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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Key lime pie

I did it again.  I baked a pie to test it out before I serve it to others.  The problem with pies (and cakes) is that in order to sample them, you have to cut into them....and then they're missing a slice.  And really, it's not very polite to show up at someone's home with 88% of a pie!

This year, my family is having a "pre-Thanksgiving" dinner in addition to our regular Thanksgiving dinner.  One of my sisters is leaving the country before Thanksgiving, and will be away for a few months, and one of her requests was to have a "pre-Thanksgiving" Thanksgiving dinner before she left.  Last year we had a non-traditional meal, and so it was decided that we would repeat that meal for "pre-Thanksgiving" and we'd have our turkey dinner on actual Thanksgiving.

The request for this year's pies came before we even finished clearing the dessert table last Thanksgiving.  Key Lime Pie was my cousin's request.  My other cousin decided that there needed to be a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner (which later turned into the fact that there needed to be a pumpkin pie at pre-Thanksgiving dinner since she, too, would not be at actual Thanksgiving).  So I set out to make the two pies for pre-Thanksgiving dinner.

This key lime pie was a HUGE hit!  Every one loved it, and we were serving such tiny slivers to the 20 (yes, 20!!) guests to guarantee that everyone got at least a taste!

Key Lime Pie


For the crust:

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling:

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, they say "preferably Manhattan brand") (I found key limes two weeks before I made the pie, but when I went back to the grocery store to make the pies, they had no key limes....so this is actually a lime pie)
Some freshly grated lime zest

For topping:

3/4 cup chilled heavy cream


Make crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.
Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack.
 Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:

Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well.
Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).
Add lime zest.

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes.
Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping (I made whipped cream, with a little vanilla and sugar, instead of just whipping the cream as the recipe suggests):

Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.  I added piped whipped cream with a sprinkling of lime zest - my original thought was to add small wedges of key limes, but they were drippy with lime juice and I didnt want them to ruin the whipped cream.

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