The Renaissance man is not big on cake. He likes it, and will eat it if I make it, but it is not his dessert of choice.
This severely limits my birthday dessert options for his birthday every year. I usually fall back on pie.
True story: One year I made TRM a lattice-top blueberry pie, and four months later, he proposed. I’m pretty sure it was the pie.
TRM’s favorite pie by far is a traditional key lime pie. He used to work at the Boy Scout High Adventure camp in the keys (Sea Base) and fell in love with the region, and their signature dessert.
Traditional key lime pie is not for you if you’re squeamish about putting raw eggs into a dessert. There are recipes out there that don’t call for raw eggs, but they pale in comparison to the real thing. As long as you keep it refrigerated, there should not be a problem. We have never gotten sick from eating this pie. Or raw cookie dough. Or egg nog.
Key Lime Pie
- 1 graham cracker crust (or 1 stick of melted butter and 1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 egg yolks and 1 egg
- 1/2 c. key lime juice (please don’t buy the bottled stuff)
- 2 tsp. key lime zest
- meringue or whipped cream for topping
Step 1: If you’re making your own crust, melt the stick of butter and stir in the graham cracker crumbs. Press the mixture into a pie tin.
Step 2: Juice about 20 key limes. Don’t use regular limes or bottled juice. You will be tempted, because juicing that many limes is a chore, but the taste is so, so worth it. I have a fancy juicer that hooks onto the front of my mixer.
Step 3: Grate the lime zest into the lime juice. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into a bowl. Mix in the juice and zest.
Step 4: Add the egg yolks and egg to the lime mixture. If you’re making meringue, save the whites.
Step 6: After the pie has set, top with whipped cream and serve cold, or top with meringue and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. If you go the meringue route, make sure you chill the pie for at least an hour after baking.
The only reason I don’t make this pie more often (besides the fact that it is NOT healthy) is because juicing that many limes at once makes my hand cramp up. But This is definitely a summer dessert, and making it once a year keeps it special.
Enjoy! And get someone to rub your hand after you make it…