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Key Lime Pie


Demetrius
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Does anyone have a terrific recipe for an authentic key lime pie?

Honestly, there's very little difference between most of the recipes you find online, so pick one and play with the proportions until you get a taste you like.

Basically, it's a graham cracker crust, a very simple filling of egg yolks, key lime juice and zest, and sweetened condensed milk, just baked for a few minutes to get the filling to set. NO MERINGUE ON TOP - whipped cream only if you must.

The hardest part is finding key limes - using regular limes or persian limes will get a different taste and consistency, and using the bottled stuff is just wrong.

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Key lime pie is my most requested dessert, which is funny because it's also the easiest. Make/buy a graham cracker crust, then combine 6 egg yolks, 1 cup of key lime juice, and 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk in a bowl until it reaches a custard-like consistency. Pour filling mixture into crust; bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (the pie should be set, but it shouldn't be dry--I always like to see a little jiggle left in the middle). Let cool for 30 minutes on a rack, then refrigerate overnight. I like mine totally unadorned--no whipped cream, no nothin'.

As for the juice, I agree with DanielK that you shouldn't use limes other than Key limes, and you definitely shouldn't use the juice that comes in a lime-shaped plastic bottle. However, I find that in a pinch, if you either can't get Key limes or don't have time to juice those little suckers, Nellie and Joe's makes a very respectable 100% key lime juice. I have found it in nearly every supermarket, and it's usually in either the juice aisle or the baking aisle.

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Key lime pie is my most requested dessert, which is funny because it's also the easiest. Make/buy a graham cracker crust, then combine 6 egg yolks, 1 cup of key lime juice, and 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk in a bowl until it reaches a custard-like consistency. Pour filling mixture into crust; bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (the pie should be set, but it shouldn't be dry--I always like to see a little jiggle left in the middle). Let cool for 30 minutes on a rack, then refrigerate overnight. I like mine totally unadorned--no whipped cream, no nothin'.
Only things I'd add are: While I'm baking the graham cracker crust, I throw all of the ingredients for the filling into the blender; add about a teaspoon's worth of grated lime zest to the filling for extra depth of flavor.
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Only things I'd add are: While I'm baking the graham cracker crust, I throw all of the ingredients for the filling into the blender; add about a teaspoon's worth of grated lime zest to the filling for extra depth of flavor.
Do you juice the limes first? I recently read someone's description of making a key lime pie by grating limes, and it didn't sound like that was only to get zest.
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combine 6 egg yolks, 1 cup of key lime juice, and 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk in a bowl until it reaches a custard-like consistency. Pour filling mixture into crust; bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes (the pie should be set, but it shouldn't be dry--I always like to see a little jiggle left in the middle). Let cool for 30 minutes on a rack, then refrigerate overnight.

The more I look at this, something jumps out at me - this sounds like double the quantity of filling I make for a regular size pie crust. You don't want the filling to be the height of the crust - and in fact your cooking time leads me to believe that this is an overstuffed pie.

The ratios are fine, but I would go with 3-4 egg yolks, 1/2c of juice, and 1 can of milk. Then, only bake for 10-12 minutes. As she said, the middle should still jiggle a bit. Overbaking is probably the worst thing you can do here, and you almost can't undercook. Some of the classic recipes in the Keys don't even call for baking the pie - they let the whole thing rest after mixing, and just slap it in the cooler overnight.

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The more I look at this, something jumps out at me - this sounds like double the quantity of filling I make for a regular size pie crust. You don't want the filling to be the height of the crust - and in fact your cooking time leads me to believe that this is an overstuffed pie.
Definitely a real recipe at the 6 yolks-2 cans quantity, although this one is a Frozen Key Lime Pie on Martha Stewart's website.
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Definitely a real recipe at the 6 yolks-2 cans quantity, although this one is a Frozen Key Lime Pie on Martha Stewart's website.

Strike 1: Frozen

Strike 2: Meringue!

Strike 3: Look at the picture in your link - see how high the level of the filling is? Right to the top of the crust - no way that's going to bake through in 12 minutes as advertised, though that's probably ok since it's frozen (see Strike 1).

Check here for recipes that IMHO are more authentic. Note that the first is the "real" original key lime pie recipe - NO BAKING!

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I remember a few years back, when RtC first opened, Michael told me the details of how they make their Key Lime Pie. He stressed several variations from most traditional recipes, saying that's what make their offering such a hit. Unfortunately, I had had a few of Nick's martinis and was into our second bottle of wine. I do distinctly remember having a shit eating grin on my face while trying to keep Landrum's face in focus. Not sure how successful I was....

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I love the idea of putting zest into the crust!!! Will definitely try next time.

I make a pretty big crust (not sure of the exact diameter), so my filling does not come up all the way to the top. And of course, as with any baking, the cooking times are approximate. In my oven, 20 minutes is enough to set things with plenty of jiggle left over.

You're right that it takes a bazillion key limes to get one cup of juice. It's a labor of love!

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Note that if you're squeezing fresh key limes, which are small and don't release a lot of juice, it takes like 3000 key limes to get 1 cup of key lime juice...

59 for me. Couple a deathgrip with a kitchenaid. :rolleyes:

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