Key Lime Pie
Key West, Florida, is famous for its fabulous key lime pie, one of America’s best-loved regional dishes. Every restaurant in the Florida Keys, and especially in the city of Key West, serves this wonderful pie. There seems to be a key lime pie for every palate, with numerous versions made throughout the region.
The dish is named after the small key limes (Citrus aurantifolia ‘Swingle’) that are naturalized throughout the Florida Keys. Their thorns make them less tractable, their thin yellow rind makes them more perishable, but they are more tart and aromatic than the common Persian limes seen year round in most U.S. grocery stores.
Key lime pie is made with canned sweetened condensed milk, since fresh milk was not a common commodity in the Florida Keys before modern refrigerated distribution methods.
Key lime juice, unlike regular lime juice, is a pale yellow. The filling in key lime pie is also yellow, largely due to the egg yolks. Some cooks add food coloring to give the pie filling a green color. This practice is frowned upon by those who make traditional key lime pies.
During mixing, a reaction between the condensed milk and the acidic lime juice occurs which causes the filling to thicken on its own without requiring baking. Many early recipes for key lime pie did not instruct the cook to ever bake the pie, relying on this chemical reaction (called souring) to produce the proper consistency of the filling. Today, in the interest of safety due to consumption of raw eggs, pies of this nature are usually baked for a short time. The baking also thickens the texture even more than the reaction alone. As for me I don’t like to use eggs, since I don’t cook it. And here is my version of Key Lime Pie
3/4 cup lime juice (about 5 limes)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 pre-made graham cracker crust
if you want to make your own crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1. To get the most juice out of the lime roll the lime before you squeeze the juice out of the lime
2. Heat the oven to 325°F. If you are making your own graham cracker crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and stir until moistened. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form crust. Bake 10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack.
3. Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice cream cheese and vanilla in large bowl until blended. Stir in lime peel. Pour filling into the crust. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until tiny bubbles begin to form on surface of pie. Cool completely on wire rack. Top with some whipped cream.
*Arrisje’s Recipe Card. Click on the pic below, save to your hard drive and print as a 4×6 pic *