Saturday, June 12, 2010

Easy Key Lime Pie

This pie combines the tang of fresh limes with sweetened milk that makes the taste buds tingle with pleasure. Thus key lime pie is popular with most everyone. Cultivated for thousands of years in the Indo-Malayan region, this fruit flourished in the Florida Keys after being brought there by Spanish settlers. Today, most key limes come from Mexico as hurricanes have wiped out the lime groves in Florida. Because of this your produce shop may label them Mexican or West Indies lime.

Key limes are much smaller and rounder (ping-pong ball-sized) than traditional (Persian) limes. Green key limes are actually immature fruits, prized for their acidity. As they ripen to a yellow color, the acid content diminishes, resulting in a sweeter fruit. The key lime has a distinctive flavor which some describe as "orangey-lime" flavor and a wonderful bouquet. They are the best limes for juices, marinades and of course, pies. I never use bottled lime juice (or lemon for that matter) unless it's from real fruit. Most of the bottled product is actually citric acid, water and lime flavoring. If you can't get fresh limes, better to make another type of pie.

Make whatever crust you like. Most prefer a graham cracker crust, but any good crust will do. As I had some leftover pastry crust in the refrigerator, today I'm using that. Partially pre-bake the crust so it is firm and dry. I use a simple recipe for this pie filling. Whisk four egg yolks in a mixing bowl for about a minute. Add one-half cup of strained key lime juice and one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir and place in an 8" pie shell. Bake for another 15 minutes at 350F. If you want a 9" pie deep dish pie (as shown below) double the contents of the filling.

Note that about two pounds of key limes will yield approximately 1 1/2 cups of key lime juice. I use an electric citrus juicer for this task, as it can be a bit tedious.

As today I'm making a deep dish pie, I'll use the extra 1/2 cup for some key-lime cocktails later this week. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool, then refrigerate. Serve with sweetend whipped cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment