Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthday Pie

One of the first things I ever learned about Jared is that he loves Key Lime Pie and that his mother made him one every year for his birthday growing up. This was a foreign concept to me, as every birthday in our house throughout my childhood meant a 2-layer homemade cake with lots of fluffy buttercream. On the other hand, birthdays should be filled with fun and favorite things so I rolled with it and I made him Ina Garten's frozen key lime pie two years in a row (which is extremely tasty, btw).

This year, when I once again asked him what he would like for his birthday dessert and replied that his heart desired key lime pie I knew I was going to make the real deal. Complete with the tiny key limes I had spied at the store the previous week.

Can I tell you how simple and delicious this pie is? The filling contains only 4 ingredients, 3 if you lump lime juice and zest together. Plus, it's all on graham cracker crust which means you don't even need to haul out any equipment unless you use the food processor to grind up the crackers. I'm a total convert: key lime pie is the quintessential summer dessert!

Key Lime Pie
Originally Published on Martha

Note: I saw somewhere on Chowhound (and I wish I had the post, I apologize) someone suggested that a (very clean) garlic press makes quick work when juicing a small mountain of key limes and it absolutely works like a dream. Also, I bought a 1lb bag of limes, which was more than enough. I believe I have around 10 limes left, which I'm still trying to find a use for but they whole bag was just a few dollars. Obviously, I highly recommend going the whole lime route rather than reaching for the bottled stuff.

Makes 1 pie

1 1/2 cups graham-cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5 tablespoons sugar
1 can (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup freshly squeezed key-lime juice
1 tablespoon grated key-lime zest, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. 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.
2. Lower oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, gently whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, key-lime juice, and zest. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.
3. Return pie to oven, and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Shortly before serving, combine cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon over cooled pie; garnish with zest. Serve immediately.

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