Here’s the deal.
You can’t pass an A & W restaurant without stopping for a chili dog and a root beer. You can’t pass a kid’s lemonade stand without buying. And you can’t pass up key lime pie when it’s on the menu.
Those are the rules.
Not my rules.
No, I don’t care how stuffed you are after that Shula-cut steak or whatever, or even if your pancreas runs away. That’s just the way it is. Those are the rules.
You may recall that last summer Emme and I hit up every mom and pop restaurant in Miami in a quest for the perfect key lime pie. When we didn’t find it, we just made our own lemon meringue instead, because apparently we weren’t smart enough to realize how easy key lime pie is to make and that you can also put meringue on that. You don’t need lemon for meringue. You can shellac that stuff onto anything. It took us — me — a year to figure this out apparently.
So this summer, we decided to try our hand at key lime pie. We turned it into a science experiment even, with the idea that we would make two: one the traditional non-cook way like they did in the Keys before electricity, using the acid in the lime juice to cook the condensed milk, and the other using the modern methods of cooking in the oven to help things along.
Our experiments are the fucking best.
For the first one, we followed the Pioneer Woman’s amazing and hilarious recipe because it was easy and downright funny and came up first in the google machine. It required 10 minutes of baking to help things set. In the end, the pre-cooked version looked a lot like the cooked version.
You can barely even tell!
While it was certainly delicious and worth the non-trouble, the consistency started getting to me. I just really can’t stand mushy things, so I convinced Emme that while our experiment was noble and well intentioned, there was just no freaking way I was going to eat any more pie that hadn’t had a chance to set in the oven for a solid half hour. Fuck that. Ain’t happening.
So we chucked the traditional version and basically headed in the opposite direction, cooking the shit out of the pie for a solid half hour, adding some meringue on top and even dying the filling an atrocious Elphaba-shaded green.
It was delicious. Reminded me of the kind of pie Tom Joad might have gotten at a roadside diner.
And this is how we’re spending our summer: baking shit. Because San Francisco is below 4,000 degrees in July.