A Key Lime Pie starts with a sweet and grainy
Graham Cracker Crust. Next, is a creamy smooth filling that has a
delicious Key Lime flavor. Once chilled, it is topped with
lots of whipped cream. As its name implies, a Key Lime Pie was first
made in the Florida Keys, which is also where Key Limes are grown. John Mariani in 'The Dictionary of American Food and Drink' tells us that the
recipe for Key Lime Pie came after the 1856 invention of sweetened condensed
Although the first Key Lime
Pies were made with a pastry crust, many recipes, including this one,
use a Graham Cracker Crust. It is, by far,
the simplest of all the pie crusts to make. Now, the test to see if you have the
right amount of crumbs to melted butter is; once you have mixed the
ingredients together, to squeeze some in your hand. If the crumbs hold together, then
it's ready to press into your pan.
Next, the filling. A Key Lime Pie is made with Key
Limes. Key Limes are
instantly recognizable as they are so much smaller than a regular Persian
lime. In fact, it takes about 20-25 Key Limes to get 1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) of
Key Lime juice. Whereas you need only 4-5 Persian limes to get the same amount of
juice. Key Limes are a small, round, hard, yellow and green colored, very acidic fruit that grows in Florida. If
you cannot find Key Limes in your area, don't fret, as regular Persian
limes also make an excellent Lime Pie. An interesting side note; although the
filling is made with green limes, the color of the baked filling is
actually yellow. The only 'green' you will find is from the flecks of lime
zest. However, if you want the filling to be green you could add some
green food coloring to the filling. Along with the limes, the filling
contains sweetened condensed milk which is made from whole milk and sugar
that are heated until most of the water has evaporated. It is a thick,
sticky, and very sweet mixture that makes a wonderful Key lime
filling. Because the filling also contains egg yolks, we do need to bake
the pie until the filling is set.
Key Lime Pies can have either a meringue or a whipped cream topping. I
prefer whipped cream. Use
cream that is labeled as "Heavy" Cream or Heavy "Whipping" Cream
which means it has a 36 - 40% butterfat that will double in volume when
whipped and hold its form.
Key Lime Pie: Preheat
your oven to 350
degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Butter, or lightly spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a
9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Place the pie pie on a
larger baking sheet.
In a bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter
until all the crumbs are moistened. (You can also make the Crust in your
food processor.) Press
onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Cover and place in the
refrigerator to chill for about 10 - 15 minutes.
the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with
a hand mixer), beat the egg yolks and the condensed milk, on medium high speed,
until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl
as needed. Then
beat in the lime zest and juice.
Pour the filling over the crust
and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from
oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once it has completely cooled, cover
and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight.
Topping: In the bowl of your electric stand
mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the
whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Either pipe
(I use a Wilton 1M star tip) or place mounds of whipping cream on top of the
filling. Can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days.
cited may include a link to purchase the referenced book or item on Amazon.com.
Joyofbaking.com receives a commission on any purchases resulting from these
website and the contents are not endorsed or sponsored by the owner of the
"Joy of Cooking" series of books or its publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc.
and is not related to the "Joy the Baker" books and website.
Video icons by Asher.
Content in any form may
not be copied or used without written permission of Stephanie Jaworski,
Joyofbaking.com. Students and non profit educators may use content without
permission with proper credit.