Saturday, April 22, 2006

No-Bake Key Lime Pie

The color here is off; the pie really has an off white color. The lime juice isn't strong enough to change the color and there are no eggs to add a yellow tint. Food coloring could easily give the pie more of a lime hue.

Somewhere, I’d read that “real” key lime pie is not baked. (Of course, this happened while my first key lime pie was in the oven.)

This recipe meets that criterion – sort of. The crust is baked but since all the key lime pie recipes I’ve seen call for a “prepared graham cracker crust,” I gave it a pass.

Although this key lime pie recipe seems easier than the other, it really isn’t; hand squeezing key limes is time-consuming. Which recipe you choose depends on the kind of pie you want to eat: one with a lighter, whipped texture or one more similar to a custard.

One thing I didn’t like about this was the scent it gave off while mixing. The condensed sweetened milk has an unfortunate cheese aroma, not something I want to associate with a lime dessert.

In the end though, the pie had a good lime taste -- not too sweet, not too tart.

The filling is adapted from a recipe in How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson; the crust is the same used in Pepe’s Key Lime Pie.

No-Bake Key Lime Pie

1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 8)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Mix dry ingredients together thoroughly; add butter and mix to combine. Press into 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Bake about 10 minutes; allow to cool completely before filling.

1/2 cup of key lime juice
Zest from 7-8 key limes
14-oz sweetened condensed milk
1 c. heavy cream

Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl until thick and creamy. Pour into cooled pie crust and chill for 30 minutes or until set.

Grade: B+ to A-

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