I recently had an email from a production company, telling me about a new cooking show they were filming. They were interested in having me on the show, they said; I would prepare a dish ahead of time, bring it with me, and when on the show could have a chance to talk about what I made (and a bit about myself as well) and might help the head chefs out in the kitchen.
Now I was in two minds - clearly I enjoy making my food and sharing it with people and this would be a huge venue for this, but my overriding thought was that this could be absolutely terrifying and, if nothing else, a good chance to appear a bumbling fool and weep abundant tears on television as I was made to chop an onion. Difficult, deciding whether or not to say yes.
But say yes I did, and I began the search for what recipe to make. I reasoned that it had to be something that a) traveled well b) wouldn't go rancid sitting under studio lights and c) would taste alright tepid since I'd have made it the day before. Many friends came up with excellent suggestions, but in the end I decided to make a lime pie with a ginger cookie crust from my Magnolia Bakery cookbook.
I had had it before, and wolfed the thing down in a matter of hours. It's midway between a cheesecake and custard, and the combination of the spicy/peppery ginger crust and the refreshing, citrusy lime is absolutely wonderful. It's also very easy to make (as long as your wrists hold out, juicing a dozen limes) and can be made into fun, individual-sized serving or into a large communal pie, depending on your preference.
And so on the appointed day, I showed up to work with my pie (packed in a cool bag to keep it fresh until the afternoon) so that I could take a half day off to go to the filming. I arrived at the studio, I introduced myself to the reception, and...nothing. For over an hour. When someone finally did come to speak to me, it was established that the production team had not only told me the wrong time to arrive, but they had also mixed up what day I would be there and had double booked me with someone else.
I was, to put it mildly, annoyed: to have gone through the time and effort of thinking about what to make, to have taken time off work, and to have been treated shoddily. But I have practiced my best zen breathing and have let it all go. I don't really mind not having had a brush with 15 seconds of cookery show semi-greatness, and the pie was still just as good as I remembered with people in the studio happily hoovering it up when I armed them with spoons and pushed them toward it. At least it saved me from eating the whole thing on my own this time.
Lime Pie with Gingersnap Crust, from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
- 1 1/2 C finely crushed ginger biscuits (approx 1 200 g package with 1-2 more ginger biscuits and 1-2 hobnobs crushed in, for good measure or for slightly larger-than-9 inch pie dishes)
- 1/4 C / 60 g butter, melted
- 1 C lime juice (approx 12 limes)
- 6 egg yolks
- 21 oz / 600 g sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbs freshly grated lime zest
- Pre-heat oven to 160 C / 325 F
- Combine well the melted butter and the crushed cookies
- Press the buttery crumbs into a 9-inch pie dish
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes and then allow to rest
- Combine the lime juice, egg yolks, and condensed milk, either using an electric mixer on low or mixing well by hand
- Stir in the lime zest, and taste for tartness; if too sweet, juice a few more lines and stir in
- Pour the lime mixture into the crust and bake 25-30 minutes until the middle is set
- Allow to cool for around 20 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving