Key Lime Pie – For those who don’t know, I used to live in South Florida. I loved it there :D! They have amazing weather, the beach, a nice breeze all the time, generally happy friendly people and delicious Key Lime Pie. Aaaahhhhh, Key Lime Pie. Just the thought of it makes me long for a hammock between 2 palm trees and the sound of the ocean. One of the best things we used to do when I lived in Florida was to run off for a long weekend in Key West. And what do you eat when you’re in Key West? That’s right, conch chowder :D – but more importantly, you eat delicious Key Lime Pie! I’m pretty sure that it’s a rule of some sort :). So, anyway, the point is that I, being partially from Florida, am super duper picky about my Key Lime Pie and I can taste a cheater recipe from a mile away. Folding Key Lime flavored Jello with cool whip does not a good Key Lime Pie make. There are also some short cuts out there where you use the right ingredients, you just kind of skip over some of the steps. This results in the right flavor but the wrong consistency – like I said, I’m super duper picky. So what are the ingredients that are absolutely required? Well not to state the obvious, but Key Lime juice, and also eggs and sweetened condensed milk. The reason sweetened condensed milk is necessary to make it authentic is kind of cool – ammmmmm if you’re a food nerd like me anyway. It has to have sweetened condensed milk because the Overseas Highway wasn’t built until 1930. Why is that important Alicia(?) (you may be wondering). Well, let me tell you why. Fresh milk wasn’t readily available in the Keys until that highway came around (unless you had a pet cow I guess). So, the local cooks relied more on sweetened condensed milk which has been around since 1856. Therefore, without sweetened condensed milk, it’s not the real thing. When was the first Key Lime Pie made? No one really knows, but it is believed that it was made sometime in the mid to late 1800′s either by a woman referred to as Aunt Sally (cool history lesson that you’ll have to Google for yourself), or by the local fisherman. I also learned that some historians believe that the fishermen made it and Aunt Sally perfected it. Either way, I’m glad they didn’t have fresh milk, because sweetened condensed is so very tasty! The other controversy with Key Lime Pie is over the topping. Was it originally meringue or was it whipped cream? Hmmmm, let’s think about it for a minute. If they didn’t have milk readily available, they probably didn’t have cream either. So, I’m thinking it was meringue. Also, it may interest you to know that if you look up Aunt Sally’s recipe, she used meringue (no wasting the whites from those separated eggs).That said, I use whipped cream because it’s yummier to me. I also add rum extract to my whipped cream (Rum and Limes are friends, just ask a mojito). Oh, and here’s one more Key Lime Pie fact for you, just in case you’re ever on Jeopardy or something. Key Lime Pie is the official pie of Florida, yeah, it’s true, since 2006. Guess what pie was it’s competition. Music- do do do do do do do do do do do doot do do do do do – OK, ready for the answer? Pecan Pie. I love them both but I have to say, that pecans make me think Georgia, not Florida so I think they got this one right :D! Wow, my goodness I had a lot to say about Key Lime Pie. You would think I was passionate about it or something LOL! Happy Cooking!
2 cups graham crackers, crushed (chocolate cookie crumbs are yummy here too)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
6 egg yolks
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Key Lime juice
Rum Infused Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Instructions for the Crust
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
2. Place graham cracker crumbs into a small mixing bowl. The easiest way to get the crumbs is to put the graham crackers into a gallon baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin.
3. Add the cinnamon and stir it to combine.
4. Add the butter and stir with a spoon until it’s combined, then use your hands to mash the butter into the crumbs until they start to hold together.
5. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray.
6. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes and remove it from the oven.
7. Set your crust to the side to cool.
Instructions for the Pie Filling
1. Place the egg yolks into a medium mixing bowl.
2. Mix on high speed until they become a pale yellow color and are doubled in volume.
3. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix on medium for one minute.
4. Add the Key Lime Juice.
5. Mix on medium for about another 30 seconds to one minute, you’re looking for a nice thick, creamy consistency.
6. Pour the filling onto your cooled crust (make sure the sides of the pan have a little cooking spray on them).
7. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until the center is set (mine took 19 minutes), do not over-cook or when you cool it, it will crack.
8. Allow your pie to cool at room temperature for an hour or so and then put it in the fridge over-night. If you don’t let it set at room temperature for the hour before you put it in the refrigerator, it may crack.
Instructions for the Rum Infused Whipped Cream (Make this the day after you bake the pie or the day you’re serving it).
1. Place cream in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Mix on high speed until foamy.
3. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 at a time mixing in between additions.
4. Continue mixing to soft peaks.
5. Add the rum extract.
6. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
To Finish your Key Lime Pie
1. Run a knife around the edges of the pie to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere.
2. Remove the sides of the spring-form pan.
3. Decorate your pie – I used a piping bag with a large star tip.
Please Enjoy this how-to video!