taste: key* lime pie

* Featured limes may not actually be Key limes.

Friends, I apologize for a very short and lazy post on this pie, without even a picture of the finished product. But essentially this is a PSA: Key* lime pie is the easiest damn pie in the world to make. It is easy as pie. Really. I used the Pioneer Woman‘s recipe (original here – her pictures are excellent, and I swear mine looked just like that) and it was an excuse to use up some of the glut of limes we’ve had sitting around since the wedding, making me feel guilty every time I open the fridge door and it’s *not* to make margaritas. As for the Key lime/regular lime question, I think there’s already enough sugar in this pie to make tart limes actually preferable. Whisper: I think this might actually be the best [key] lime pie I’ve ever had.

1. Preheat the oven to 350° and dig out a shallow 9in pie plate. Take 18 Graham crackers (we used original Keebler’s) – about 9oz – and crush them mercilessly into submission, either in a food processor (boo!) or in a Ziploc bag using a heavy object and plenty of pent-up aggression (yay!)

2. Put the now thoroughly humiliated crumbs in a bowl and add 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup butter, melted in the microwave, and if you’re feeling frisky, 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Scrunch together with your hands, and then scoop out and press into the pie plate. The crust will be thick – do your best to approximate a pie-crust shape. Pop into the oven for 5 minutes then pull out to cool slightly (a handy windowsill is your friend here.)

3. While the crust is cooking, zest 2 limes (to yield a heaping tablespoon of zest) and squeeze those two, plus 4-6 more limes (to yield 1/2 cup juice). Let the size of your limes be your guide, in this as in all things.

4. Place the lime zest and juice in a bowl, together with 2 egg yolks and 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk (the can can do double duty as a cracker-crusher.) Stir until well combined.

5. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and put back in the oven for 15 minutes.

6. Let the pie cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least an hour or two. That’s it! That’s honestly it! How easy is that?

Serve with whipped cream if you’re feeling extra decadent.


taste: Eton Mess

Generations of educational privilege at Britain’s most elite school have yielded many things, but better even than the old-boy networks and the repressed homosexuality is this ridiculously decadent summer dessert. Quantities are all eyeballed – I don’t think Etonians hold with anything as bourgeois as scales. Take about half a pint of heavy cream and whip it in a bowl until it’s nicely thickened. Crush homemade or store-bought meringues into large chunks (since I’m in England, this is a great use for the ’80s dessert staple, meringue nests, always blindingly white and sold in packs of four) and add to the cream, along with about a pound of summer fruit. In descending order of necessity: strawberries (hulled and halved, essential), raspberries (whole, important) and redcurrants (pulled from their stems, nice for a bit of sharpness to cut the sugar). Stir it all together until some of the berries are nicely mashed (this is the ‘mess’ part – use all the finesse of a fourteen-year-old boy) and serve it to your poshest friends along with sunshine, a game of lawn tennis or croquet, and a relaxed sense of your own social superiority.

jolly hockey sticks, is it time for pud?!