Zach Bell, Yale University
Traditionally thought of as a summer dessert, in my opinion key lime pie can be served at any time of the year. In order to make the pie a little more appropriate for the temperature though (despite an unusually warm December in St. Louis), I put the filling in a gingerbread crust.
Normally I would use a graham cracker crust for key lime pie, a crust made solely from crushed graham crackers, butter, and brown sugar/spices. Since the graham crackers are porous they absorb the butter well, congealing in the oven to form a crumbly and crispy exterior. The gingerbread cookies possessed a considerably denser composition. Not only did this make crushing them more difficult (requiring a food processor after ten minutes of frustration), but their lack of sponginess meant that they did not stick together as well upon baking.
The resulting crust was more crunchy than crumbly, barely holding on to the filling. Still, the gingerbread flavor matched surprisingly well with lime. The acidic bite of citrus combined with spicy ginger to create a multilayered profile. Although next time I would use a lighter gingerbread (maybe even gingersnaps) next time, this flavor combination will not be forgotten.