|L to R: Scott Horsley, me, Les Cook|
|Special delivery: banana cream pie! (photo by Madeline King)|
|photo by Madeline King, IPR|
Their favorite of my pies, hands down, was the key lime. (The recipe is below.) And guess what? I didn't make that one! Doug did. He's a good pie baker too. But then he had a good teacher. Ha!
I've done the full RAGBRAI ride three times, starting when I was 19 years old -- all the way back in 1981. (RAGBRAI started in 1973 as a bet between two newspaper reporters and is now going into its 48th year.) I've jumped on for a few days at a time during the past nine years I've been back in Iowa, yet never fully committing to the whole week.
But after riding this year -- after getting caught up in the contagious joy and unity of the fellow cyclists (ranging from 10-year-olds to 93-year-olds), after making new friends from all parts of the world, after getting swept up in the common goal of reaching the Mississippi River, after feeling the sense of accomplishment and freedom that comes from covering great distances under your own power, and after breathing in all of rural Iowa's beauty on those car-free country roads...after all that, I am already planning on doing the entire weeklong ride next year.
I even have a team name already -- Team Pieowa.
I posted my team name on Facebook last week. I was only half-joking, but like most of the crazy adventures that happen in my life, it gained momentum almost immediately after several people left comments. They wanted to join, someone offered to help with the support crew, and the next thing you know the idea has gone from wishful thinking to really happening.
bout the sore muscles and sunburn, and I'll be excited to do it all over again.
Next summer -- July 19 - 25, 2020 -- you will find me, along with thousands of other people, pedaling across Iowa in a community effort of endurance and fun.
I hope you'll come along for the ride.
For more info on RAGBRAI: https://ragbrai.com
KEY LIME PIE
5 to 6 tbsp butter, melted
Optional ingredients: 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar (I make mine without these)
Crush crackers by putting in a ziplock bag and roll with rolling pin. Mix melted butter into cracker crumbs, then press into pie plate. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
FILLING1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks (save 2 egg whites)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (To get ½ cup of juice will take about 6 Persian limes.)
2 tsp lime zest (optional but zesty!)
Whisk 4 egg yokes, add condensed milk and lime juice.
Optional step, but one that I always do: Beat 2 egg whites until stiff and fold into this mixture. This will make your filling lighter.
Pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool, then chill for at least 3 hours. Top with whipped cream. Store in refrigerator up to a week.
TOPPING:1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar
Beat cream and sugar until peaks form. Spread over top of cooled pie.
Instead of little key limes, you can also use “regular” limes, also known as “Persian” limes. They are bigger and juicier and thus easier to squeeze, but are said to be less tangy than key limes. However, I did a taste test with a few key lime pie aficionados in Key West, people who swear by using key limes, and they all voted for the pie made with the Persian limes. Even the experts were fooled. Go figure. (This is why I insist on questioning authority and thus dispelling myths.)
You can use bottled lime juice. Recommended brands are Nellie and Joe’s or Manhattan (unsweetened). It’s a lot faster and easier than squeezing those mini key limes and will keep your fingers from pruning. That said, I always prefer using fresh fruit.