A Late Evening Snack: Mother’s Day Baking

I did some baking for the family’s Mother’s Day brunch. My brother specifically requested a key lime pie. I also made a Torta de Santiago. Torta de Santiago, sometimes Tarta de Santiago, is a regional dessert from Gailicia, Spain (torta is Galician, while tarta is Spanish) and was created in the Middle Ages for pilgrims. Which helps to explain its name: Saint James’ cake. It is an almond flour cake and there are several variations. Because I don’t eat refined carbohydrates in any significant quantities, I went with an almond flour cake recipe that is only sweetened with honey, not refined sugar. And yes, I know that honey is still a refined carbohydrate. I also know it doesn’t mess up my system the way refined sugar does. Torta de Santiago get lemon zest, but I decided to go with orange zest. And I didn’t add brandy or any of the other alcohol that can be found in some torta de Santiago recipes. The recipe I used can be found here. The only addition I made is the orange zest. It is very easy to make. One other note: torta de Santiago are traditionally finished with powder sugar that is applied over a stylized cross stencil. I went with fresh blueberries instead. Here’s another picture.

One other important note: the first time I made this cake I used a spring form pan. It came out with nice even sides and a nice even top. This time I just used a silicone cake pan and, as you can see, the sides are slightly rounded and the top is not even. I have learned my lesson.

On to the key lime pie!

The key lime pie is the same recipe that I posted here back in February 2016.

Key Lime Pie


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted

2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk

1 cup key lime or regular lime juice*

2 whole eggs


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream, and slices of key lime or key lime peel.

I use the Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice.

Open thread!

40 replies
  1. 1
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I think I’m going to go cut and have a piece of the torta de Santiago. I made two of them on Saturday. One for the brunch and one for me!

  2. 2
    Leto says:

    was created in the Middle Ages for pilgrims. the moops.


  3. 3
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Have an extra slice for me.

    The recipe sounds a little like the walnut flour cake I sometimes make for Passover.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Leto: @Ohio Mom: Actually because it is almond flour, it was perfect for Passover. I made one for the seder I was invited to. It was so nice of those folks during the Inquisition to create a parve Passover ready dessert!

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    Key lime pie😊😍😋👏🙌😌

  6. 6
    Duane says:

    Adam ‘n da kitchen!

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Those both look delicious, Adam! It’s been years since I had a really good, authentic Key Lime pie.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That recipe is very easy to make. And I’m sure you’ll be able to get the key lime juice at the store in Atlanta.

  9. 9
    Leto says:

    @rikyrah: Avalune really likes key lime pie, so I might do this for her birthday on Thursday.

  10. 10

    @Adam L Silverman: In fairness, nobody was expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    That’s similar to the recipe I use, but because I am a purist, I use fresh key limes. I usually have to squeeze a bagful of key limes to get enough juice for a pie — those little fuckers yield about 10 drops of juice per half lime. Some folks claim there’s no difference in the taste of regular vs. key limes, but they are wrong.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Mike in NC says:

    @Leto: We’ve been invaded here by Publix, so Key Lime pies are hard to resist.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: I use the key lime juice because I’m not going to Whole Foods for key limes, let alone anything else. Also, because when I’m not in Florida, I can’t get key limes, but I can get the real key lime juice.

  15. 15
    Barbara says:

    This looks like a good recipe — one tip I learned from Julia Child is to put a bit of sugar with almonds when grinding them to make flour, because it avoids having the almonds turn into paste. You would adjust the amount of other sweeteners to compensate.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Publix sells key limes! (Not that you should spend an hour getting hideous hand-cramps squeezing limes — Nellie & Joe’s is good stuff!)

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    69 blueberries. 69.

    /Rain Man

    Been waiting for a foodie thread. Those of you with an Instant Pot have probably encountered a situation when things sometimes burn just a bit on the bottom of the stainless steel insert, as when making a big batch o’ rice or pasta. It’s still a breeze to clean even so, however I recently sprang for the ceramic non-stick insert and have found that alleviates burning in such cases. Also as much of a snap to clean as is the stainless steel version.

    Needed a second insert pot anyway, nice to have a choice of types.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    It is daylight here right now, and I do not break fast for another eight hours. Why do you torment me with pictures of delicious cake and pie?

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Tip: Roll the uncut limes on the counter while pressing down on them firmly with the flat of your hand, then microwave the whole limes for 15 or 20 seconds. You’ll get more juice more readily.

  20. 20
    dnfree says:

    @Mike in NC: I had a Publix key lime pie when visiting Florida in February and I was underwhelmed. Does their version have coconut or something strange like that?

  21. 21
    Wag says:

    Your almond cake sounds delicious, but complicated. When we went to Barcelona we rented an apartment from an Australian woman I had been a chef in Barcelona for 15 years. Sophie came to our apartment and gave us a Spanish cooking class, which was amazing. The desert was an incredibly simple almond cake.

