I have already confessed that I love birthday celebrations, but my husband feels otherwise. He pretends that he is not really a year older, finds birthdays annoying and begs and pleads to have the day pass without mention of his birthday or advanced age.This is pretty hard for me and I usually get him a small token (i.e. a book) and give it to him a week earlier than his actual birthday. And I only sing the birthday song once or twice during the day…a huge feat for me when my modus operandi is to break into song throughout the day or night for both relatives and friends.
Because we are usually in Belize during his January birthday and our daughter is often down here with us, “the birthday” gets celebrated with a special dinner and dessert – despite his protestations. Rachel ignores her dad’s pleas for non-celebration and singlehandedly makes a wonderful dessert – usually a lime tart. Funny, this is my son-in-law’s absolute favorite. I’m a chocolate girl all the way but something about the tanginess of lime in a warm weather tropical setting is pretty great. And this delightful dessert inevitably gets dear old dad to crack a smile on his special day!
This recipe is super dooper simple and foolproof. I think it should be part of your repertoire, too. I don’t have a pie plate in Belize so I make this in a 8-inch deep cake or flan pan and have a pretty thick crust. You could fancy it up with a little dollop of whipped cream and a mint leaf or thin slice of lime set on top…we didn’t bother with the aesthetics, and the pie disappeared in two days. Since the crust doesn’t come very far up the straight sides of the pan, I call it a “tart” instead of a “pie.”
Key on the Caye Lime Tart
- 2 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
- ¾ cup (12 Tbsp) melted butter
Either put graham crackers or graham cookies into a food processor and whirl to get small crumbs or put them in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin to get the same result. Add melted butter (texture should be like brown sugar – moist enough to hold together when pressed against the sides) and distribute evenly, then press crust into the bottom and up the sides halfway of a 8-9 inch cake pan. If you prefer a thinner crust, use less of the mix to press into the pan.
Bake at 300 for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes. While crust is cooling, mix together the filling so it can sit on the counter waiting to go into the crust
- ½ cup + 1T fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
- Grated rind of 2 medium sized limes (use a microplane grater-should get 2 Tbsp or more)
- 1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks
Combine yolks and beat with a whisk for two minutes. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and rind and mix well. Allow to sit on the counter until the crust is ready to go back into the oven. ( I just dump it all in at same time, adding more zest to top it off)
After the crust has cooled to room temperature, carefully pour the filling (a little less than a quart) into the crust and return to the oven for 17-20 minutes. The pie should jiggle a bit when ready.
Remove to a wire rack and let cool one hour, then refrigerate for three hours or longer before serving.
Garnish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a few thin slices of lime. This is great with a cup of tea or coffee (including for breakfast!)