Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Key Lime Pie

Hello readers. I'm writing today to ask you for help. What started as a citrus-phase (as seen here) has now gone spinning out of control into a pie phase. There are two slices of this key lime pie left sitting in my fridge and I am doing everything I can not to finish the pie tin and lick it clean. Do any of you happen to have some extra self-control you can lend me? I'm a sucker for a graham cracker crust
Especially a graham cracker crust with coconut. And the creamy, tangy filling in this pie? Well, I'm a sucker for that, too. This recipe is made with regular, grocery store limes, instead of juiced key limes or persian limes. My mother has perfected it, adapted from The New Best Recipe cookbook. We like to serve it with a bowl of freshly whipped cream and allow guests to garnish their own slice, instead of pre-decorating the pie.There's nothing like topping your own slice of heaven with a gigantic spoonful of airy whipped cream. 
Key Lime Pie
Adapted by Marcella Rogers from The New Best Recipe

Lime Filling
4 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup strained lime juice (from 3 or 4 regular limes)
5 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Graham Cracker Crust
9 graham crackers (5 ounces), broken into rough pieces
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
5 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut 

Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 lime, sliced paper thin

Whisk zest and yolks in a medium glass, plastic or clay bowl for about 2 minutes, or until it takes on a light green color. Beat in milk and lime juice. To thicken, set aside at room temperature for at about 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust oven rack to center position. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until they are fine crumbs (about 30 seconds)--this should result in 1 cup of crumbs. Add the sugar and coconut, then slowly add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, evenly. cover with saran wrap and refrigerate lined pie plate for at least 20 minutes to firm up the crumbs. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Cool pie crust to room temperature--this will take at least 20 minutes.

Now, your lime filling should have thickened a bit. Pour the lime filling into the prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the center of the of the pie is set. This should take about 15-17 minutes. Let pie cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill (for at least 3 hours). 

Right before serving (within an hour), make your whipped cream. In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the confectioners sugar while whipping. Serve the whipped cream with your key lime pie and garnish with thinly cut lime slices, if you wish. 

This pie can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to one day. 

Serves 8-12  (depending on how big you cut the slices).

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