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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Food & Dining

A pie that’s too tart? No way!

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Just when you think the world is out of Key lime pie ideas, here comes one from Michele Stuart, author of the new cookbook “Perfect Pies & More” (Ballantine, $26).

Stuart includes a recipe for Key Lime-Blackberry Chiffon Pie that looks like a winner.

Key lime pie purists, however, may want to look away.

“Although this is a somewhat untraditional combination,” Stuart writes, “The lime and blackberry flavors actually complement each other quite nicely, creating one delectably tart treat.”

Stuart folds meringue into the filling, making the creamy dessert less dense. She also includes a blackberry glacé that needs to set overnight.

“When serving, I generally cut this pie into smaller-than-normal slices (eight to 10 per pie) since the tartness makes a little bit go a long way,” she writes.

Tartness? Too much? P’shaw. Cut the slices big, I always say.

Searching for Gus

Emily North of Carrollwood says she Googled the spaghetti sauce recipe from the former Gus’ Cafe in Northdale hoping that one day someone would post the recipe.

Emily noticed that Susan Stevens wrote to this column many months ago asking for the sauce recipe and the salad dressing recipe served at the restaurant.

Emily has lived in North Tampa for almost 40 years and still has a jar of sauce she purchased from former owner Gus Priolla.

“The ingredients are listed,” she writes. “They only started putting the ingredients on the jars about a year before they closed.”

What Emily needs are the amounts of ingredients.

Can anyone help?

Leftover requests

A. Domingo of Tampa wants to make date and walnut bars. The recipe she wants includes orange juice while cooking the dates for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Beth Mainello of Tampa wants to make the salad dressing that was made tableside at Tio Pepe’s restaurant in Clearwater. She also wants to know what type of lettuce was used.

Eva Ebert wants the recipe for the mixed greens salad with vinaigrette and grilled chicken she used to enjoy at the now-closed El Pilon Restaurant in South Tampa.

Key Lime–Blackberry Chiffon Pie

From “Perfect Pies & More” by Michele Stuart (Ballantine); makes one 9-inch pie, 8 to 10 slices

For the crust:

1 prebaked 9-inch Traditional Pastry Piecrust shell

For the filling:

1/8 cup water, at room temperture

2 tablespoons gelatin granules

2 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

1½ cups sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

Pinch of salt

¾ cup Key lime juice

1 cup hot water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest

¼ cup hot water

3 cups Classic Meringue

1½ cups Blackberry Glacé

Garnish:

1 cup whipped cream

Grated lime zest

½ cup blackberries

To prepare the filling, in a small bowl, add the 1⁄8 cup of room-temperature water to the gelatin to soften. While the gelatin is softening (about 5 minutes), in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar. Continue whisking, and add the cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the Key lime juice, 1 cup hot water, butter, and Key lime zest. Transfer the filling to a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking continuously and scraping the sides of the pan frequently to prevent burning, for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture becomes bubbly and thick and almost transparent in color. Add the ¼ cup hot water to the softened gelatin and mix continuously until it dissolves. Add the gelatin to the filling, folding it in until all of the ingredients are combined. Allow the filling to cool for about 30 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, gently fold the meringue into the Key lime filling so that they are thoroughly incorporated.

To assemble the pie, pour the blackberry glacé evenly across the bottom of the pie shell. Cover this with the Key lime chiffon. Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours.

When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator, and use the whipped cream to decorate the top. I prefer to leave the center of the pie without whipped cream and to place rosettes around the perimeter of the pie to make the colors of this pie pop. Sprinkle the whipped cream with lime zest and place the blackberries on top of the whipped cream.

Key Lime–Blackberry Chiffon Pie should be served cold. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Glacé

From “Perfect Pies & More” by Michele Stuart (Ballantine); makes 2 cups

1 cup fresh blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries, mashed

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup water

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the fruit of your choice, sugar, cornstarch, and water. Stir as the ingredients heat to a rapid boil. Boil for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture attains a thick consistency. If you prefer a sauce with no seeds, strain the glacé through a small strainer to eliminate them.

Let the glacé cool to room temperature and then place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 6 hours prior to use.

Glacé can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

Recipes Lost & Found runs every other Sunday in Baylife. Seeking a recipe? Email jhouck@tampatrib.com, or write to Jeff Houck, The Tampa Tribune, P.O. Box 191, Tampa, FL 33601.

For more fun with cooking, watch Jeff chat each week with celebrity chefs and cookbook authors on the “Kitchen Party” video hangout on Google+.

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