Mrs. Butters’ Secret Key Lime Pie Recipe

“Frozen Key Lime Pie recipe?” Fern Butters asked. “Child, I’ll take that secret with me to the grave.”

Fern Butters’ frozen key lime pie was legend. Every time President Harry S Truman went through Islamorada on Upper Matecumbe Key on his way to the “Little White House” in Key West, he stopped. More specifically, he

stopped at Fern Inn for some of Fern Butters’ frozen key lime pie.

And so did other folks, commoners and dignitaries alike-Papa Hemingway, Cordell Hull, Douglas Fairbanks, Julia Child . And me.

I didn’t see any of those famous folks. Except Julia Child. And I didn’t know who she was. Ignorance of youth.

But I did eat Mrs. Butters’ frozen key lime pie.

I wasn’t a child when I asked her about the recipe. I had recipes for my grandmother’s compressed fruit cake. And my grandfather’s elderberry wine. And a passel of others I’d collected from near and far. So I thought her recipe would fit right in with my collection.

Not so. I was a young pastor at her little church in Matecumbe. But I could have been Gabriel himself.

And could never obtain that closely guarded secret.

Many had tried to replicate her recipe, but without success. I saw Julia Child once try to wheedle the recipe from Fern Butters with no success. I heard she tied to duplicate the recipe-again, no success.

Of course, that may just be a legend. It’s believable. Everyone who ever ate her frozen key lime pie coveted the recipe.

Well, Fern is now dead. The Fern Inn has changed names. Fern took the recipe to the grave with her.

But, recently her daughter called me up. She said that after all these years she was going through her mother’s letters and things and trying to clean out an old dresser drawer packed with old letters and notes.

She came across an envelope with my name on it. She wanted to know if I were the same preacher that served the little church down in Matecumbe.

This was a strange event. I had moved to Wisconsin serving churches there for several years. When I returned to South Florida, I was a professor in a college for 33 years. I retired from the college and served a church in North Miami Beach for 13 years. I retired again. Then answered a desperation call to serve as chaplain at a retirement community. I just happened to be in the area where Fern Butters’ daughter could contact me.

She sent me the envelope, now yellow with age. Fern had been dead for some 40 or so years. I opened the envelope. The note read:

This is what you asked for. Use it wisely.

And there was the recipe!

Now I’ve wondered what to do with this recipe. I could, of course, just publish it. Or I could write a book about my days as a young pastor among the Keys Conchs, as the folks there called themselves. I might even sell it [How long would that last!?]

But I’ve decided to give it away. I’m not even going to swear the recipients to secrecy. I’m just going to give it to folks who have a love for unusual recipes and for historical recipes. I have a buddy from North Carolina, for example, whose family has a recipe for pumpkin soup handed down since pioneer days.

And then there’s my friend from Ladies Island in Beaufort County South Carolina. She claims her ancestors created Frogmore Stew.

There’s an aunt in Western Maryland says she will give me the recipe for “Puddin’,” a meat product that’s out of this world when used on pancakes. I’ve no idea what the ingredients are, but I long to find out.

Folks that are interested in these kinds of recipe and are willing to share their own favorites are invited to subscribe at no cost to COOKIN’ GOOD NEWSLETTER at

Not only will subscribers receive a copy of Fern Butters’ frozen key lime pie recipe, but will also receive a monthly issue of the newsletter at no cost. Everyone is invited to send their own unique recipes.

And invite your friends to subscribe. They’ll love you for telling them about it.

But for those who are simply curious about the recipe, for those who don’t want to visit the web site, for those who don’t mind missing out on all the wonderful features found in Cookin’ Good Gazette, here’s the recipe.

With Fern’s secret ingredient [forgive me, Fern!].

Mrs. Butters’ Secret

Key Lime Pie Recipe


1 Cup sweetened condensed milk

6 egg yolks [save whites]

½ Cup key lime juice [genuine key lime]

6 egg whites [I told you to save them!]

1 Tablespoon cream of tartar

1 Cup sugar

1 graham cracker pie crust [preferred-regular crust permissible]

½ pint secret ingredient



Add yolks to condensed milk and beat 8 minutes

Add secret ingredient and beat until well mixed

Add key lime juice and mix well

Fold into pie shell

Place in freezer until well set. Keep unused portion in the freezer for up to a week [if it lasts that long!]


While pie sets beat 6 egg whites with cream of tartar for 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup of sugar and whip until meringue makes peaks when beater is removed from mixture.

Add to top of pie

Brown in 350◦ oven and cool in refrigerator for 15 or more minutes for a regular pie or in the freezer for an hour if it is frozen key lime pie.

Secret ingredient. ½ pint of soft vanilla ice cream.

Don’t laugh. The addition of this secret ingredient has stumped many a jealous cook and chef, including, as I said, Julia Child. Reveal it and you take the mystery out of your own ability to produce “Harry Truman tested” Frozen Key Lime pie.

Source by Larry Winebrenner

Cooking With Syrup: A Guide

Consider cooking with syrup if you want to avoid using plain sugar in your recipes. Some of these syrups are natural and they can fill an important role when cooking sweet dishes or when baking. We are going to look at 5 main syrups:

Golden Syrup

Golden Syrup is a by-product from sugar refining and it is made from concentrated liquid white sugar. Another variation is dark syrup which is less refined, darker in color obviously, and it has a stronger taste.

Golden syrup is easily available in supermarkets. You may have to look at little harder for Dark syrup, perhaps going to one of the large supermarkets.

Some eat golden syrup spread on toast or tea cakes. But generally it is using in baking or in sweet dishes.

