Sept. 16, 2001 – You can only use so many limes to flavor fish or whip up a pitcher of limeade. If you're lucky to have a lime tree in your yard, as we do, then try an inventive way to use this tart little fruit — making Key Lime Cake.
Key limes are the variety we often have growing here in the Virgin Islands. These oval citrus fruits are smaller, rounder, thinner-skinned and more of a yellow color than the green Persian limes that are typically imported and found in supermarkets. Because limes are such an excellent source of vitamin C, British sailors in olden days ate them to prevent scurvy. This is why you might even today hear a British sailor called a "limey."
Key lime pie is a perennial favorite dessert in the tropics, but lime cake is less common. The nifty aspect to the cake recipe below is that it calls for little flour, so that the bottom actually cooks to a creamy pudding consistency while the topping takes on the cake-like quality.
If you're confused when it comes to adding the "lime zest," don't be. The zest is the fragrant outermost skin layer of the fruit, which can be removed with a citrus zester, paring knife or vegetable peeler. Only the colored portion of the skin, not the white pith, is considered the zest. The aromatic oils in the lime zest are what adds so much flavor to this cake.
Key Lime Cake
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream together the butter, 1/2 cup of the sugar and flour. Add egg yolks, reserving the whites, and beat well. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice and milk. Set mixture aside. Add salt to egg whites; beat until stiff. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Fold the egg white mixture into the creamed butter, sugar and flour mixture.
Pour batter into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Set the dish in a large shallow pan containing boiling water to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serves 6. Per serving: 250 calories, 8 gms fat (29 percent fat calories), 122 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email