Today I’d like to share a recipe I made a while back – key lime pie! For those down in Florida and the Caribbean, I hope you and your loved ones are safe from the hurricanes and storms. I’ve been following the weather as several of my patients were from Florida while I was on the Hematology service (they had traveled to Yale for cancer treatment).
The Hematology team also carries the code pagers – anytime there’s a code blue (cardiac/respiratory arrest) you stop what you’re doing and immediately run to the location of the code to do ACLS (advanced cardiovascular life support).
There was one sad case where we ran the code – my first one. It was a shock for everyone given how unexpected the case was – the patient had cancer, but he was very young, had come in for an elective surgery, and was actually in the process of being discharged when something (most likely a clot to the lungs) caused him to stop breathing and lose his pulse.
After resuscitation attempts for almost an hour failed, we eventually pronounce him dead. Hearing his wife’s despair was heartbreaking – she had come to the hospital expecting to pick him up and take him home.
Even though it’s what I’ve trained for my whole life, it’s still so surreal for me to be telling so many people, many older than me, what to do to try save a life acutely.
I’ve had to come to the point where I need to decide my speciality soon. Having an uncle who recently passed away from leukemia and doing art therapy with cancer patients in college had piqued my interest; I’ve definitely enjoyed my Hematology patients this month.
While B thinks adult cancer is awfully “doom and gloom,” there are many happier stories too (really!). In a few years, we’ll see what I end up doing for fellowship … but I wouldn’t be surprised if I do end up a cancer doctor.
Key Lime Pie recipe adapted from epicurious.
Key Lime Pie
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup lime juice, fresh
2 limes, zested
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F.
CRUST: Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch removable tart pan. Bake crust in middle of oven 12 minutes and let cool. Leave oven on.
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well. Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.
Just before serving, beat cream and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer to stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream. Garnish with additional zest and lime slices.