Summer is coming to a close. I can hardly believe it. Before we know it, we’ll be back on campus, moving into our dorms and apartments, ready (well, ok not exactly ready) to start taking notes and paying attention again. Now I know that seems a bit daunting, especially if you, like me, haven’t opened a book or even glanced at anything remotely school-related since that blessed day you took your last exam.
Don’t get me wrong. I actually can’t wait to get back to blustery Scotland. Because along with all of the stress that comes with being at school come many wonderful things. Weekends away with friends. Afternoons spent lounging in the sunshine on the beach. And, most importantly, dinner parties.
I am lucky enough to have an apartment with a fully-functional, if tiny, kitchen with an oven, a stove, and plenty of space in the cupboards. Last year, I managed to host more than twenty people every week, cooking in the kitchen in my dorm; having a kitchen at my own disposal will only make hosting Sunday Suppers easier. I have a confession to make, though: as much as I love throwing dinner parties, sometimes I just can’t be bothered to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen.
It’s easy enough to put together the main meal without really doing any cooking. You can pick up a rotisserie chicken or throw together a cheese plate and call it dinner. Dessert is a little trickier. I’ve never been one for store-bought cakes or supermarket cookies, so my laziness is usually trumped by my culinary snobbery.
I always find myself sweating and stressing up until the last moment, trying to make sure the ganache has set or the ice cream has set. I work myself into such a state that I have a hard time actually enjoying the meal. That was, until I saw this recipe for a Lime Icebox Cake. With it, I can indulge my high standards and be a relaxed and pleasant hostess. It’s simple and easy, not to mention delicious. No one will know it took you minutes to make.
Hayley Daen is a sophomore at the University of St Andrews, where she lives in a dinky apartment right across from Tesco, which makes throwing impromptu tea parties a snap.
Lime Icebox Cake
Adapted from Serious Eats
2 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest, plus extra for sprinkling
2 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers
Stir together milk and heavy cream in a medium bowl. Whisk in lime juice until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Fold in lime zest.
Spread 1 cup filling over the bottom of a clean 9-inch square cake pan. Top with a layer of Ritz crackers placed next to one another (about 4 to a row). Repeat with remaining filling and Ritz crackers.
Freeze for 2-4 hours, or overnight. Before serving, sprinkle zest over cake. Serve cold.