Thursday, April 02, 2015

Recipe: Easy Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie is a favorite in our house and my daughter, Ashley, makes the best pie, ever. In fact, she's the designated Key Lime Pie maker, so I've never even made one. Unfortunately, she's away at college and I needed to make one for dinner with Jon's parents. I have to tell you, after trying countless versions at restaurants and declaring Ash's version the best, I was intimidated to try my own.
I researched some recipes and tried to find ones that wouldn't be too sweet, too gummy, or too much like a citrus cheesecake instead of a key lime pie. I found many, many different versions. Some had egg yolks and required a longer baking time. Others were a "no-bake" recipe that was similar to a cream pie or mousse. I didn't want either version. I found one that I thought would work and set about making the pie. While the pie comes together in no time, I think it's best made the night before. That being said, it can be made in the morning and chilled at least 4 hours before serving for optimal results.
Key Lime Pie is best made with Key Limes. They look different than standard limes, Persian or Tahiti limes, as they're anywhere from 1/2 to 1/3 the size. They tend to be more round shaped and are more likely to be yellow to green. Once sliced, they look like typical citrus, with seeds and pulp.
Key Limes are more acidic than limes, but fresh key limes have a clean flavor.
(If you can't find Key Limes, you can make a substitution by using a combination of fresh limes and fresh lemon juice. It won't be the same, but it will still be good.)
The secret to making the Key Lime Pie is to taste the batter before baking. If it's not tart enough, add up to 2 T more lime juice.
Easy Key Lime Pie
2 cans condensed milk
3/4 cup freshly squeezed Key Limes and up to 2 T additional, if needed (About 25-30 limes)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 pinch salt
1 graham cracker crust
whipped cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 375.
Bake already-made pie crust for an additional 7 minutes. Set aside.
Make filling by whisking condensed milk, lime juice, sour cream and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be thick like pancake syrup. Taste. If the mixture is too sweet, add more lime juice.
Once you're happy with the tang, pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust.
Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream garnish.

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