Lets talk about Key Limes for a minute. Key Limes were grown commercially in the Florida Keys until a hurricane wiped out most of the groves in the 1920s. Farmers replaced them with the larger, seedless Persian limes you see more often in the U.S. I'm guessing that's why I came up empty when I tried to find these puppies at the store. Thanks a lot hurricane!
Now lets talk about limes for a minute. According to Wiki, there are 15 types of limes. FIFTEEN! I was actually startled by that number. I mean...I've been living my whole life thinking there were only like 3 types of limes that existed. I feel like a damn fool!
Well, since I couldn't find Key Limes specifically (along with any of the 13 others!) I decided to add some lime zest to the filling and garnish in order to crank up the tartness, because Key Limes are more acidic and tart.
Now that you have all this lime knowledge, it's time you baked a lime dessert, yes? Key or no Key, this pie is still worth your while!
Key Lime Pie
Recipe adapted from Mangrove Mama's
Yield: 1, 9 inch pie or 1, 10 inch tart
For the Crust
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the Filling
5 large egg yolks
1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Juice from 6 to 8 Key limes (about 2/3 cup)
1. Heat oven to 325°F.
2. For the crust, mix butter, graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan (or bottom of a 10-inch tart pan). Bake 8 minutes. Set aside; let cool completely.
3. For the filling, beat yolks in a food processor fitted with whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, about 2 minutes. Add condensed milk to yolks; process or beat until incorporated. Add lime juice. Process 2 minutes; pour into pie shell.
4. Bake until set, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack 1 hour.
5. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap set directly on top of filling, at least 4 hours or overnight.
6. Top with fresh whipped cream and lime zest.
VARIATION: Instead of whipped cream, you may top with meringue. Beat 5 egg whites until frothy. Stream in 1/4 cup sugar, beating constantly until stiff peaks. Spread over baked filling; bake at 325°F until meringue starts to brown, about 5 minutes.