Nicole has made a request I can't refuse...an entry on our favorite pies.
As much of a dessert fiend as I am, I've never been much of a pie gal, honestly, save for ONE kind: key lime pie.
I love it because it's sweet and tart and most importantly, requires minimal baking, making it almost foolproof. I learned a very basic recipe from an old college boyfriend (who, incidentally, Nicole ALSO dated... but that's a hilarious story for another time) about ten years ago. I ended up making it for my husband shortly after we met, and it blew his mind as he is British and they don't have key lime pies across the Atlantic. They have gross things like dried fruit and custard "spotted dicks" and "Christmas puddings' that are filled with prunes and barf syrup that he makes me eat once a year. But I digress...
Though many associate this pie with Florida, I personally think of Red Hook, Brooklyn, where I discovered Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies. If you've never tried his pies, and you live in the area, get over there, you won't regret it. And if you're not local, you're in luck- cuz you can order one here!
I'm going to refer to my own recipe as a Lime Pie, as I don't always find actual key limes and have to resort to using regular limes. Either way, I think both work well.
Here's the basic recipe I follow:
Take about a cup of crushed graham cracker and mix with half a cup of melted, unsalted butter.
Mush together until you get a workable crust consistency and pat into pie pan, forming a bottom and side crust. Bake until golden and firm, roughly 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees.
Once is has cooled down, pour in the filling.
1 can of sweetened, condensed milk
5 (large) egg yolks
1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lime juice (maybe 8-10 limes?)
First blend condensed milk with the yolks, careful not to overblend.
Once thoroughly mixed in, you can add the lime juice. Add more lime juice to taste, as some people want it milder and others, like me, like it really tarty.
Pour filling into cooled pie shell, refrigerate to set, at least 2 hours.
Optional: before refrigerating, I like to zest some lime peel on top. Serve with a small dollop of fresh whipped cream. Or keep it lo-fi and plain, which I prefer. I don't like lime pies that are covered in a solid layer of whipped fluff. It's too rich and buries the sharpness of the lime juice, which is the whole point of the pie, duh.
I don't own many fancy kitchen gadgets, but I highly recommend investing in one of those lime/lemon squeezers. They're so handy, for drinks, salads, juicing for this pie, fish, etc. We use ours constantly. It looks like this:
Also, if you're not into your stomach curdling and performing spastic somersaults, don't eat with coffee. And don't worry...you won't get salmonella poisoning unless you let your raw yolks hang out at room temperature for an inordinate amount of time. Enjoy! xo kat