The last few months have been busy here in the Back of beyond. After saying farewell to my dear Mum back in January, we have been trying to find a new "normal " for our lives. So much of the last 8 years has been focussed on supporting Mum in her desire to stay in her own home whilst her health and mobility failed that to begin with I felt slightly lost with all this extra time on my hands.
Initially I was reluctant to open up my order book for Back of Beyond baking cake creations mostly, I suppose, because I couldn't find any of my cakey mojo and the slightest stress seemed to have me in floods of tears. But time is a great healer ( a cliche I know) and with gentle nudges from Mr V-C ( he bought me a beautiful vintage french lace tablecloth for Valentines day, something for me to use in my cake photo's he said) I got back in my groove and the cake orders started to flow again. The tears still flow too at times but I am starting to be able to find some joy in my life again. Things were ticking along nicely and I was feeling very well until May half term. We had my gorgeous gal pal Gem and her 2 pickles to stay for a few days, the weather was fine so we got out and about on the farm, sharing all the things we take for granted with our townie friends.We visited the the sheep and skimmed stones at the river and generally had a jolly good time! (read that in an Enid Blyton voice) We were busy and having fun and I forgot to pace myself. Whoops, My chronic fatigue didn't like this and decided to rear its ugly head and give me a sharp reminder to pay it some attention from time to time. Some how and we still don't know how I managed to pick up a bulging disc in my neck. This is not to be taken lightly, boy, did this hurt. Only some very strong painkillers which were seriously trippy made any dent in the pain and I was prescribed lots of rest and some pretty painful physiotherapy as treatment. Suddenly from busy, busy, busy I was back on the sofa and feeling quite sorry for myself.
Thankfully my wonderful work colleagues kept me in the loop and took it in turns to visit me. On one of these visits on a glorious summers day I decided to make a Keylime pie. I have never made one before but will definitely be making one again! So quick and easy to make and so lush to eat. I am pretty sure my Mum would have loved this one too.
500g digestive biscuits
200g unsalted butter, melted
23-cm pie dish, greased
8 egg yolks
2 x 397g tins condensed milk
Freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of 5 limes, plus extra grated zest to decorate
450ml whipping cream
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
For the crust: Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor. Process until finely ground. Slowly pour the melted butter into the processor while the motor is running. Press this mixture into the base and neatly up the side of the prepared pie dish, using the ball of your hand or a tablespoon to flatten and compress it.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until deep golden and firm. Set aside to cool completely.
Turn the oven down to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.
Put the egg yolks, condensed milk and lime juice and zest in a glass bowl and mix gently with a balloon whisk until all the ingredients are very well incorporated. The mixture will thicken naturally.
Pour into the cold pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes. The filling should be firm to the touch but still very slightly soft in the centre (not wobbly!). Leave to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.
When you are ready to serve the pie, whip the cream with a handheld electric whisk in a large bowl until soft peaks form, then spread over the pie and decorate with a little lime zest.
P.s I used the egg whites to make swiss meringue buttercream.