Saturday, August 03, 2013

Nora Ephron's Key Lime Pie

"The pie I threw at Mark made a terrific mess.... The Key Lime Pie is very simple to make. First you line a 9-inch pie plate with a graham cracker crust. Then beat 6 egg yolks. Add 1 cup lime juice, two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk, and 1 tbsp grated lime rind. Pour into the pie shell and freeze. Remove from freezer and spread with whipped cream. Let sit five minutes before serving.... I should add that the pie was hardly the first thing I'd thought of throwing at Mark...."
-Nora Ephron, Heartburn, Random House (1983 print, 2013 audio)

Who wouldn't want to make a key lime pie after it played such a pivotal role in this story?  Heartburn is Nora Ephron's first novel, and I recently listened to the audiobook.  Ephron would go on to make some of my favorite films (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, etc!) but this is where she started.  Each chapter involves some kind of recipe that came from her own collection.  They are told in this narrative fashion, as the main character is a cookbook writer who can rattle off recipes like they are stories.

The scene involving the key lime pie also made it into the movie, where Meryl Streep stars alongside Jack Nicholson who plays Mark.  The audiobook is read by Meryl too, so it was a nice tribute to the movie.

I used the slight tweak on the recipe as desribed by the blogger at A Common Sea, with a little less juice and a little more zest.  I also used a pre-made crust because then I could bring it to work without having to bring dishes home.

Nora Ephron’s Key Lime Pie

6 large egg yolks
¾ cup key lime juice (I used bottled)
2 Tbsp lime zest (I used a regular lime)
2 14-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
9”-10” graham cracker crust
A few slices of lime for garnish
Whipped Cream
  1. Beat the 6 large egg yolks in a large bowl. Add lime juice, zest, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until well blended.
  2. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust pie shell.
  3. Freeze 6 to 8 hours, until firm.
  4. When ready to serve, allow pie to thaw for a few minutes on counter. Add whipped cream (if you’d like) and lime slices for garnish.
  5. Cut and serve. Throwing at your husband is optional.
This isn't my favorite key lime pie ever; I tend to prefer the custardy baked kinds.  But this was about using Nora's actual recipe!  I brought it to a meeting and by the time the meeting was over, the pie had melted and morphed into a less appetizing cold key lime pudding.  Definitely make this when you can control when and how it is served!  With the key lime juice, it was very tart and refreshing.

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