Wednesday 26 March 2014

"Key" Lime Pie and Limey, Peanutty, Sweet Potato Gratin

I was never a massive fan of key lime pie in the past, finding it a bit too sickly sweet on the whole. If I'm going to choose a citrus pie, I'll usually opt for lemon meringue. My North Caroline sister-in-law is different; she is a key lime pie fanatic, happily ordering it night after night when on vacation. So this past summer, when we went to visit her, I thought I should give key lime pie another chance. Costco provided us with a huge bag of limes, and I tried a recipe out of Joy of Cooking. The recipe worked, and what I really marvelled at was its simple list of ingredients, making this a relatively easy recipe to whip up on vacation when you are in a self-catering kitchen (or simply someone else's kitchen) where equipment and ingredients are scarce. It's even easier if you can buy a ready made crust (though it will taste better if you make your own, because then you get to use a more flavoursome oil to bind it than the vegetable oil the ready made crust uses).

So yes, you just make a basic crumb crust with bashed up digestives/graham crackers, depending on the country you are in, sugar, and butter and lazily pat it into the pie plate. I had a toddler on my hip, so my crumbs weren't that finely bashed, but it held up well enough. Aliens provided me with pie crust circles.

Then in bowl just put 4 egg yolks (leaving the perfect number of egg whites to make the macaroons on my imported bag of shredded coconut...or enough to make a meringue on top the pie if you prefer) and whisk them up with...

A regular sized can of condensed milk. Yes, anything with condensed milk is going to be good.

Plus the zest of four limes (or omit this if catering for zest-a-phobes like my SIL, or if you don't have a zester in the kitchen)

Then take your four limes sitting battered on the chopping board, one of which is covered in goop because you dropped it in the bowl earlier...

And juice them to add to the mix.

That's it. You just mix these all together...

Then pour into the crust and bake at a low temp for 16-20 minutes until it jiggles in the middle like jello. Cool it and stick it in the fridge to set further. How easy is that?! Just have some whipped cream on hand to serve it. But, limes, I am not done with you, no no no...

I used them in this baby too. I sliced a kilo of sweet potatoes thinly in the food processor and put them in a bowl with about a cup of cream, a wee bit of oil, a chopped chilli, some garlic, and some salt and pepper. Then I spread half in a roasting tray gratin dish.

Then I put the zest of a lime and a couple teaspoons of its juice along with some crunch peanut butter in globules on top of it.

Then on top went the rest of the sweet potatoes.

And then the cream that was left in the bowl.

Then I baked it up to make a peanutty, sweet potato gratin. Not bad, and it reheats really well too.

So bag yourself a sack of limes today and whip these up. Or just pin this and go order a pizza. Whichever works for you. I wonder if Domino's still does a Wednesday special in Northfield...

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