Anne McAllister is not on deadline at the moment -- or at least it's far enough away that she's not in total panic mode. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have recipes up her sleeve. And this one is a particular favorite as well as being something of a comfort food in hot weather.
Come Thanksgiving when everyone in the US is making pumpkin pies to top of Thanksgiving dinner, at our house we'll be having pie, too. But it won't be pumpkin. It will be key lime.
Not really a fan of pumpkin pie, I used to happily forego dessert as a child when Thanksgiving rolled around. Yes, really.
But when I grew up and began to make the dinner myself, I realized that nowhere w
as it WRITTEN that we had to have pumpkin pie. It would be non-traditional, but not a sacrilege to h ave something else.
My favorite pie? Key lime.
So I began to make key lime pie for Thanksgiving. It went over well with most of my immediate family. Though not everyone is as enamoured of it as I am.
But we generally had someone coming for dinner who, when they said, "What can I bring?" was always offered the option of bringing the pumpkin pie. Many did, so the traditionalists among us were happy also.
But then I branched out -- discovering that lime was more versatile than simply working well in pies.
This year for my birthday, my husband (bless him) made a dish called Caribbean Chicken with Limes, which is wonderful and which has lime and tomatoes and celery and onion and cabbage in it as well as chicken. The recipe also makes enough for us to eat it for nearly a week, which saves on cooking if deadlines are looming.
Happily, this time, one wasn't. But I will be remembering it for end of September when one is.
We also stumbled across a marvelous recipe for another lime dessert which is sort of a lime version of chocolate sink-holes.
Chocolate sink-holes are gorgeous. But I am pretty much convinced that I actually prefer the lime version. They are not as overpowering. They are able to be eaten, notmerely sampled a spoonful at a time. Well, I suppose you could. But I can eat one.
It's also a way to use up lots of limes, which seem to be in abundance at this time of year -- either in one's yard or in the supermarket.
However if they are not, reconstituted lime juice works well for the juice part of the recipe. But trust me, you will want one lime to zest for the peel. It does add a sharpness to the flavor that you'll miss if you don't have it.
I modified the recipe a little from the one I found.
This is the one I use. Tinker with it if you are inclined. A little less flour makes it 'soupier.' More will make it 'cakier.' Adjust little by little to get it just right for your taste.
2 TBSP butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup + 1/2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lime juice (fresh or reconstituted)
1 tsp lime zest (peel grated very fine)
3 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups of
whole or 2% milk
In medium bowl, combine butter and sugar til crumbly. Add flour, salt, lime juice and peel. Mix well.
Separate the eggs, add the yolks to the milk (I have used skim milk with some left over cream. You don't want heavy cream stuff, but you don't want all skim, either. Use your own judgement), whisk together, then add mixture to the above mix, combining til smooth.
Beat egg whites til stiff (make sure the whites peak). Then fold into batter.
Divide among 6 6 oz ramekins or custard cups. Put the cups i
n a large baking pan (mine is 10" by 15") and then add 1 inch of boiling water around the cups in the pan.
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 40-48 minutes. They should be getting slightly brown on top and not looking ripply if you jiggle the pan. You can try inserting a knife to see how liquid the filling is, but it's never going to come out clean because, hey, this is pudding as well as cakey stuff.
Serve warm or cold. They're amazing.
Anne is hard at work on a new book. Her upcoming title, The Night That Changed Everything, will be released from Mills & Boon Modern in October and as a Harlequin Presents Extra in November.
It's the story of what happened to another couple -- Nick Savas and Edie Tremayne -- the night that Nick's cousin Demetrios married Princess Adriana at Mont Chamion (in The Virgin's Proposition -- Harlequin Presents, Sept 2010)