Bob is a big pie fan. He likes pie way more than cake or cookies or other desserts and it is what he wants me to bake if I give him an open choice. His favorite pie is his mom’s lemon icebox pie. This isn’t a pie I’m familiar with and one I’ve never made, so when he brought me a few cookbooks from his mom’s house, I looked through them and found a recipe for a lemon icebox pie and decided to try it.
The original recipe I found was different than most pie recipes I am familiar with, but it did remind me a little of a key lime pie. It is a condensed milk based pie with a cookie crust and a sweet meringue on top. I did balk at the original 6 tablespoons of sugar in the meringue and altered that part of the recipe (I just couldn’t bring myself to do 6 tablespoons of sugar) including using coconut sugar in the meringue instead of regular granulated sugar.
- Nilla wafers (about 2/3 of a box)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 can condensed milk
- 3 lemons
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
Pre-head oven to 325. Melt butter. Crush vanilla wafers to make about 1 3/4 – 2 cups wafer crumbs. Butter a pie pan, including the sides. Mix wafer crumbs and melted butter and press into the pie pan. Line the sides of the pan with whole Nilla Wafers.
In a medium bowl, mix condensed milk and egg yolks. Add zest of two lemons and juice of three lemons to the milk mixture and combine well. Pour into prepared pie pan.
In a large, clean bowl beat egg white until stiff peaks begin to form. Add sugar, slowly, to desired sweetness (I think 1.5 tablespoons would be best, but since the original recipe called for 6, I just halved that to see how it would go). Cover pie filling with meringue, covering the pie completely (you could leave the whole wafers uncovered, but cover the filling completely).
Bake pie in 325 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The meringue should be lightly browned and the filling is set.
There are people who can go on vacation for weeks, sometimes months, at a time and never be ready to leave. I’m not like that. Over the years I’ve figured out that 5 to 6 days is best for me to be away, and anything longer than a week I just get cranky. I miss my furry creatures, I want my bed and my own kitchen. I want to be able to cook and I like just knowing which restaurants I can go to without scouring menus first.
When we first starting looking at this trip we picked the dates and length to be able to pay for the flight with miles. This meant we had a slightly longer vacation than is ideal for us, but decided it was worth it. So this is how we ended up with a day 7 instead of being home.
It did work out rather well, though. We had a fantastic breakfast at the B&B then headed out to the coast and up to Ft. Ross, an old Russian settlement north of where we were staying. The grounds were great, but we actually got to dip our toes in the (very cold) Pacific.
The views, the scenery, the vistas were just stunning, as much driving back on the Pacific Coast Highway as they were on the drive up. I wasn’t in love with the hairpin turns and sheer drops off the side of the road, but Bob was driving and totally enjoying himself.
As we made our way into Sausalito and then San Francisco for the night before a full day of travel home, we were ready to go. California was great, and if it was an easy drive out to Sonoma for us, I’d try to figure out a way to buy a little place off the beaten path. But, Florida is home and just too far for quick trips. We will be back, but maybe just for five days.
I wasn’t sure it could happen, but after all the great wine we had over the last few days, coupled with the scorching heat, I wasn’t up for wine. Temperatures continued to hover around 100, and I just didn’t want to be out in the heat and could not even think about drinking alcohol. Sad, but true.
We did start our day at a winery, but not for the wines. Our B&B hosts told us about a winery with an incredible garden so we decided to drive up north of Healdsburg and see the gardens. They were pretty incredible, but unfortunately half the garden was closed for maintenance. We enjoyed what we could, then headed into Healdsburg.
We wandered around Healdsburg for a little while, stopped into a yarn store (just cause) and took in some of the plaza area, but the lack of shade had us heading out of the town soon than we anticipated.
We did do something a little odd given the temperatures, but we headed to Armstrong Woods to meander through the redwoods. With all the shade, we had lower temperatures so it was a nice outing. I had not been through the redwoods since I went to Humboldt over 20 years ago. These trees were just as beautiful, and we really enjoyed the trails around the creeks and winding through the forest. It was a nice way to end the day.