re not tempted by the deep water of Lake Erie, just south of Akron, there’s plenty of fishing to be done at Portage Lakes – a chain of five lakes connected by channels. Many bodies of water means a variety of fish – walleye, largemouth bass, redear sunfish, rainbow trout, white crappie are among your options. Right now is a good time to scoop up crappies and largemouth bass are biting.

You don’t have to be a bassmaster to reel in a good fish, but you may need a fishing license, a fishing rod and a good lead to the best lake for outdoor sports. From California to Florida, you have some ideas on where to go… now all you have to do is bait your hook!