Super speedy Key Lime Pie and Father’s Day fragility.

A late-ish night at a brilliant party on Saturday left me feeling a little ‘tired’ on Sunday. I can only attribute my headache on waking to the loud music we danced to with such skill and vigour.

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You know the dancing was serious, when the shoes had to come off.

It was a true treat to not be woken at 6 with a request to replace the hair on a Playmobil lady; the little badgers having spent the weekend with Nanny and Papa meant the morning was a leisurely one. I had considered an 8am gym visit, with virtuous intent, but alas, it was not to be, and collecting the children was as spritely a proceeding as I felt inclined to engage in.

The children, apparently, had been angelic during their stay and we arrived to find them in the midst of a game of Happy Families. Whenever we play it at home, I end up laughing hollowly – mirthlessly – at the bitter irony of the name, as shameless cheating and graceless defeat abound; usually one player throws herself to the floor – the very picture of anguish and despair – whilst the other crows about her superior card game skills. It isn’t pretty. On this occasion, almost all was civilised – a flounce up the stairs and wretched howling from the spare room lasted but a few moments. It was a definite improvement. (To anyone panicking at this point – normal service was resumed once home, fret not.)

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Not Happy Families – in fact the MOST BORING GAME I have ever played. It lasted for hours. This must have been taken early on – this good humour didn’t last the course.

Sunday, of course was Fathers’ Day and my wonderful dad is a truly excellent example of  the breed – he does a million things to help us out year round, and despite everything thinks we’re marvellous. We think he’s marvellous too. Having enjoyed the little badgers’ company for the whole weekend, perhaps taking them home on Sunday afternoon was another gift to accompany those we wrapped…

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The father in this house, after pretending not to be underwhelmed by his gifts was insistent that we mark the occasion with some sort of fattening pudding. (But then, I do mark every occasion with a fattening pudding.) We think he’s pretty great, so although I wasn’t feeling particularly lively, I went so far as to don my pinny to show willing.

Being a trifle (pardon the pun) lacklustre, any dessert with too many steps in was going to defeat me, so I was thankful to recall the Nigella Lawson recipe for a variant of Key Lime Pie. I make a few minor amendments to her recipe, which is in Kitchen (a brilliant book, I use it a lot) – it really is one of the easiest desserts you can make that will feed a tableful and convince people you’ve made an effort.

We rounded off the day with ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. It’s one of the few things we all genuinely like to watch. After years of watching Horrid Henry, Paw Patrol and dreadful Barbie films, it’s a total joy. if you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend.


Speedy Chocolate Key Lime Pie – serves 8-10

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The base: 

  • 300g digestive biscuits
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 75g softened butter

Add everything to a food processor and whizz until you have a even mix, the consistency of damp sand. Press it into the base and up the sides of your tin. Put in the fridge – or even the freezer – to chill and firm up whilst you make the filling.

If you don’t have a food processor put the biscuits into a sandwich bag, seal and beat aggressively with a rolling pin – or a full water bottle or something else fairly heavy. You want no large chunks to be remaining. Grate in the chocolate and add the cocoa and mix thoroughly. Melt the butter and tip in, mixing until it’s totally combined.

I have a fluted quiche tin (number of fluted quiches produced to date = 0) which works well, but you could really use any averagely sized cake tin with a loose base. If you have no such thing, use some sort of receptacle with short sides and accept that you won’t be able to remove it whole. It’ll still taste great.

Filling

  • 5 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 tin of condensed milk (chilled beforehand)
  • 300 ml double cream
  • dark chocolate, for grating.
  1. Put your condensed milk and lime juice into a large bowl and whisk until they’re combined – the mixture kind of seizes up a bit, but don’t panic, it’ll be fine.
  2. Add in the cream and whisk until you end up with a thick, creamy consistency that holds its shape. (At this point I diverge from Nigella’s wisdom and add almost all the lime zest into the mixture – she advocates sprinkling it all on the top at the end. I’ll leave you to make up your own mind.)
  3. Transfer the filling into the base and chill the lot. If you’ve got plenty of time, just pop it into the fridge – if you need it ready asap, pop it into the freezer for 20-30 mins first and then move to the fridge.
  4. Chill for as long as you have – I only gave it a couple of hours at most, and it was completely fine – you could leave it overnight. Whatever.
  5. Grate chocolate over the top – and sprinkle over the lime zest, if you didn’t add it into the mixture.
  6. Enjoy!

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