Summer is peak season for Key limes—a fruit no bigger than a walnut but mighty in intensity. In our panna cotta (on the next page), we use the aromatic juice with restraint to highlight the fruit's floral notes along with its distinct tang. While tarter and more acidic than Persian limes, Key limes are actually a little sweeter. The juice adds zing to marinades for fish, pork, and chicken and is delightful in a juicy cocktail. The zested skin will add flavor to icings or salad dressings. About four Key limes give you as much juice as one Persian lime, and with the skyrocketing price of the latter, Key limes may be the better buy. Get 'em now—while they're fresh.


KEY LIME PANNA COTTAHands-on: 25 min. Total: 8 hr. 25 min.

We used only enough gelatin for the creamy texture and wobbly jiggle panna cotta is known for.

½ cup half-and-half½ cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk2 tablespoons grated Key lime rind¼ teaspoon salt, divided1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, divided1¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin2 tablespoons Key lime juice, divided (about 4)Cooking spray1½ tablespoons honey1 teaspoon unsalted butter1 low-fat graham cracker sheet, crushed into coarse crumbs

1. Combine first 3 ingredients and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Place ¼ cup 2% milk in a medium bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over milk; let stand 10 minutes.

3. Return pan to medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Add hot milk mixture to gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves. Add remaining ¾ cup 2% milk. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids. Stir in 1 tablespoon Key lime juice. Divide mixture evenly among 4 (4-ounce) ramekins or custard cups lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice and honey.

5. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add crumbs and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 1 minute or until lightly toasted, stirring constantly. Cool completely. To serve, loosen edges of panna cotta with a knife or rubber spatula. Invert ramekins onto dessert plates. Drizzle each with about 2 teaspoons honey mixture, and top with about 2 teaspoons graham cracker crumbs.

SERVES 4CALORIES 251; FAT 7.3g (sat 4.5g, mono 1.6g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 7g; CARB 37g; FIBER 0g; CHOL 24mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 250mg; CALC 224mg