J. Robert Oppenheimer the physicist was also a mixologist. According to American Prometheus, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book and major source of info for the big screen blockbuster, Oppenheimer was known for hosting the occasional house party. His generous four-ounce pours of gin paired with a dash of vermouth were shaken, not stirred. Served icy cold, guests sipped from glasses rimmed with honey and lime juice. Of course, this little tidbit of Oppenheimer info got me thinking about pie.
From a dessert perspective, many of the components that work well in a cocktail shaker lend themselves easily to pie. Case in point, a frozen lime chiffon spiked with gin and a whipped cream finish sweetened with honey. A refreshing alternative to traditional key lime pie, I turned to a recipe from my Philadelphia Cafette days. Not a lick of sweetened condensed milk in the mix, no white chocolate, no cream cheese and thank goodness, no sheets of gelatin. Simply two eggs separated, yolks cooked over a double boiler with some sugar and fresh lime juice. Cooled down and combined with beaten egg whites, honey sweetened heavy cream and plenty of lime zest, the filling needs nothing more. Unless you have a penchant for cold gin and lime, which I do. The ever-so-slightly tipsy lime fluff fills a 9” pie plate or an 8” springform lined with a no-bake crust. Because there happened to be a package of chocolate filled wafer cookies within reach, I used those. (You could certainly use graham crackers or vanilla wafers or any such store-bought cookie.) Frozen for several hours, (or overnight if you are a patient sort), the pie tastes like what I imagine late August would taste like if it was a flavor. It’s light, tart and breezy and not terribly difficult to master. Quite unlike physics, which is certainly something I never, ever studied in school.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm