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Key Lime Pie: a Taste of Paradise

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June 30, 2014 / Pie / By
Nicola

By Ralph Daily [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

If you haven't heard of Key lime pie, you've been missing out - even more so if you haven't tried it yet! It's a type of dessert which is very similar to cheesecake, with a creamy filling on a biscuit base. It is made using limes from the Florida Keys, particularly Key West, which is where the dish's name comes from. I'm not a particularly big fan of cheesecake, but I love Key lime pie!

The best Key lime pie which I have ever tasted was at a small café overlooking one of Key West's stunning white sand beaches. The sun was beating down on my skin, the sound of music was in the air, and the light, fresh citrus taste was like a bite of paradise. The smell and taste of fresh limes will take me back to that moment 'til my dying day. Although I have written up a recipe which will make a really nice Key lime pie, nothing will ever taste quite like one made with genuine Floridian limes. This is because the variety used is so specialised that not enough are made to be able to export them, so they're confined to the Florida Keys. In a way this is brilliant as it keeps the dish at its origins, but it's frustrating for the rest of us who want to try some around the world! That said, any Key lime pie is better than no Key lime pie. I'm unlikely to ever have the opportunity to make that journey again, so for my sake, remember that if you ever have the opportunity to try the real deal, you absolutely cannot turn it down!

To make the biscuit base, start by preheating the oven to 180°C (350°F or gas mark 4). Use a food processor (or the good old method of a plastic bag, a rolling pin and plenty of elbow grease!) to smash up 300g of digestive biscuits into small crumbs. Melt 150g of butter and combine this with the biscuit crumbs. Press this onto the bottom and sides of a tart tin which is about 20cm in diameter and which has a loose base. Once the biscuit-butter mix has been well and truly pressed into place with no gaps, place it in the oven to bake for around 10 minutes.

While it is baking, whisk three egg yolks in a bowl for a few minutes until they have thickened. Pour in a 400g can of condensed milk and whisk for another two or three minutes, then add the zest and juice from no less than four limes and whisk again. Pour this mixture onto the biscuit base (once it has come out of the oven), and place it back in to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it feels slightly soft when pressed.

It's as simple as that: Key lime pie in a flash! Variations of this recipe use the leftover egg whites to make a meringue topping for the pie, à la lemon meringue pie, but I prefer it just as it is.

Before eating, Key lime pie should be left for several hours to cool - overnight, if possible. Serve it with cream or crème fraîche on the side to enjoy a taste of the tropical in the comfort of your own home!

N/A

Country: United States

Province/State: Florida

City: Key West

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: The southernmost island off the tip of Florida

Phone: N/A

Website:N/A

Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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