Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie is a favorite in our house, and has come to be known by many as the “snow day pie.” Years ago, I agreed to bake a key lime pie for one of my kid’s fundraisers in January (what’s better in the middle of winter than something as summery as key lime pie?).  As it turned out, significant snowfall was predicted for the day of the bake sale. I weighed my options: 1.)  don’t make the pie, and if there’s no snowstorm and school is open, you are a total disappointment. 2.) make the pie, and if it’s a snow day, invite your teacher girlfriends over for pie and mimosas. Obvious choice was #2. Since then, when there has been a threat of snow (to the extent that they would cancel school),  in addition to our other snow day rituals, like wearing our pajamas backwards, flushing ice cubes down the toilet, and putting a spoon outside in the snow, I have made a key lime pie. The tradition has become so popular that I even get text messages asking for assurance that I will be making a pie. It’s really an easy pie to make, and there are plenty of “weekday shortcuts” you can take.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Lb. graham crackers
  • 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Sticks melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 2 Cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Cup Key lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Break up the graham crackers and put in a food processor and process until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt and pulse until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a deep dish 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom and all sides. Bake the crust for 10-13 minutes (until lightly browned). Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the crust is cooling, whisk together the egg yolks and the lime zest until fluffy (about  3-4 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and continue whipping until thick (about 3-4 minutes longer. Slowly add the lime juice and whisk until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15-20 minutes – until the filling has set. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

PREPARE THE WHIPPED CREAM:

Place small metal bowl and the beater attachments of an electric mixer in the freezer for 20 minutes. Using a hand-held electric mixer, whip the the cream, sugar and vanilla in the chilled bowl until nearly stiff.

Using a piping attachment and pastry bag, pipe the whipped cream onto the pie. For a homemade pastry bad, put whip cream in a zipper storage bag and cut a small piece off one of the bottom corners of the bag. Or, just lump a dollop of whipped cream on each slice of pie. Garnish each slice with a slice of lime.

Weekday Shortcuts:

Use prepared graham cracker crust

Use prepared whipped cream

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