“That’s a pie crust promise: easily made and easily broken.” – Mary Poppins
If you stop and think about it, the phrase “easy as pie” doesn’t really make that much sense. Kind of like “falling head over heels” because, aren’t you always head over heels? So really the expression should be “heels over head”. But I digress. I never thought that pies were particularly easy to make. Peeling, slicing, rolling the crust and somehow not tearing it and then there is weaving a lattice. See? Not that easy.
BUT- None of the above applies if you are talking about key lime pie. Which, I discovered, is actually easy. VERY easy in fact.
I used this recipe. Joe’s Stone Crabs is a famous Miami restaurant known for their regional foods, so their recipe seemed like a good bet. Also this recipe gives you the option of using key limes or “regular” limes, and honestly, I didn’t know if that would be important.
In case you’re curious, a key lime is smaller, lighter in color, has less seeds, and is more acidic than a “regular” lime. Key Limes are one of those ingredients I only occasionally see in flyover country and only when in season, so I did use “regular” limes.
The crust for key lime pie is your basic graham cracker crust. Crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter.
Press it into your pie pan and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes until its golden brown and set. And yes, I realize its tricky to know when a golden brown cracker is baked to a golden brown. I think mine was slightly overdone. Ooopsies.
The filling is made with 2 eggs yolks, zest from two limes whipped together. You slowly add a can of sweetened condensed milk and then slowly add 2/3 cup of lime juice. I used fresh lime juice as well some bottled key lime juice, to try and get some of the authentic key lime flavor in there.
The filling goes into your slightly cooled crust and back in the oven for another 10 minutes. At this point, my lovely house guest/sous chef and I both noticed that the pie looked different than the “key lime pie” you often seen: namely, it wasn’t acid green.
Conclusion: most pies masquerading a key lime pie include green food coloring. Cheaters.
Let it cool and then put it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Ours sat in the fridge while we got sunburned, played bocce ball, drank vodka lemonades, and ate Chicago-style hot dogs all in the name of American independence. (Best. Holiday. Ever.)
We served the pie with just a dollop of homemade whipped cream (made pre-vodka lemonades). It was cool and tart and tasted well, real. It tasted like limes, not sugar and it was perfect after a full day of sun. What is it about limes that is so cooling? Hmmm….
I apologize for the lack of photos of a beautiful sliced, plated piece. Pie was eaten post-vodka lemonades and mid-Cranium and I do have priorities.
UNFORESEEN BONUS: I am happy to report that no one at our party got scurvy.
Still plenty of summer left,
xoxo Flyover Foodie