I think I like Key Lime Pie now.
I don't usually go for the fruity desserts. I prefer chocolate/vanilla/bready/cakey/creamy desserts. I made key lime pie for the first time just because I know it is one of Zach's favorites. It was definitely delicious, and well worth making. It was just not the classic version of the beloved dessert. I made key lime pie for the second time not only because it is one of Zach's favorites, but also because his mom sent me home after the holidays with a bottle of some really great key lime juice and a classic recipe.
That was half the battle, and we all know I am all about convenience. This pie was the easiest thing. It took such little effort that I had to keep re-reading the recipe to make sure I was not missing something. Granted, the recipe called for a meringue topping that would have made it more challenging. I opted to do a thick whipped topping with a tad of vanilla extract mixed in.
You are going to look twice at this recipe before asking the question, "where is the baking time?" While the recipe includes 4 egg yolks, there is no baking. Apparently,the acidity in the lime juice acts as a "cooking agent". I did have trouble with the pie setting. I just stuck it in the freezer overnight, and it was cool and delicious the next day. I looked online and a lot of people suggest just going ahead and baking it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F to make sure it sets while other online key-lime pie purists suggest that if you bake it, it is not true key lime pie. Either way, the taste was perfect. You just need to work with the texture whether that means beating the eggs and condensed milk a little more before adding the lime juice, baking it briefly before cooling or just sticking it in the freezer for a cool refreshing treat.
Manny's Authentic Key Lime Pie (from Manny's and Isa's Kitchen in Islamorada, FL)
(recipe adapted, original recipe includes a meringue topping)
1 14 oz can Eagle Brand condensed milk
4 large egg yolks (separated from the whites)
4 oz key lime juice
1 pie crust, baked and cooled (I used an already made graham cracker crust)
1 tub whipped topping
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 key limes (for garnish)
Beat egg yolks and then add condensed milk. Mix thoroughly.
Add key lime juice and mix again.
Pour mixture onto baked and cooled pie crust.
Refrigerate pie for at least an hour (or if you would like to bake it first, bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, and then refrigerate until completely cooled).
Once the pie is set, Mix vanilla extract into the whipped topping.
Spread whipped topping generously over pie.
Garnish with sliced key limes (optional).
Put back into refrigerator until ready to serve.
Note: If your pie has trouble setting, place it in the freezer for a couple hours to give it a better texture.