Thursday, September 9, 2010

Key Lime Pie Recipe and Picture

Yes, this really is a lumpy pie.

Why?  Well because I took the picture mid preparation and started on the meringue, but I am getting way ahead of myself and I'm saving Meringue and cooking for a later post...

What you're looking at is my lumpy Key Lime Pie.  Trust me, it tasted wonderful and this is what it looks like before you put the meringue on top and pop it into the oven.

Key Limes are a special variety of the fruit.  They don't grow everywhere, they are different since they have thinner skin and a different taste.  More seeds in the fruit mean you're going to have less juice as well.  You can swap out the regular old "Persian" limes for them in a recipe, but you just won't have the same taste.  It won't be "right".  Since it is a smaller and very seasonal crop, you may not be able to find the juice at all outside of the US or even in smaller areas inside of the US unless you resort to online shopping but the taste is truly worth it.

The original recipe relied on the acid in the Key Lime to react with the egg yolks and the sweetened condensed milk to form a custard via that chemical reaction.   You would put it all together and somehow it would thicken.  I've never found a recipe like that and the idea of raw eggs is not appetizing to me.

The pie would be served with whipped cream or Meringue on top.  I always opt for the Meringue since you will have the egg whites left over and it's only a few more steps to make the whites into that wonderful fluff.

Especially if you have a stand mixer like I do.

The recipe I used was simple.

For the Crust: 1 Ready Made Graham Cracker Crust.  

Yes, I cheated.  I went to GFS intending to get one crust, they came in a package of six.  I'll be making a lot of "Weekly Pies" to share. If I decide to make a crust from scratch, I'll post how I did it later but for expedience sake... They work well.

For the filling:

5 Room Temperature Egg Yolks, Beaten.  Yes, Room Temp since the Meringue needs them that way.  30 minutes out on the counter will do it.

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk.

1/2 cup key lime juice - I use Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice.  I always have even when I was a snowbird.  Since moving here, I have met the CFO of the company locally and she gave me a couple bottles knowing I bake.  Hi Jayne!

That is it for the ingredients.

Pretty simple - if you are going to stop here and serve with some whipped cream or just slices of lime for garnish, pour the lime juice into the bowl with the egg yolks and the sweetened condensed milk.

Mix all ingredients until smooth and blended.  

Pour into the mix into the pie crust and bake at 350 for 15 to 30 minutes or until set.  I would check before 30 minutes for done-ness since your oven time will vary and not having the meringue on top will mean for a shorter bake time.  The pie will "set up" after it comes out of the oven and into the refrigerator.  Serve cold.  

I have seen recipes that say to pull this pie out of the oven at 15 and let cool.  Your timing WILL vary.

I promise I'll give you the recipe for the Meringue... later.  It deserves its own post since it was comical the way I made the stuff.   For now, if you want a simple pie that's all it takes.  The hardest part is finding the Key Lime Juice. 

Variations would include using another citrus juice for the pie such as Lemon or Grapefruit.  Tart works well with this recipe.

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