James Bond food key lime pie

Key lime pie

In John Gardner’s novelisation of Licence to Kill (1989), one gets the sense that James Bond had been romantically involved with Felix Leiter’s ill-fated bride, Della Churchill. While on their way to the church, just before drug lord Franz Sanchez almost spoils the party, James reminds Felix that he (Felix) is marrying an old friend of his and that Della and James go back a long way. At the wedding reception, we learn something else about James – he is rather partial to Key lime pie, regarding the dish as a wonderful palate cleanser.

As the name indicates, Key lime pie is traditionally made with Key limes, a fruit strongly associated with the Florida Keys, where the opening sequence of Licence to Kill is set. As Key limes are not commonly found on the supermarket shelves outside areas of cultivation, ordinary limes can be used instead. For a twist on this old favourite, the version below (inspired by one offered by BBC Good Food) is more of a cheesecake in appearance than a pie. The result, however, is just as delicious.

Serves six

  • Juice and grated zest of 4 limes
  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 125g butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 x 397g can condensed milk (NestlĂ©)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan-assisted; 320F). Grease the sides and base of a cake tin with some butter. Crush the biscuits in a food processor to create crumbs. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir the biscuit crumbs into the butter until they are thoroughly mixed. Spread the crumb mixture evenly onto the base of the cake tin and put the tin in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and put to one side.

Whisk the egg yolks, ideally in the food processor, for about a minute (longer if by hand), then add the condensed milk and continue to whisk for another 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest (reserving a pinch) and whisk for another 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the biscuit base, gently spreading it to ensure an even layer, and return the tin to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and allow the pie to cool (keeping it in the tin) for several hours and preferably overnight in the fridge.

Whisk the cream and icing sugar together until the cream is stiff. Spread the cream mixture evenly over the top of the pie. Carefully lift the base from the sides of the cake tin to remove the pie. The sides of the pie should be neat. Sprinkle a little of the reserved zest over the top. Accompany with a viewing of Licence to Kill.

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