I think my favorite pie is Key Lime. I am always on the hunt for the perfect recipe, with the expectation that it will live up to my first bite of Key Lime pie. Hubby and I were engaged at the time and we ordered it to share. For the life of me, I can not remember the restaurant – just the experience. Neither of us had ever had a lime pie, or for that matter, ever heard of making a pie from limes. Well, we were each only about 20 years old at the time and had not experienced much - culinarily speaking - anyway, it was love at first bite.
So my motivation for key lime this week..? Well, as with a lot of what I cook, it is motivation to do something creative with whatever we get in our Bountiful Basket. Last week I took home about 20 Key Limes. So with 20 gorgeous limes in my refrigerator, Key Lime Pie was definitely going to happen. My guide for this baking adventure is Martha Stewart’s “New Pies & Tarts”. I encourage you to get your hands on this cookbook if you are a pie lover/baker. It is gorgeous and is loaded with 150 recipes. Anyway, I made a few tweaks – I can’t help myself. As you might have already noticed, I do that a lot. Here is my adaptation….
1 3/4 cups Vanilla Wafer crumbs
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
1 can (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
5 large egg yolks
1 cup freshly squeezed key-lime juice
1 teaspoon grated Key lime zest
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Dump about half the box of vanilla wafers into a food processor. Pulse until small crumbs form - do not over process or you will be left with powder. Remove the crumbs and measure to insure you have 1 3/4 cups. Return crumbs to the food processor and pour the butter over the them. Pulse about 2 or 3 times to moisten them nicely.
Press into a 9-inch pie plate, and bake until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, lightly run a Fine Zester/Grater over each k/lime and tap it over the bowl you will be juicing into. Next, squeeze the juice out of the k/lime you have just zested. Continue this process until you have 1 cup of juice. Be careful not to zest too hard. You only want the green and none of the white pith beneath. (the exact measurement of the zest is not crucial. Just use the zest and then juice process).
Again, Pre-heat oven to 325 F. Then, in a medium bowl, with an electric hand mixer set on medium, whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, Key lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.
Return pie to oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 17 - 19 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for several hours.
Shortly before serving, combine cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Then, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes.
Spoon over cooled pie - or do as I did and fill a piping bag minus a tip, and squeezed out little puffs. Serve immediately. Refrigerate what is not gobbled up.
Link for the cookbook: