America Eats Tavern, in Washington, D.C., is a collaboration of ThinkFoodGroup and the Foundation for the National Archives, and was inspired by the exhibit "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" The menu showcases American history, each dish telling a story, with chef Jose Andres' modern presentation of American classics.
Limes arrived in the Florida Keys in the 1830s, thanks to a U.S. Consul from Yucatan, Mexico. Two decades later, sweetened condensed milk was invented and the new invention rapidly took hold in the South, where fresh milk spoiled quickly. By the end of the century, the two ingredients were combined to create the famous unbaked pie, not long before a hurricane wiped out the original key limes in the 1920s.
Key Lime Pie
3 1/2 cups Condensed Milk
1 1/2 cups Fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp. Lime Zest
1 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
5 each Gelatin sheets
In a bowl, whisk the condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice and yogurt until fully incorporated. Take 1/2 cup of the lime cream and warm it slightly over low heat in a pot.
Add the gelatin sheets. Stir constantly until the gelatin is melted.
Whisk the gelatin mixture back into the rest of the lime cream. Strain the lime cream through a fine mesh strainer.
Pour the lime cream into a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lime cream.
The next day, whisk together the lime cream until smooth. Transfer lime cream into a pastry bag with a star tip.
Graham Cracker Crumbs:
2 cups Graham Crackers
1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Sugar
1/8 tsp. Salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a bowl, crush the graham crackers into crumbs. Mix in sugar and salt.
In a small pot, melt the butter and combine with the other ingredients. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Spread the mixture out.
Bake until golden brown and crunchy, about 15 minutes.
Let the cookie cool completely. Once cool, break up into rough, small pieces (the size of gravel).
3 each Large Eggs
1/2 cup Sugar
Separate egg whites. Reserve yolks for another use.
In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whisk until peaks form in the egg whites. Transfer to a pastry bag.
2/3 cup Lime Juice
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Soy Lecithin (available at Whole Foods or nutrition stores)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together with a hand blender. Keep refrigerated.
For the plates:
2 cups Lime Cream
1/4 cup Meringue
1/4 teaspoon Lime zest
1/2 cup Graham Cracker crumbs
1/2 cup Lime Air
Pipe 1/4 of the lime cream in a ribbon style in the middle of the plate. Pipe about 1 tablespoon of meringue on top of one corner of the lime ribbon. Sprinkle lime zest on top of the lime ribbon.
Place about 2 teaspoons of the graham cracker crumbs on the other corner of the lime ribbon.
With a hand blender, mix the lime air until it becomes frothy "air."
Using a spoon, gently scoop air off the top of the mix and place on empty spaces on the plate, 2 tablespoons on one side of the ribbon and 1 tablespoon on the other side.
For more info:
- America Eats Tavern
- "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" - National Archives exhibition running through January 3, 2012
For more recipes from this year's "Food Issue"!