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.