Tarta de limon y macadamia (Key lime macadamia tart)

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The first dessert I ever made was of course incredibly simple since I was probably around 10 years old. Is a very popular lime charlotte or “carlota de limon” that uses limes (which I got from the tree in my house), condensed milk and maria cookies.

I had been craving this dessert for a few weeks but I wanted to do a grown up version of it. I thought I could use some of the same ingredients and make a tart, then I found a recipe for a macadamia key lime tart which I thought sounded pretty good so I gave it a try.

I love key limes and use them a lot. Whether on a pico de gallo, to finish up a soup, a marinade or a dessert I pretty much always have them on hand. The surprise in this recipe was the crust, I really thought the use of macadamia was not going to make a huge different since is a nut without a lot of flavor but it really came together nicely adding both texture and flavor. Then I also used Maria cookies which are like the graham cracker cookie in Mexico, slighltly sweet and crunchy they were perfect for this dessert. I will definitely use this crust again with some other yummy fillings : )

Ok, so you will need:

  • 1 1/2 package Maria cookies, crushed (about 2 cups) *they are pretty easy to find in Texas, you could replace for graham
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar if using graham crackers
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime rind
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 12 limes) *I like my lime desserts on the tangy side, use less if you want and taste
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine

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Stir crushed cookies and macadamia (I crushed both in a blender) and pour over them the melted butter and mix. You are looking for a sand like texture that stays together if you press it, not a dough like or nothing heavy. Firmly press crumb mixture evenly on bottom and up sides of a 12-inch tart pan.

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Bake crust at 350° for 7 to 8 minutes. Let it cool

Whisk together eggs, grated lime rind, fresh lime juice and sugar in a non-aluminum saucepan over low heat. Cook this mixture whisking constantly, 8 minutes or until lime mixture is thickened and bubbly. Please dont forget to keep whisking or it will turn into scrambled eggs. For a while you may feel that the mixture is not really thickening but believe eventually it will and it will change in texture in a few seconds. Then add the butter let it melt and keep whisking until is all incorporated. Let it cool. As I said I like citrus desserts on the citrusy side, so if you’re not sure add just 1/2 cup of fresh juice and adjust accordingly.

Pour filling into prepared crust; cover and chill 4 hours or overnight. Remove sides of tart pan and garnish with more lime rind if desired.

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buen provecho : )

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agua de sandía

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When you live in a place where there is not that many falling leaves for fall and no snow for winter you look at seasons by the fruit or vegetables available to eat, at least I do. So for the last few weeks I have been eating a lot of watermelon.

Aguas frescas, basically fruit sugar and water made into a drink are a good thing to do when you have some fruit leftovers. Now this is not really a recipe per se but more of a reminder that watermelon is in season and is hot outside so you should buy some and make some good agua de sandia (watermelon water).

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of chopped watermelon (seeds removed if any)

– 4 cups of water

– 1/2 cup of sugar (you could use less or more depending on how sweet the watermelon is)

– Juice of one big lime or 2 small ones

Mix all ingredients in a blender and drink, if your watermelon is cold mix water and sugar first then add the fruit.

Add ice and enjoy!

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Torta de elote (Corn Torte)

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A lifelong foodie, I was the kind of girl that would watch cooking shows instead of cartoons. They always gave me the feeling that I was learning and well if there is something I like to do is to learn. Until a few weeks ago I had never seen a food show in English that would showcase Mexican food as Pati does on her PBS show “Pati’s mexican table”.  Her authentic homemade approach shows the true complexity of the Mexican cuisine and the passion and nostalgia that a born and raised mexican has for mexican food.

I particularly enjoyed the show when she talked about the french influences on the Mexican cuisine and made this corn torte that is not corn bread but more of a souffle with corn incorporated on it. A simple light recipe due to the use of rice flour is not too complicated and perfect for the season.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
  • 6 1/4 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen/defrosted corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated into yolks and whites
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a little butter to grease an 8 1/2- or 9-inch square baking dish.

Combine the corn kernels and milk in a blender or food processor; pulse to form a coarse puree. I used fresh corn but you could also use frozen.

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Before you start make sure that both your eggs and butter are at room temperature.

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Combine the rice flour and baking powder in a bowl. Combine the corn kernels and milk in a blender or food processor; pulse to form a coarse puree.

Separate your eggs making sure that no egg yolk ends with the egg white otherwise they wont rise.

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Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer on high speed until creamy and lightened. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the sugar. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated and fluffy and when the butter looks pale.

Reduce the speed to low; add the egg yolks one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. On low speed, gradually and alternately add the rice flour mixture and the heavy cream, beating until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the corn-milk puree and beat on low speed.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate, clean bowl on medium and then high speed to form stiff peaks.

Gently fold about a fifth of the egg whites into corn batter until no trace of white remains, then fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to deflate them; some white streaks may remain. It’s ok if it doesn’t look all combined. Then transfer to the baking dish, spreading the mixture evenly. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until springy to the touch and lightly browned.

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I baked mine on a larger dish therefore the cooking time was less than instructed on the recipe, so keep checking on it until you see the brown color. Sprinkle some powder sugar and enjoy.

buen provecho! : )

(based on this recipe)