Heartburn by Nora Ephron

The quintessential book about love, food……and revenge. I’ve never been able to decide which delectable description in Heartburn is my favorite. Nora Ephron describes such ordinary food as mashed potatoes in a rhapsodical manner that makes you salivate and head immediately for the kitchen to make a bowlful of buttery spuds to take back upstairs and eat in bed.

Mashed potatoes notwithstanding, the other food description I loved in this book was when she makes the key lime pie. What she does with it is classic literature (and film, in the movie starring Meryl Street and Jack Nicholson), and all I have to say is, damn he deserved it.  But, oh the pie!

If I had it to do over again, I would have made a different kind of pie. The pie I threw at Mark made a terrific mess, but a blueberry pie would have been even better, since it would have permanently ruined his new blazer, the one he bought with Thelma. But Betty said bring a key lime pie, so I did.

Anyway, this is what worked for me, adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s version. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/key-lime-pie-sorta/
I like chocolate and lime together, and there were chocolate graham crackers on sale at the store that day, but you can do this as easily with regular graham crackers. Et voila!


For the pie crust
20 chocolate graham crackers
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the pie filling
10 key limes, juiced to make 3/4 cup (you can use regular limes if you can’t find key limes) and zested to make about a tablespoon of lime zest
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 carton heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons of sugar

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Crush graham crackers either in a food processor or by putting them into a large plastic bag and smashing the hell out of them with your hands. Great stress relief this way! Pour into a bowl and add the melted butter, mixing with a fork until you get a nubbly texture. Put into a pie pan and press around the edges. I used a boring old disposable tin pan but you can use a glass or metal one if you love doing extra dishes.

Cook your pie crust for about 5-7 minutes until it’s a bit crisp and you can smell the chocolate. Take out of the oven and leave to cool while you prepare the filling.

Combine the lime juice, lime zest, beaten eggs, and the can of sweetened condensed milk, using a hand mixer or a fancy Kitchen Aid mixer, until you have a nice, thick, creamy, smoothly textured pile of goop.

There should be pretty green flecks of zest in your mixture when you pour it into your cooled chocolate pie shell. Put back into the oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, checking at the 12 minute mark to ensure nothing is burning. Give it a little shake and if it’s still wobbly, bake another few minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and cool for about an hour. Stick it into the refrigerator and chill it for another 3-4 hours.

For the final flourish, whip your heavy cream and sugar together until you get stiff peaks, pour over the pie, and garnish with more lime zest and sliced lime slices. Chill another 30 minutes before serving……….or smashing into the face of someone richly deserving.

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