Thursday, June 10, 2010

REAL Key Lime Pie

I can't take it anymore, so I'm going to rant, lecture, wave my arms and generally make a fool of myself. But you'll get a recipe before it's over.

If you're not from Florida:

Key lime juice is not the same thing as lime juice. Key limes are yellow. If you see a "Key" lime pie that's green, it's not the real thing.

When you make a recipe for Key Lime Pie, please don't call it Key Lime Pie unless it contains Key lime juice. Call it a lime pie, people won't think less of it. They'll still enjoy it. It's not like Buffalo chicken wings, which are made in the style of those from the city of Buffalo...there isn't any buffalo in the chicken wings.

When I was growing up in Miami, everyone had a Key lime tree. To make Key lime pie, you had to juice a lot of little Key limes to get enough juice to make a pie, but it was so puckeringly tart that it complimented the sweetened condensed milk and made a delightful sweet/tart creamy dreamy pie. You would never think of using the rind of the lime to make it more limey because with Key limes there is no doubt what your dessert is.

I'm not a complete Neanderthal, so now that I live in California, I do buy Key lime juice in a bottle, but it comes from actual Key limes so I'm OK with it.

My grandmother would have made her Key lime pie with a pastry crust as that is traditional, but I like mine in a graham cracker crust. This brings me to my recipe for Key lime pie. It's not for the faint of heart as it has a bazillion calories, a whole cup of Key lime juice, six uncooked egg yolks and two cans of sweetened condensed milk. But you'll have a killer Key lime pie.

Lethally Delicious is on vacation, so responses to comments will be delayed. This post (and others) was squirreled away for a rainy day. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie - makes one 9" pie
Printable Recipe

Note:  I never use graham cracker crumbs for my graham cracker pie crusts. To me, the flavor and texture just aren't the same, but you can use them to make this easier. You can crush your graham crackers in the food processor or blender.

For the crust:
6 ounces graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar

For the filling:
6 very fresh large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Key lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust:  Pulverize the graham crackers in a food processor or blender. Place in a medium mixing bowl, stir in the sugar and pour the melted butter over the crumbs. Mix well with a fork or your hand. Transfer to a 9" pie plate, patting well until you have a uniform crust. Bake crust for 8 minutes, or until fragrant or lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the filling:  Beat egg yolks in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment until pale yellow and ribbon-like, about 8 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined. Turn mixer to low and add Key lime juice in a slow stream and mix until combined. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate 4-6 hours or until set.

Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Serves 10


Julie said...

We love key lime pie! I can find the juice in a few stores around town. This looks delicious. So summery!

Unknown said...

I learned something today. Thanks.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

I'm just chuckling because I threw out a (very old) bottle of key lime juice today. I thought I'd be crucified if I ever used it in a recipe. Now I know it's OK!

Unknown said...

yeah, i was shocked the first time i saw a key lime pie and it was not green. then, i was schooled. haha.

You do not cook the filling? This recipe looks perfectly doable. Thanks for sharing!

margot said...

YUM!!! I love citrusy pies. If you say it's okay to use jarred Key Lime juice, I'll do it and make a pie.

Katrina said...

Thanks for the REAL recipe! I did already know the difference between limes and key limes, but your recipe has a lot more key lime! Looks great.

Unknown said...

I have pipe dreams of someday having a fruit tree in my yard - key limes would be nice and maybe a lemon tree too. Of course, this is totally unrealistic for now given the 6 months of freezing temperatures but someday :) I don't know that I've ever seen key limes in my local grocery stores, but maybe I can find the juice in the bottle.

Hanaâ said...

I've seen key limes at my grocery store but since they're so small, I find it a pain to juice them one by one. I usually buy Key Lime Juice. I think I might have made this pie recipe before. My own addition: bake the entire pie for 15-20 minutes in a low heat oven. I'm just not comfortable eating raw eggs... :o(

Kayte said...

Oh, I love Key Lime Pie and like you, I think it should contain key limes or key lime juice. Someone told me recently that real Key Limes are not what we have now, that they have been extinct for awhile now. Is that true? Oh, well, whatever passes for Key Lime Juice now suits me just fine. Your pie looks lovely, and I wish the slice was for me!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that is tempting! I agree about the key lime juice. I can easily find the bottled kind at my grocery store.

Mimi said...

Where I'm from we call those tiny little limes, Mexican limes, extremly tart and tangy.