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Maddalena Fuller


The Cake Mixture:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease to round cake pans. Bake the filing for approximately 35-40 minutes. Allow the cakes to cook on a rack, and then turn them out of the pan to cool completely, before cutting them evenly in half and setting them aside.

Lemon custard:

  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

If you don’t have a double boiler, be sure to cook the custard on low heat, to avoid tiny bits of cooked egg from appearing.

Melt the butter, and then add the eggs, sugar, zest and juice. Stir the custard constantly until it thickens. Set aside, and cover with plastic to cool, in order to prevent a skin from forming.

Lemon Icing:

  • 1/2 pound cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup icing sugar (more or less)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice, and then add more icing sugar until the frosting is thick and fluffy, but spreadable. We don’t want anything thin and syrupy for this recipe.

Stack the 4 cake layers on top of each other, spreading a layer of icing and custard on each of the 4 layers,  allowing it to squeeze out and ooze down the sides of the cake.

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  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp finely grated lime zest
  • 2 small cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of fresh lime juice (10 limes)


  • 1+1/2 to 2 cups finely grated graham crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (or, as needed)

Key limes, also known as Mexican and West Indian limes, are small, round and pale green to yellow, with mild juice, thin skin and plenty of seeds. However, I don’t recall ever having come across any so I always use the common Persian limes, the ones that accompany your gin and tonic, which produce a nice tart pie.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. Combine the graham crumbs and butter, ensuring that the crumbs are lighted coated, but not sodden, and then firmly press them into a glass or tin pie dish, building a wall up the sides.

3. Toast the crust for about 8 minutes and then remove the pan to cool.

4. To make the filling, whisk together the eggs yolks and lime zest, add condensed milk and pour the filling onto the crumb crust.

5. Bake the pie for 20-25 minutes until the the center is firm. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate until cool (approx 2-3 hours)

6. Dress the pie with whipped cream, or candied lime wedges, frosted with sugar.