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Key Lime Pie

January 9, 2011

As I mentioned in a previous post, our little family headed to Key West for Thanksgiving.  And yes, I’m just now blogging about it– better late than never, right?!?  My birthday falls around Thanksgiving (sometimes even on Thanksgiving, but only every 5 years or something) and, since we were in the Keys, I decided to make myself a Key Lime Pie for my birthday.  Because it was my birthday dessert, I had carte blanche to eat it whenever I wanted without feeling guilty!  Key lime pie for breakfast?  Check.  Key lime pie for lunch?  Check.  Wishing I could subsist on just key lime pie for the rest of my life?  Check!

Key lime pie from scratch actually isn’t that hard to make: it’s a simple graham cracker crust, and then limes, sweetened condensed milk, and eggs for the filling. You could even use regular limes- they don’t have to be Key limes.  The kicker for me was zesting the frickin limes.  It took me at least 30 minutes to get enough zest for recipe, and even then I didn’t quite have 4 teaspoons of zest.  I was using a box grater and, as you can see from the photo above,  half the zest got stuck in the space between the grate holes and I had to use a knife to dig it out.  Even so, the final product was so outstanding that I would happily use the box grater again if I was guaranteed a pie like this!

Key Lime Pie
(Taken from Cook’s Illustrated)

Lime Filling
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Graham Cracker Crust
11 graham crackers , processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 lime , sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional)

For the Filling: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.

For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Pour mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)

For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Decoratively pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Cindy permalink
    January 10, 2011 11:01 am

    I love key lime pie too!!! And super yay for doing what you want on your birthday 🙂

    Check these out. We have them and I don’t even bother using the container part sometimes… it’s easy enough to clean the underside when it’s just a lid!

  2. January 10, 2011 9:19 pm

    I LOVE key lime pie, yours looks delicious! Sadly, I haven’t had it in forever. When I went on a cruise with my family though, we had a stop in Key West where we got key lime coladas and they were to die for, I can still remember the exact taste!

  3. January 13, 2011 6:01 pm

    Having eaten a portion of the actual pie in this event, I can say it was by far the best Key Lime pie I have ever tasted! And I have had a lot of it.

  4. Kirsten permalink
    February 2, 2011 10:50 am

    That looks SO good!!! I’ve never made a key lime pie…but now that I know where to get sweetened condensed milk here I’m going to do it!


  1. Katie’s Key Lime Pie « Mile Marker 23

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