Monday, May 4, 2009

Key Lime Pie

Last night, we celebrated my Step-Dad's birthday with a low-key dinner at home. I know that his favorite thing on the planet is key lime pie so I offered to make a couple and bring them with us as a surprise. I've made countless key lime pies for him in the past and this is the recipe I use each time with little variation. The only things worth mentioning is that, if you have it in you, buy fresh key limes and squeeze them instead of using the bottled stuff. It really makes a huge difference. As for the crust, save yourself the time and money and buy store bought. No one will ever notice. Lastly, I like to add about a teaspoon of sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream for a little extra flavor.

Key Lime Pie

For crust
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, preferably Manhattan brand)

For topping
  • 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.


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