Really, there is a limit and, to be honest, Markipedia and I are kind of lightweights when it comes to the hard stuff. (His gin and tonic is often missing the gin...)
So, in late autumn, that leaves us with an embarrassment of riches (limes) on our little potted tree.
As citrus desserts are among my favorites, I did some fancy finger work (popularly known as Googling) and found a recipe for a lemon dessert that uses more than the zest and a mere tablespoon of juice.
While the basic recipe was good, I wanted something more complex. So, in my usual fashion, I borrowed the basics of the recipe and then made it my own, starting with the substitution of limes.
The first iteration had just the taste I was hoping for, but was not completely successful in its presentation.
After some serious soul searching (otherwise known as recipe adaptation), the second version came out beautifully and is what you see here today.
3 1/2 ounces Lattemiele biscuits, or other not-too-sweet cookie
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
finely grated zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
4 large egg whites **
Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan (or one 3.5-inch by 7.5 inch and one 2.5-inch by 5-inch loaf pans) with parchment or plastic wrap, allowing it to hang over the edges. Crush cookies in a mortar and pestle, or pulse them in a food processor until they attain a coarse sand-like texture (chunks will be hard to cut when frozen). Combine cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, and ground ginger in medium bowl. Sprinkle a light coating of the mixture into bottom of prepared loaf pan(s) and set aside.
Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest in medium bowl until smooth; set aside.
Stir sugar, water, and honey in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil syrup until the bubbles are large and glossy - about 8 minutes.
While syrup boils, using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat whites and salt on medium speed until loosened, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whisk until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Stop motor and let sit until syrup is ready.
With mixer running on medium-high speed, slowly and carefully add syrup to egg whites in a slow and steady stream. Beat until outside of bowl is cool to the touch and whites are thick and glossy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk about a third of the meringue into lime mixture to loosen. Then carefully, with a rubber spatula, fold in remaining meringue. Fill the prepared pan(s) halfway; sprinkle another layer of the cookie mixture, then fill the pan to the top. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Fold parchment or plastic wrap over the top, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. A longer freeze is better.
When ready to serve, wipe sides of loaf pan with a towel dampened with hot water. Go around the edges with a thin spatula (between the wrapping and the pan) then, using the wrap, pull the semifreddo up and out and invert onto a platter; discard plastic wrap. Slice and serve immediately with fresh berries, if desired. This is a much softer version of a semifreddo, thus it melts much quicker.
Makes one large (5-inch by 9-inch) or one small (3.5-inch x 7.5-inch) and one mini (2.5-inch by 5-inch)
** Use the 4 egg yolks to make a key lime pie using more of the limes!