|The last slice of Key Lime Pie|
The most difficult bit about making Key Lime Pie was the physical effort of crushing biscuits and beating in eggs without electric utensils. I think I must have worked off at least a mouthful of pie in its making! The timings below are given for mixing by hand and you would probably need to halve these if you have an electric whisk or food processor.
300g ginger biscuits
150g softened butter
397g (a tin) condensed milk
Remove the ginger biscuits from their packaging and bash them up into crumbs. I used the cheapest ones which were nicely crisp. Posh ones with those little bits of crystallised ginger in might be nice too. Ideally crush the biscuits within a sealed plastic bag so the crumbs don't fly everywhere. I just had my large Mason Cash mixing bowl so used a kind of pestle and mortar approach with the end of a rolling pin. This stage took quite a while!
Mix the softened butter in with the biscuit crumbs until well combined. Press the mixture across the base and up the sides of an ovenproof dish. I used my larger Le Creuset dish. A loose based tin would make the final serving easier (and more elegant) but it isn't essential.
Preheat the oven to about 180c. Bake the pressed biscuit for about ten minutes then set aside to cool.
Zest the limes using the finest setting on your grater. Then slice the limes in half and squeeze all their juice into a jug. I was proud that I managed to do all the zesting without grating any of my knuckles! Set the zest and juice aside.
Crack and separate the eggs. (The whites aren't needed for this recipe) Put the yolks in a large bowl and, with a balloon whisk, whisk like mad for a couple of minutes until the yolks are creamy. Stir in the condensed milk and whisk again for at least five minutes or until your arm seizes up.
Add the lime zest and juice to the eggy milk and whisk again for another five minutes. Retrieve your biscuit base and pour the filling in. Mine hadn't completely cooled, but was close enough and it is going straight back in the oven now anyway. Bake the whole pie for fifteen minutes. It still looked too runny when it came out, but set properly as it cooled.
When completely cool, cover and refrigerate the pie overnight. Serve cold.
I saw several versions of Key Lime Pie with a thick cream topping over the lime filling. I did buy cream to do this, but it was already so rich that the extra layer really wasn't necessary. We served a dollop of cream alongside instead and could have enjoyed the pie just as well without.
I loved the strong tanginess of this Key Lime Pie. Dave, however, found it too citrusy for his palate so I will probably cut down to three limes when I make it again. The citrus strength did overpower the ginger a bit too much as well. I am wondering if it is possible to buy condensed coconut milk as that combination of ginger, lime and coconut could be superb. Does anyone know?