Ingredients

1 14-ounce can Sweet Condensed Milk
4 ounces Key lime juice (not regular lime juice)
4 egg yolks (separate and remove egg whites for another use such as a meringue)
1 graham cracker crust pie shell (Another pre-baked pie shell will also do.)
1 pint heavy cream
1 teaspoon gelatin
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup sugar
1 lime for zest garnish

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine milk, Key Lime juice and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until thick.
3. Fill pie shell almost to the top. (Pie filling will not rise.)
4. Bake in oven for 15 minutes when it has set.
5. Refrigerate pie until cool.
6. While pie is cooling you can make the stabilized whipped cream. Put gelatin and water in microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds at 30 percent power. (Note: It is important not to store stabilized whipped cream in plastic. Use metal or glass bowls instead.)
7. Add gelatin mixture and sugar while whipping the cream.
8. Place whipped cream over top of cooled pie, add lime zest as a garnish and refrigerate until ready to eat. (Note: If you are using the stabilized whipped cream it will keep perfectly fine in the refrigerator for 3 days or more. If you are using normal whipped cream it will melt within a short while.)

Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2012.

by Victoria Brown: “Today we’re going to make one of my favorites – Key Lime Pie” says Julie Geary of Classic Cooks Catering. “It’s a really simple recipe; that’s what makes it so wonderful for summertime.”

She is not the only one who loves it; “Key lime pie is the official dessert of the Florida Keys, craved by tourists and locals alike” writes Coralie Carlson of the Glasgow Daily Times. “It looks like a slice of pie – but it tastes like sunshine.” The What’s Cooking America website describes key lime pie as “one of America’s best loved regional dishes” and the limes they are made with as “the pink flamingos of Florida food”.

Key limes are different from the common Persian lime that we usually get at the grocery store. They are native to Malaysia and thought to have arrived in the Florida Keys in the 1500s with the Spanish. They are smaller and more aromatic than Persian limes with a higher acidity, and although picked green commercially, they are yellow when ripe. Geary explains that it is the key lime juice that makes this pie special; “it’s different from regular lime juice, it’s almost cloudy looking and it has a different taste” she says.

A traditional key lime pie is made with a graham cracker crust, a custard of eggs, key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk and topped with meringue. Geary’s recipe for the pie follows this tradition, except that she uses stabilized whipped cream in place of meringue, as is quite common these days.

The recipe is really simple, with just a few core ingredients and a quick preparation time. Geary simply whisks together 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk, 4 ounces key lime juice and four egg yolks and pours the mixture into a pre-made graham cracker crust. She then bakes it for 15 minutes at 350 degrees and puts it in the refrigerator to cool.

To make the stabilized cream she whips four cups of heavy cream – “heavy cream has the highest content of fat and that’s what makes the cream whip the best” – and adds gelatin and water. “What I do is I put the gelatin in the microwave, one tablespoon of gelatin to three tablespoons of water for two minutes and 30 seconds at 30% power and then you add it to the whipped cream while you are whipping it and then you add about a cup of sugar.”

She spoons the whipped cream on top and she’s ready to serve. “The great part about key lime pie is that it bakes in 15 minutes so you could literally make this at lunch time and put the whipped cream on for dinner and you’re good to go” she says. Easy as pie.

Key Lime Pie
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