    Almond cake
    Using a kitchen scale weigh three eggs, break into a bowl and scramble
    Mix in weights of almond flour and sugar, each equal to the weight of the eggs
    Add the zest from your citrus of choice
    Top with powdered sugar and blueberries (or any other fruit of your choice)

    Pour the batter into a buttered glass baking dish (our use a 9 inch glass pie pan) and bake at 350° until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    Top with powdered sugar and blueberries (or any other fruit of your choice)

    From My Barcelona Kitchen by Sophie Ruggles

  22. 22
    dnfree says:

    I’m going to have to try the key lime recipe. I have found that some of the commercially available pies contain gelatin.

  23. 23
    Wag says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    “Our chief weapon is surprise, surprise and fear, fear and surprise. Our *two* weapons are fear and surprise, and ruthless efficiency. Our *three* weapons are fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency and an almost fanatical dedication to the pope!”

  24. 24
    frosty says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: We’ve had a few, on our Snowbird Road Trips. The best was in Key West but we’ve had a few good ones here and there too.

  25. 25
    frosty says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I wonder if Monty Python thought that sketch would last 40 years.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barbara: I use a ready to go almond flour.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: I am so sorry to torment you with so many hours left till your iftar.

  28. 28
    hotshoe says:

    Funny, I made a lime pie for Mother’s Day brunch also. Don’t want to claim it was “key lime” because I used regular fresh limes for juice.
    I use one of those squeezers-with-handles which you can get at Target or at a Mexican market.
    They make it easy to squeeze little key limes, if you happen to have key limes available.
    Besides a couple of knives, those squeezers are probably the only kitchen tools I would take with me if I move.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dnfree: There are two issues with Publix pies. The first is that they changed all the ovens in their bakeries and, as a result, the pies don’t bake evenly. So the bottoms are burned so the tops are baked properly or the bottoms are just right, but the tips are overbaked. Or both the bottoms and tops are overbaked/burned. The store bakery managers are not amused and it is one reason you never see the custard pies anymore as they were constantly burning.

    In regard to the key lime pies, they sometimes make the mango key lime pies and, occasionally, the coconut key lime pies. So you may have gotten either one of these rather than just a key lime pie.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @frosty: Most likely not. No one could’ve expected it.

  31. 31
    Mike in NC says:

    @dnfree: Maybe the weed I smoked made it taste better…

  32. 32
    joel hanes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It occurs to me that many of the deep-tradition Passover foods are hard rations for hard travel, something you’d tather and make ten or twenty pounds of before fleeing into the wilderness with only what you can carry.

  33. 33
    joel hanes says:

    We make the nutflour rolled-in-powdered-sugar Christmas teacakes from fresh-ground pecans, but almonds work about as well, and are a different flavor, which I like _nearly_ as well as pecans.
    Some year I’d like to make a batch of each, and compare.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @joel hanes: Actually much of it is crap adapted and/or created in the Pale of Settlement over a thousand years after the exodus. If you’ve ever seen Sephardi and Mizrahi matzoh, it is made fresh, it is basically super thin pita. In fact it reminds me of the fresh pita the bedouin make fresh for every meal. They mix the water, flour, a bit of salt, roll it out quickly, and bake it on a heated rock or in a tabun oven or a small, portable tanoor. This wallboard crap is solely an Ashkenazi creation of the Middle Ages from eastern Europe.

  35. 35
    KrackenJack says:

    They both look delicious. Key lime pie and carrot cake are two things I’m tempted to try wherever I go. I have a spicy carrot cake recipe that remains my benchmark, but I can’t say I have found a similarly good key lime pie recipe.

  36. 36
    Kathleen says:

    @Betty Cracker: My son in law makes key lime pie using the limes from his tree (he and my daughter live in Tampa). It is sooooo good! He’s an awesome cook/baker, as are my two grandsons.

  37. 37
    greenergood says:

    Variation on the key lime pie crust: substitute crushed ginger snaps for the graham crackers – and add more powdered ginger – yum!

  38. 38
    Leto says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    In fact it reminds me of the fresh pita the bedouin make fresh for every meal.

    I know this comment is forever late, but OMG do
    I miss that from my FOB. The bakery was right beside our compound, it was cooked three times a day, and I would go by there once a week to get just one. They were hot, so fresh, so good… just another one of those things in life you didn’t know you were going to miss until it’s gone.

  39. 39
    Kristine says:

    That cake looks wonderful. I bookmarked the recipe.

    I have key lime pie at least once every time I visit Florida. It just tastes better down there.

  40. 40
    Mart says:

    @NotMax: Thanks for the Instant Pot ceramic insert link.

    SIL said key lime pie is his favorite, and wife loves Bobby Flay, so of course wound up with a very expensive but very good Bobby Flay key lime pie recipe – http://www.foodnetwork.com/rec.....pe-1923941” rel=”nofollow”

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