I've been in Miami now for almost two years and realised the other day I still hadn't made a traditional Key Lime Pie*. I've made versions in the past substituting the Key Limes and Graham Crackers (which you can't buy in Irish supermarkets) with run-of-the-mill limes and McVitie's Digestive biscuits. After baking my delicious Miami-based Key Lime Pie I realise it's not worth making without the traditional ingredients...
To my non-american friends living here in Miami - have a go and you'll see what I mean.
So after a bit of research and a few attempts I've settled on this as the perfect combination of biscuit/filling/topping, with the right balance of sweetness and tartness. It was so yummy that I almost ate the whole pie myself!**
*The pie takes it's name from the small, seedy limes grown in the Florida Keys. These limes have a mild, delicate fragrance and their unique flavour is actually sweeter and yet more tart than that of the more common Persian limes.
**I lie... I ate the whole lot over two days... a little slice here, a little slice there! You know how it is when you open the fridge and there's no-one around to judge!!!
Key Lime Pie
100g Graham Crackers, crumbed
90g Butter, melted
Pinch of Salt
1 14oz-Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Large Egg Yolks
1 large tsp Grated Key Lime Zest
120ml Freshly Squeezed Key Lime Juice
180ml Heavy (Double) Cream
1 tsp Grated Key Lime Zest, for decoration
One 7-inch loose-bottomed pie or quiche tin.
Makes one Key Lime Pie
make the base:
Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
Mix together the Graham Cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and salt in a bowl. When all the crumbs have been well coated with butter, press the mixture into the bottom of the pie tin using the back of a spoon. Try to make sure the surface is as level as possible.
Place the pie tin on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until slightly browned.
Remove from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool completely.
make the filling:
Lower the oven to 325F (160C).
Using a stand alone mixer with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand whisk, beat together the condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and zest. Pour into the cooled tin with the biscuit base.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the centre is set but still wobbles and quivers when the pie dish is nudged.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool again on the wire rack. When completely cool, gently and carefully remove the pie from the tin. Place on a serving plate.
make the topping:
Shortly before you want to serve, whip the cream until in soft peaks, then spread on top of the key lime filling and decorate with some grated zest.
Serve at room temperature.