Sour usually is synonymous with pucker. You know that tingling feeling in your jaws that hurts and feels good all at the same time? You either love you don’t. My family seems to love it so after a recent trip down to Key West and tasting creamy authentic Key Lime pie at the Blonde Giraffe, I decided it was time to make one of my own. First things first, please use real key limes. Not regular limes, not some new variety that your local farmer’s market had on sale, but real KEY limes. The tiny ones. The ones that will make your hand ache after squeezing a few dozen of them. The ones that require a near miracle to zest without removing bits of your finger tips, yes those! The time, energy and bits of fingertips that you will have to sacrifice will be a small price to pay.
You may be wondering, why isn’t my pie green? It’s key lime isn’t it and key limes are green aren’t they? Of course it’s key lime pie but if someone gives you a green colored pie, put it down and back slowly away. It’s been artificially colored and isn’t worth the time. If they put coloring in it, then quality ingredients are not a priority in their world.
Traditional key lime pie does not require any heat (other than a few minutes for the crust). This one goes in the freezer and is meant to eat cold. The recipe below makes one 9″ pie or about 5 mini pies if you prefer to make them in ramekins.
For the crust:
mix the following together, press evenly in a pie pan (or ramekins) and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Put aside to cool.
- 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs (just put them in a ziplock baggie and smash with a pan, rolling pin or whatever is handy)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
For the filling first do the following:
Zest a few dozen key limes. You want at least 2 tablespoons of zest. Try to only get the outer peel, if you go too far in you lose the flavor.
Juice those same key limes. If you really don’t want to squeeze that many key limes, you can add store bought key lime juice although I warn you, the taste is not as good. In the end you are going to need 3/4 cup of juice.
In a medium bowl add:
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
Beat both of these ingredients on high for at least 5 minutes. It should be much thicker when you are done. After about 5 minutes add:
- 1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons of key lime zest
- 3/4 cup key lime juice
- 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
Beat this on medium for one minute. See how easy that was? You are ready to assemble your pie. Poor the filling into a mostly cooled pie dish. The crust can still be warm, just not hot. Put in the freezer for a good four hours and enjoy. Of course in our house, after four hours, a few forkfuls are always suspiciously missing….