Friday, October 14, 2011

Lime Pie

If you haven't already noticed, I love lemon and lime desserts. I used to be more of a chocolate fan, but lately my taste buds prefer all things citrus. When I came across this recipe, I knew I wanted to give it a try. I'd never made a lime pie before, but this recipe sounded easy, which it is, and the ingredients were really simple. All I needed was a bag of limes and some sweetened condensed milk and I was ready to start. Lime is key flavor in this pie, but the sweetened condensed milk removes the acidic tang, making it the perfect combination of ingredients. I love this so much that I usually make a mini pie in a ramekin so that I can enjoy one right away instead of waiting to share the larger pie with friends or family.

What I also appreciate in any dessert is the ability to prepare it ahead of time. This pie can sit in your fridge for up to 3 days, just don't add the whipped cream until you're ready to serve and make sure to wrap it in plastic. Because of the cooling time required, you can't really make this pie in a rush. If you wanted to have less hand on time you could probably get away with buying a ready-made graham cracker crust and make the filling yourself, just keep in mind that it's really easy to make the crust from scratch.

 This Martha Stewart recipe is based on the key lime pies at a restaurant called Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach. Martha makes key lime bars out of this recipe as opposed to a traditional pie, so make whatever shape you prefer. Unfortunately, I couldn't find fresh key limes in my grocery store, so I used regular limes and this pie was still amazing. This dessert would be great at a brunch, luncheon, or dinner. I've even had it for breakfast when there are leftovers.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
lime zest for garnish (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC.

Mix together the graham crack crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and sides of a 9" or 10" deep pie dish or an 8" square glass baking dish if making bars. Bake for 10 minutes, until dry and golden. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the egg yolk and lime zest. Mix for about 5 minutes on high, until thick. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in the condensed milk. Bring speed back up to high and mix for 3 more minutes, until thick again. Add the lime juice and mix until just combined.

When the crust is cool, spread the filling evenly over the top. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the filling has just set. Let it cool completely and then place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 2 or 3 days.

When ready to serve, beat the cream until stiff, adding a little sugar if you want it sweeter. Cover as much of the pie as you want with cream, or just use it for accenting each slice. Sprinkle some lime zest on top for added color.

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