Sunday, July 1, 2012
Cooking my Bookshelves: Key Lime Pie, without the Keys
Today I went for a dessert. Husband loves Key Lime Pie, and I've never made it. So I decided to give it a shot. I had been perusing one of my cookbooks that I haven't actually made anything out of over the weekend-- Saveur The New Comfort Food: Home Cooking from Around the World, edited by James Oseland. Strangely, I can't find a date on the thing, but it is fairly recent, and published by Chronicle Books.
Here's the recipe, as written (p. 211):
Key Lime Pie
1 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp. lime zest (from two limes)
3 egg yolks
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup fresh lime juice, preferably from Key limes
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tbsp. confectioners sugar
1. Heat oven to 350 F. Pulse cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a food processor to combine. Press evenly into bottom and sides of a 9-inche pie pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, beat lime zest and egg yolks with a hand mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add milk and beat until thickened, 3-4 minutes more. Add lime juice; mix until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust; bake until filling is just set in the middle, 8-10 minutes. Let the pie cool.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk cream and confectioners' sugar to stiff peaks. Spread whipped cream over the top of the pie and chill 2-3 hours before serving.
I more or less followed the recipe, with a few minor changes. First, I didn't have any key limes. If they appear in the grocery store at all in Oklahoma, it's for about two weeks in the late winter or early spring. I didn't want to use bottled juice, because it's not as bright. So, I used regular Persian limes. First, I zested them.
Then, since I only had four, I hoped like hell that I would have enough for 2/3 cup of juice. I squeezed away using a citrus reamer until...
Next, I worked on the filling. I mixed three egg yolks with the lime zest then beat with a hand mixture until it was thickened and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
The result? It's not quite as tart or lime-y as it would have been using key limes, but it was still quite good. Slightly sweet for my tastes, but husband really liked it, which was the intention in the first place. The kids? "Yuck, we don't like limes." Turns out I could have made fresh whipped cream after all.