A small, quaint tea room not far from Orlando. I can't remember the name, but I can still picture it. Set in a white, clapboard Victorian-era house with a run-around porch. Small wobbly tables with white lacy tablecloths. And lots of kitsch-y nicknacks. All just perfect for an inquisitive 18 month old toddler to explore (in no way is that true). This was in the days before Sweet, when I was still in the depths of depression following the loss of my mum and trying to claw my way out.
Key Lime Pie
Ingredients (Serves 8)
For the biscuit base:
300g ginger biscuits
125g butter, melted
For the filling:
600g cream cheese (Philadelphia Original is good here - lower fat options do not set as well)
400g tin condensed milk
Preheat your oven to 180 / Fan 160 / Gas 4.
Use a 9 inch /22.5 cm springform cake tin, lightly greased. Base line the pan with parchment (this will help you to get the pie out in one piece later!).
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until you get fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and blitz to combine. Tip out into the cake tin and press firmly to form a base, and so that it reaches up the sides of the tin by at least 1 inch / 2.5 cm. The biscuit mix needs to be spread thickly enough to form a case for the filling. In order to make it nice and even, I like to use a straight-sided stainless steel measuring cup with a flat base to help me press the mix in.
Place on a baking try in the centre of the oven. The baking tray will help catch any of the butter if it leaks out of the springform pan.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool completely (ideally a couple of hours).
Juice all six limes and, if necessary, strain the juice to remove any bits. The amount of juice you may get will vary, depending on the size and condition of the limes.
Place the cream cheese, condensed milk and grated lime zest in a bowl. Using a hand blender, mix well to combine until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. Add half the lime juice and mix well, Taste, and see if it is to your liking. Add some more to taste, if you like, but try to ensure that the mix does not get too liquid (it will firm up after chilling). You're aiming for something that is the consistency of soured cream. For this pie, I used around 150ml
Pour the mix into the cooled case. If your sides are a little low, don't worry - just heap the mix more into the centre. Place in the fridge to chill - and set - for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
Give it a few minutes (no more than 10) before slicing. You want to strike the right balance between being able to cut the base easily and not having had it sat out too long so the filling starts to warm and become too loose.