Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Memories of Shells and Pie

Hello and welcome to Calamity Kate's 150th blog post!

Growing up, I spent a few weeks a year with my snowbird grandparents in their home in Sanibel Island, Florida. I always say I spent half my childhood in Florida with my grandparents, while this is not true, but Sanibel was my home and every time I think about my grandparents and Sanibel, I become utterly and desperately  homesick.  My grandparents are gone and their home was sold, but there are a few pieces of Sanibel that I have here with me in Indiana.

I have some of the shells that my grandmother gathered, Sanibel shells are small but they make up for that with some crazy colors and if you look hard enough you can find orange and purple tinged shells all over the beaches of Sanibel.  I have my memories of family gatherings, parties and crazy, drawn out games of jenga and drawers of dreidels and all of my cousins drawing and decorating plates and mugs (like these).  But the best memories I have of Sanibel and spending time with my grandparents was (no surprise) the food. 
We used to cook and bake all the time in Indiana, but in Sanibel we would go out to the most fun and crazy restaurants like... The Bubble Room , The Lazy Flamingo, and my personal favorite, The Mucky Duck.  The Lazy Flamingo was a crazy little hole in the wall with a boat moor/dock feel and each table had a roll of paper towels. They had tons of great bar food but my favorite were the buffalo wings (mild) and key lime pie.  I loved the greasy delicious-ness of the chicken wings against the cool and tangy key lime pie... Oh how I miss Sanibel. But I found this receipt and I was determined to make it... so now I need to go find buffalo wings! Enjoy!!

Key Lime ... or Not Pie!
recipe from Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies
makes one 9-inch pie

4 egg yolks
1 rounded tablespoon grated lime zest
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, made with Key limes or regular limes (I used this)
extra lime zest to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 325˚F
Whisk egg yolks and lime zest together in a bowl for about 2 minutes, until a light greenish yellow color. Whisk in the condensed milk, then lime juice and set aside for about 5 minutes, until the filling thickens and the whisk leaves tracks in it.  Spread the filling evenly into the prepared crust.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until almost completely set. The filling should wobble, a bit when the pan is jiggled. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before slicing. (I waited 5 hours and it was easy to slice and serve.
This sweet and tangy key lime pie is one of the easiest and best pies I have ever made. It is the perfect pie for a hot, humid day! 
Graham Cracker Crust
recipe from Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies
makes one 9-inch pie crust

1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon lime zest, optional

Preheat the oven to 350˚F
Pour the crumbs in a small bowl and stir in the sugar. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and mix thoroughly, add in optional lime zest. Press the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie plate.
Bake the empty crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until  dark golden brown (it will continue to harden as it cools.) Cool the crust on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before filling. This crust can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.


  1. Looks yummy but i would need to make Gluten free for Miss J.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful pie. And looks so gorgeous too.

    Plus it is easy enough even I could bake it.

    Lovely memories too!



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