Around here key limes sell at ten for a dollar, which I figured was normal price for the little suckers. But then I read Deb of Smitten Kitchen's elated account of finding a bag of eighteen key limes for $1.99 ("I thought I'd won the lottery"), and realized that I was actually seeing them at a bargain. When one afternoon I ran into the limes at King Soopers at twenty for a dollar, I knew it was time to pick up a bag.
In my world, key limes on the cheap lead to key lime coconut cake. I'd been wanting to try this recipe from Gourmet Magazine, one so popular that when I brought the cake to a potluck, editor SG recognized it immediately (she had bookmarked the recipe too).
This recipe is rightfully beloved: the cake is moist and sweet and tart and full of coconut and citrus flavor, balanced enough that I could have gone through several slices in one sitting. But of course I didn't…I know how to share, unfortunately.
If you're thinking the cake looks a little too dark on top, you might be right. This was before I figured out that my oven was set 100 degrees higher than I thought it was, so I had inadvertently baked this cake at around 450 degrees instead of 350. Luckily, I thought to check on it after twenty minutes (it is supposed to bake for forty or forty-five), so was able to rescue it before it dried out or burnt. The first batch of coconut I tried toasting didn't fare as well, though—anyone know what to do with two cups of deeply browned, almost-burnt coconut bits?