There are very few things that I am "foodie" about. I break all kinds of food rules in the kitchen, I don't take myself too seriously, and I am not an uppity cook. Hello, I use canned cream of mushroom soup--um, the off-brand--so I'm really, really laid back and not picky when it comes to cooking and eating.
There is one thing, though, that I am very serious about and that is my Key lime pie. I would never, ever serve it plain, but, I would never, ever top it with meringue either. Yes, I would use bottled regular lime juice if I had to. Yes, I would use a store-bought graham cracker crust if I had to. But I would never put meringue on it. Eeeew! Key lime pie just cries out for freshly whipped and sweetened heavy cream in my book.
We went to one of my favorite seafood restaurants back in the summer and for dessert, my husband ordered a piece of Key lime pie. It came to him plain and although it was decent, I was completely disappointed that there was no whipped cream on it and I was really, really happy that I had ordered the mile high peanut butter pie instead.
Here is my recipe for Key lime pie that I have tinkered with over the years. I like my crust thick, so this should deliver if you like it that way, too. I know my son-in-law, Isaac, agrees with me on this. :o)
Here are some tips if you make this:
-I like to whip my cream until it's slightly stiffer than soft peaks, because it's going on a pie and I want a clean cut. (This is another one of those foodie rules I break, over-whipping cream, but hey, I like it slightly over-whipped on a pie.) If you want to serve it on the side, it can be whipped to softer peaks. I like my whipped cream spread on my pie because then I can take some lime wedges and a maraschino cherry and make a beautiful flower on top as a decoration.
-Key limes are much more tart to me than regular limes. If you need to substitute regular lime juice, you can decrease the powdered sugar by 2 tablespoons.
-This pie freezes well. Just let it thaw out in the refrigerator, then add a little garnish. You know, like a beautiful flower made from lime wedges and a cherry.
-Yes, you could certainly buy the graham cracker crumbs, but I like crushing my own to get a variety of sizes within the crust.
-The zest of the lime is very important here. I wouldn't skip it.
Key Lime Pie
1 2/3 cup finely crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
3 egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (Nellie and Joe’s is the brand I use or substitute with regular lime juice)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar plus 2 tablespoons
The zest of one lime
1 cup heavy cream, well chilled
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. For the crust, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the butter until well mixed.
3. Press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch foil pie plate or glass pie plate that has been placed on a baking sheet for easier removal from oven.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven.
5. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, sour cream, powdered sugar, and the lime zest until smooth. Pour into pie shell. Pie shell will be full.
6. Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until well chilled.
7. Beat the heavy cream on high speed until frothy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to beat until medium-soft peaks form. Spread evenly over pie, then garnish as desired. Keep refrigerated.