Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Key Lime Pie

One of the best things I have seen on TV in recent years is Dexter. It amazes me how sympathetically they can write a psychopathic serial killer. Even more so since I read the books the series is based on and discovered that they are really pretty shit.

I thought Season 3 was derailed a bit by the wedding subplot, but in honour of the start of Season 4, I decided to make a dessert inspired by Dexter. Key Lime Pie. Another subplot - not as irritating as the wedding - has an old friend of the family, Camilla, asking Dexter to euthanase her AND bring her the perfect slice of Key Lime Pie. Her life's ambition has been to eat the perfect Key Lime Pie, but as she says "And what do I get when I’m about to croak? Fucking pie crust, Reddywhip and green Jell-o".

Now, I have never had Key Lime Pie before - good, bad or indifferent - so all I really had to go on were the things that Camilla said while giving her directions to Dexter. Definitely no fucking pie crust, reddywhip or jell-o. Even if she didn't lay down the law on that, I have seen what is in reddywhip and I wouldn't eat it if my life depended on it. It also must have condensed milk in it, can't have whipped cream folded through the filling and definitely must not contain green food colouring. So that wrote off 75% of the recipes floating around the internet.

I ended up following this recipe which turns out to be incredibly quick and easy - about 10 minutes of effort, a few minutes in the oven and a couple of hours to chill produces a stunningly good dessert.

Normally I would use digestives when I do a crumb crust, but we've had a tin of funny Chinese coconut cookies in the pantry for a while, so I used them instead - didn't sweeten it, but added and extra couple of tablespoons of coconut.

I couldn't get Key Limes (known as Tahitian Limes in Australia - smaller, yellower, thinner skinned than normal limes) so I used what I had in the pantry - a lime and a lemon. I also didn't sweeten the cream for the topping, although I did add the merest hint of Cointreau. I didn't spread the cream all the way to the edge because I wanted to show the pretty pale yellow of the filling. Garnished with some crystallised lemon and lime zest.

Well, I don't know what Camilla would think, but I thought it was pretty perfect. The filling isn't as tangy as a good tart au citron, but it has a wonderful curdy texture and the nutty crust and billowing bland whipped cream are the perfect foils for the lime filling.

13 comments:

The Cat's Mother said...

Looks delicious.

Sorry - but Key Limes are called West Indian (or Mexican) Limes in Australia (and are not often seen here as they require hot tropical conditions to grow). I suppose Key as in Florida? They are considered to have the true lime flavour. We are trying to grow one at Tomewin.

The Tahitian (or Persian) lime is hardier and is the main commerical variety in Oz.

Foodycat said...

Mother - that's interesting, because Tahitian limes in Australia don't look anything like the Persian limes we get here! And wiki said Key = West Indian = Tahitian limes.

mscrankypants said...

I thought the Dexter books were pretty shitty, too. But your pie looks delectable.

maybelle's mom said...

key lime pie is my fav. yours looks pretty right on.

Foodycat said...

Cranky - they really were. Amazing that the screenwriters were able to see something so much better!

MM - thanks! Glad it looks right.

HH said...

FC that looks and sounds amazing. All that is left if for me to taste it. Any chace of fatcouriers sending it my way?!

jodimop said...

I have never tasted of a key lime in my life nor do we get them in Greece. I will try it with proper lime, it looks yummy to miss out!

girlichef said...

I do love a key lime pie..with key limes..but yours looks pretty awesome, I have to say! I actually have a bag of key limes sitting in the fridge right now...air mail anyone? And I love Dexter (thanks for the book warning, I won't even go there)! I'm eagerly awaiting season 3 on dvd, because we don't have Showtime...I don't know what the heck is taking them so long to get it out...seems like forever since I watched season 2!!!!

Foodycat said...

HH - those fat couriers are so unreliable!

Jo - exactly! Why be deprived of pie?

Girlie - make yourself some pie with your limes in preparation.

Esi said...

I'm not a huge key lime pie fan, but I had a really good one a couple of months ago. I couldn't get past the 1st episode of Dexter, but people love it, I know.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Foodycat, we're Dexter fans as well. So, I'm pretty happy with your choice. I love that you used the chinese cookies for a crust, I have a tendency to that as well. Can't wait to try this. Fantastic job my friend.

Foodycat said...

Esi - Too gory?

Teresa - I knew you'd like it!

Debinhawaii said...

I am a big Dexter fan--waiting for season 4 to start soon. Have not read the books and now I will know not too. I ate my way through most of the Key Lime Pies once on a trip to the Florida keys and love a really good one. This one looks delicious!

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