Here are some examples using golden syrup in sweets and desserts:

Treacle Tarts: mix golden syrup with breadcrumbs and lemon juice to form the filling. Flapjacks: Mix the golden syrup with the rolled oats for a chewy texture. Sponge Pudding: Golden syrup gives the sponge pudding it’s flavor and color.

A note on storage: It keeps for up to a year and even if you notice it starts to crystallize it is still usable.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is derived from sweetcorn. It is not so flavorfull as golden syrup and it is a little thinner but (especially in the USA) it can be used just the same as golden syrup.

It is commonly used over pancakes rather than the expensive maple syrup.

Maple Syrup

Maple syrup comes from the sap of certain Maple trees, especially in Canada, and it is reduced through boiling until it becomes a pale, thin syrup.

The process is quite involved and pure Maple syrup can be quite expensive. For those who have tasted it though, nothing else will do! Especially on pancakes.

You can get cheaper varieties which contain a lesser percentage of pure Maple syrup. It’s always good to check the label. If it seems cheap, it probably is not 100% Maple syrup.

Apart from using it on waffles and pancakes, some like to pour it over ice cream or on sponge puddings.


Molasses is heavy, thick and dark, rich in iron and vitamins, and therefore very good for you! It is a natural syrup taken from cane juice.

Molasses has a natural acidity and for that reason some recommend using bicarbonate of soda (half a teaspoon to 8 oz of molasses) in order to counteract the acidity.

It can be used in fruit cakes, and it is particularly good in gingerbreads.

You can store it for about a year and it is generally easy to find in most supermarkets.

Black Treacle

Black treacle is derived from sugar refining and it is a man made product. If you prefer a slightly sweeter taste in your baking or sweet dishes, use black treacle rather than molasses. It is not so bitter and thick as molasses.

Well, that’s the round up of the five most commonly used syrups. Start experimenting the next time you start baking or preparing a sweet dish and instead of reaching for the sugar, see how you can start cooking with syrup.

Source by Mike Jones

Having a Boston Tea Party Theme This Year? Find Out What Colonial Americans Enjoyed

Having a Boston tea party theme will make for a memorable party for years to come. Food is always at the top of the list, so some fun and easy Fourth of July recipes will get you off to a good start.

Let’s first start with your theme. The Boston Tea Party was a major event in American history. It was the one of the events that was a catalyst to the American Revolution. These events lead to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and our celebrating the Fourth of July every year. This is a great time to mix learning history with some fun activities.

If you want to keep true to your theme, the food can be quite varied. It seems that the colonists did not have standard meals; they ate what was available to them. More often than not, the well off family that lived in the colonies was served two courses.

The first course, for their supper, included several meats plus meat puddings and/or deep meat pies. These pies contained fruits and various spices. They also were served pancakes and fritters. Accompaniments were side dishes of sauces, pickles and catsups.

Desserts appeared with the second course. An assortment of fresh, cooked, or dried fruits, some custard, sweet tarts were offered when available. Cakes served were of many varieties: pound cake, gingerbread, spice cake and cheeses were also offered.

It is also important to note that the colonists loved chocolate and tea. These were the two most popular drinks in colonial times.

So in keeping with the colonists love for tea, let’s explore some memorable Fourth of July recipes for your party.

Let’s start with what you want to serve to drink. If you want to stick to the red, white and blue theme, you can offer drinks that go with your theme. How does lemonade iced tea, Boston iced tea and a blueberry granita sound? Yummy, right?

If you love watermelon, you may want to consider watermelon tea spiked slushes. This is a great cool treat for a hot day.

Fresh fruit is plentiful this time of year. Hollow out a watermelon and refill it with fresh fruit mixed with tea syrup. It keeps the fruit nice and adds another taste dimension to the fruit.

More Having a Boston Tea Party Theme This Year?

For something different from the regular hamburgers and hot dogs, try orange spiced tea barbeque sauce on chicken or ribs.

Turkey was a big favorite in colonial times. Try grilled or roasted turkey with spicy cranberry tea sauce for a new taste treat.

How does red, white and blue potato salad sound? Your guests will be talking about this potato salad for a long time. The guests don’t need to know this is an easy thing to accomplish. Simply purchase baby red rose, baby white rose and small blue (yes there are blue potatoes) and put them in your traditional potato salad. It is just a fun way to keep the patriotic theme and have fun too!

Since the second course was dessert for the colonists, this is a great time to address what you may want to serve. Cup cakes, pound cake and even snicker doodles were very popular treats in colonial times.

The colonists loved chocolate. You may want to serve a Chocolate chocolate tea cake. This is a simple cake to make and will be sure to please.

In colonial times there was what was called the American 1234 cake. This cake was to make it easy to remember the ingredients. Of course, as other ingredients became available, the bakers added extra ingredients that become available to them.

Apple pie, apple dumplings were another dessert staple for the colonists. Consider making an apple cranberry green tea pie.

Of course, ice cream was a rare treat in colonial days. It has been told that when the signers of the Declaration of Independence were preparing this document, it was in the very heat of summer. The windows were kept closed so that everything that went on in the meetings was kept secret. The one and only treat the Continental Congress looked forward to everyday, was a serving of ice cream.

I keeping with the Boston tea party, consider making home made tea ice cream. Think about raspberry tea, blueberry tea and white almond tea ice cream. It is easy to make and very refreshing. The Continental Congress would have loved the irony of tea ice cream!

A Boston tea party theme with these types of Fourth of July foods will create a memorable time that will be talked about for many years to come.

Source by Connie Bednar