Our Favorite Pie, Key Lime

Posted on: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

With Mother’s Day approaching, it is only appropriate that we celebrate wonderful and vivacious Linda. A special addition to our family, we credit Linda for why we are so adventurous with our culinary excursions. Visiting Linda in Sarasota, Florida, we always look forward to popping into her favorite specialty shops and farmers’ markets. Linda shares some of the local warm-weather inspired dishes. We feast on conch fritters, fried grouper, peel and eat Gulf shrimp, and end the meal with Southern Florida’s famous Key lime pie. The pie is refreshingly creamy and tart and further enhanced with a cloud of lightly sweetened whipped cream. We follow a basic recipe using real Key lime juice and sweetened condensed milk, and put our own twist with a ginger cookie crust. Since we feel garnishes should always be edible, we candy lime peel to sprinkle on top for a pop of green. 
Longboat Key Lime Pie

Ginger Cookie Base
1 1/2 c crushed gingersnap cookies (about 24-26 cookies)
5 T unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the gingersnap cookie crumbs. Press into the bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch pie pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Key Lime Filling

3 egg yolks   
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk  
1/2 c fresh Key lime juice (we used Nellie & Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice
since we’re far from the Keys)

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat 3-4 more minutes, until thickened. Add the Key lime juice and mix until smooth. Pour filling into the prepared pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the filling is just set in the middle, 10-12 minutes. Let chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.

Whipped Cream
2 c whipping cream
1 t vanilla extract
4 T granulated sugar

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer on high. When the cream starts to thicken after a couple of minutes, add the vanilla extract and sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie.

Candied Lime Peel
1 lime
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 c water
extra sugar to toss

With a paring knife, carefully remove the peel from the lime in long strips. Julienne the peel into thin 2-inch-long strips.

Place the peel in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, cook for 1 minute, then submerge the peel in an ice bath. Repeat this process one more time, using fresh water.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. Place the blanched peel in the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peel to a wire rack to cool slightly then toss with the extra sugar. Let chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle the candied peels atop the whipped cream covered pie, slice and serve. Serves 8.

The first spoonful of the zesty custard cloud reconfirms why our favorite pie is key lime...every time.


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