Tuesday, July 7, 2009

High on pie

I am so lime'd out right now. And yet I keep going back for more... Back in early May, I spotted key limes on sale at Newflower Market and decided I needed to tackle a key lime pie from scratch. Certainly, you can make a key lime pie with just regular limes, but I doubt it tastes as yummy.

The only downside to making it as intended? Those key limes are tiny, and you've gotta squeeze a heck of a lot of them to get the juice you need. Luckily they usually aren't too expensive. I think Newflower had them on sale for 20 for a $1? But that was a couple months ago (I'm a slooow blogger). What you really need to focus on is the patience in squeezing them all. And dang, it is so worth it.

I think this was the last slice. I'd already blown through most of it (and shared some with good friends) before I remembered to take a picture. As for the recipe, I just did some googling and found there wasn't a lot of variation in what goes into it. So here's the recipe I used, swiped from Epicurious:

Key Lime Pie

For crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 crackers (yeah, I got the boxed graham crumbs - I'm all for saving steps.)
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 (But don't use bottled. Short cuts are okay when it comes to graham crumbs, but not citrus juices in my opinion. This took me about 30 key limes.)

For topping
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

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 glass pie plate. Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until well blended (mixture will thicken slightly). Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven for 15 minutes. Cool pie completely (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream. (Full disclosure, despite having some heavy cream on hand, I also had a half-empty thing of Cool Whip from when I made 'lazy man's strawberry shortcake' the week before. That's right, canned biscuits and Cool Whip were involved. So make the real stuff if you want to, but if you go for the frozen "whipped topping," I won't judge. The lime juice on the other hand...)

By the way, did I mention before that my oven seems to run a bit hot? A tad? Well, I bought one of those in-oven temperature gauges and it says that it runs one hundred degrees above what it's set at. No wonder everything's been burning! However, now I'm noticing that when the oven is totally off, that same temperature gauge says it's like 300 degrees in there. So I think it's broken too. Will the oven mystery never be solved? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, it's no wonder that my latest and more recent lime creation is an icebox pie. Better to be safe than to be without pie.

That's what I always say.

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