Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30: Key Lime Pie

Several years and several boyfriends ago, I dated a guy who liked dessert and had friends who liked dessert. I didn't care for dessert, but when he turned 30, it seemed important that his friends like me and so I made several desserts for his birthday party.

He was not very grateful, as it turned out, mostly because he didn't see any point in celebrating his birthday, but also because he just wasn't a particularly grateful person.

His friends, however, remained my friends through our breakup, and I give the credit to that for this pie. Not this exact pie, but a delicious and easy key lime pie. I'm not surprised, to be honest; I can't imagine anyone wanting to risk missing out on this pie by breaking up with me.

However, I am a little weird about food. It's been well-established.

The pie I originally made was Nora Ephron's key lime pie from her novel Heartburn. In the novel, she's invited to dinner, along with her philandering husband, at some friends' house. She has learned earlier in the day that her philandering husband has continued to philander, despite the fact that she has just given birth to their premature son, that she has publicly humiliated her husband's mistress, and that she actually left him in the beginning of the book when she first finds out that he is a philanderer. She makes the pie and they take it to dinner at their friends' house, and during dinner she has a revelation: sometimes love just dies. It's of course more complicated than that, but the upshot is, you can go through your life and love someone and then one day love just dies.

So she takes the pie and smashes it in her husband's face at the dinner table at her friends' house, and then she takes their children and leaves him, for good. I love this ending, because shortly after I made this key lime pie for my ungrateful lump of a boyfriend, love died and I left him too.

In retrospect, I wish I'd thrown this pie at him, for things he'd done and not done and one thoroughly crappy lie that he had told me and himself that had the potential to ruin my life if I'd held onto our floundering relationship just a little longer. If I had it to do over again, I would totally smash this pie in his face just to have the literary ending, and he would have deserved it. However, I lack both the guts and the timing.

Instead, I'll just give you the recipe. Eat it, or else very immaturely smash it in the face of someone who is making you unhappy. Your call.

Key Lime Pie

For the Crust:
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon melted margarine
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:
Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
5 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 cup fresh lime juice

FOR THE CRUST:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the inside of a 9-inch-diameter deep-dish pie dish with 1 teaspoon of the melted margarine.

In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and 1/3 cup of melted margarine. When the ingredients are fully combined, use the mixture to line the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Place the pie dish into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

FOR THE FILLING:While the crust is baking, in a mixing bowl, make the filling by whisking together all the ingredients.

When the crust is baked, remove it from the oven and pour in the filling. Return the filled pie crust to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature.


Neen said...

So clearly this is a pie with power. Did you see the movie waitress? It's about this rural waitress who is an ace pie baker at a diner. She is married to an abuse, manipulative husband, and ends up making 'hate my husband' pie, and other such glories. In the film, she gets pregnant, has an affair with her OB-GYN, and, finally, dumps both the doc and the husband in the hospital after giving birth. I don't think there's any final pie-in-face moment of catharsis, but you get the idea.

Kimberly said...

How did you know I was just craving Key lime pie! I am soooo making this. And I have to tell you, as much as I go in for literary endings and the merest hint of violence done by a woman done wrong, I could not in good conscience waste good Key lime pie by throing it in some asshole's face. I'd take my key lime pie home and drown my sorrows in it. But maybe that's just me.