always on the lookout for the best Key lime pie [me, too!], and whenever
spot this delicacy on a menu, I order it [amen!] My cousin Connie Kostyra
lives in Miami and is another aficionado. Rarely does a month go by without
or two from her in the mail.
The main ingredient for this pie is the small, yellowish lime which is
to the Florida Keys. This kind of lime is also grown in Mexico and
in parts of the Southwest. Its mild, delicate fragrance and flavor is very
different from that of the common, dark green Persian limes we can buy at the
supermarket. Both recipes given here can be made with Persian limes, but the
pies will have a more pungent, more tart taste.
The Key Lime Meringue Pie uses a pâte brisée crust, and the filling contains
sweetened condensed milk, which many say must be in Key lime pie if it is to
be considered the real thing. Key Lime Pie uses a graham cracker crust and is
very similar to one of my favorite versions of this pie, the one served at
Crab Restaurant in Miami Beach. No amount of coaxing can get
Joe’s to reveal
the restaurant’s secret recipe.”
Key Lime Meringue Pie
Makes one 8-inch pie
One 8-inch pâte
brisée shell, baked and cooled
1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk
[such as Eagle Brand]
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Key lime rind [zest]
1 egg white, stiffly beaten
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
5 egg whites
6 to 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
1. Preheat the
oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks,
juice, and rind. Gently fold the egg white into the mixture. Pour into
3. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until
fluffy. Continue beating, and very gradually add the sugar. Beat for 7 to 8
minutes, to stiff peaks. Smooth the meringue over the filling, covering the
filling completely and drawing the meringue to the crust. Bake for
approximately 8 to 10 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown.
at room temperature – do not chill.
Key Lime Pie
Makes one 8-inch pie
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup fresh key lime juice
2 1/4 teaspoons grated key lime rind [zest]
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to
375 degrees F. Combine all ingredients for the crust and mix well. Press into
a buttered 8-inch pie plate and bake for 15 minutes,
until lightly browned.
Let cool completely on a rack.
2. In the top of a double boiler, combine the egg yolks, sugar and lime
juice. Cook the mixture over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, until it
the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the grated zest.
until the mixture thickens, but do not let it become stiff.
3. Whip 1 1/2 cups cream to soft peaks and fold it into the lime filling.
Spoon into the baked crumb crust and chill, covered, for 24 hours. To
whip the remaining cream and pipe it onto the filling.
A simple variation, in
which the yolks are not
Combine 4 egg
yolks with one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk [such as Eagle Brand] in
a medium bowl. Fold in 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice. Pour into graham cracker
crust and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream to serve.
Perhaps this is THE one?
Key Lime Pie with Pecan Crumb Crust
The Editors of Gourmet, 1994,
Condé Nast Books, Random
For the crust
2/3 cup pecans, toasted lightly and
1 cup zwieback or graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter,
melted and cooled
2 large egg yolks
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
[such as Eagle Brand]
1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice* or
fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons light rum
Preheat the oven
to 350 degrees F.
Make the crust: In a food processor grind the pecans fine with the
crumbs and the sugar and blend in the butter. Press the mixture onto the
bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate and bake the shell in the middle
of the oven for 8 minutes, or until it is browned lightly. Let the shell cool
on a rack.
In a large bowl beat the egg yolks with the condensed milk, stir in the lime
juice, a little at a time, stirring to combine the filling well, and spoon
filling into the shell. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 15
or until the filling is set, let the pie cool on a rack, and chill
it for 1 hour.
In a bowl beat the cream with the sugar until it holds stiff peaks and beat
in the rum. Serve the pie with the whipped cream.
Featured Archive Recipes:
Claire Brennan's Lemon Ice Box Pie
Lime Curd and Toasted Almond Tart
with Fruit Compote
Lime Sour Cream Pie
Lemon-Lime Tart with Fresh
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