I’m not a great one for sentiment or symbolic gestures but there is something about the shape of a heart that makes me come over all funny. I don’t know what it is, that it’s just a perfect shape and very pleasing to my eye or that it is a symbol of love? Am I more of a romantic than I think I am? I don’t know. But in the lead up to Valentines Day when we are all assaulted by everything that comes with it commercially, I have to admit I like seeing all the love hearts around, a lot.
Despite this I was surprised when Ben told me he had something for our shop for Valentines Day. But, how cute! Little wooden tea light candle holders made by his nine year old neighbour in Dorset called Edmund.
And I have to say, how nice to see a young person being skilled and entrepreneurial.
So I am happy we have these in stock and I am happy we have, as always, our Loving Cups. To let people toast love, unity & friendship in a traditional way.
Loving Cups have the same effect on me as Love Hearts, I don’t mind there being a lot around. Last year I bought a plain Leeds Creamware Loving Cup and painted onto it my own coat of arms then gave it to my boyfriend for his birthday which is not long before Valentines Day, the central motif being….. a love heart. This year I made him a heart shaped Key Lime Pie. But everything I bake in my house is heart shaped because it is baked with love, so this is nothing special.
However, the Key Lime Pie is very special.
Ingredients for Key Lime Pie
For the base 175g/6oz digestive biscuits 80g/3oz butter 50g/2oz caster sugar
For the filling 3 large free-range eggs, separated 2 limes, finely grated zest 125ml/4½fl oz lime juice 210ml/7½fl oz condensed milk 80g/3oz caster sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract pinch salt ½ tsp cream of tartar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. For the pastry base, finely crush the biscuits by placing into a plastic bag and bashing with a rolling pin (alternatively, pulse to crumbs using a food processor). Transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then pour over the biscuit crumbs. Add the sugar, then mix well to combine. Evenly spread the biscuit mixture in a 23cm/9in pie case, making sure to cover the sides of the tin as well. Level off any excess biscuit mixture. 4. For the filling, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice and condensed milk until smooth and creamy, then mix into the egg yolk mixture. Pour the mixture into the pie case.
5. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Gradually fold in the sugar, vanilla extract, salt and cream of tartar, then whisk again until stiff peaks form. Spoon the meringue mixture over the filling in the pie case, using a fork to form the meringue into peaks.
6. Bake the pie in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue is golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place into the fridge to chill completely before serving…. with love.
So I think I can sum up this blog in stating the following:
– If you want to give someone special something special, made by nine year old from Dorset, for Valentines Day , then pop into the shop.
– Same again if you want to traditionally toast friendship, unity & love, or you need something nice to put some spring flowers into.
– I’ve pretty much filled you all in on what I got my boyfriend for his birthday’s over the last couple of years (also some cologne, socks & an old map of Liverpool but it was the wrong area)
– It’s quite clear and can be confirmed that I am stupidly romantic ( I am very surprised by this)
– Everybody should make Key Lime Pie and share it with people they love any time of the year.
Happy St Valentines Day! xx