03 May, 2010

Bake: Key Lime Pie

Friday night I had my best friend and her fiance' over for dinner. I made soda chicken and some other delectable side dishes. For dessert I baked a Key Lime pie. A bit of back story... I used to spend quite a bit of time in the Florida Keys a couple of years ago. Every time I was there I'd always be on the search for the best key lime pie. I'd always find tasty ones, but it wasn't until one Thanksgiving I spent there that I decided to give it a whirl and see if I could bake a better one. To my delight the recipe I found was absolutely delicious and the best key lime pie I have had to date. Since it is Spring I decided to dust off the old recipe and bake it again. My boyfriend says that it's the best thing I have baked to date and my best friend's fiance' had a second helping. It is easy to make, so even the beginning bakers can make a perfect key lime pie. You can find the original recipe here, but I added a couple of ingredients to the whip cream topping.

For crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, preferably Manhattan brand)

For topping
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
2 tbsp confectioners sugar

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.
Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).
Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes.

Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:
Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.

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