Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Key Lime Pie!

from the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, 1966
The only sensible thing to do after stumbling upon a bag of Key limes in the grocery store is to bake pie! We used a recipe from the 1966 edition of the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery - Vol. 7, which, while having a comprehensive section on cooking with limes, also contains a section entitled "A Kidney Tour of Europe." Good heavens.

This Key lime pie recipe is not to be confused with more common Florida lime pie recipes, which are sweeter and call for heavy cream and often green food coloring. We used a traditional pastry crust but you could also use a graham cracker/digestive biscuit crumb crust.

Key limes: tricky little bastards
Key limes are tricky to juice. We went through four different types of juicers before deciding our old fashioned glass juicer worked best. Patience and a certain degree of manual dexterity are a plus.


(for the filling)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch/corn flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups hot water
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (juice of approx. 10 Key limes)
3 egg yolks, beaten (reserve whites)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon grated lime

9" (23cm) pie crust, blind baked and cooled (or a graham cracker/digestive biscuit crust)

(for the meringue topping)
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

lime wedges to garnish

Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit/ 150° Celsius/ Gas Mark  2.

To make the filling, combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Mix well. Add hot water and cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick. Stir in fresh lime juice. Return to heat and cook til thickened. Beat small amounts of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly, til the yolks are warm but not cooked. Return egg mixture to pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add butter and lime zest. Mix. Allow to cool. Pour into cold pastry shell. 

To make the meringue, beat the egg whites til stiff but not dry. Beat in remaining sugar and salt gradually, beating til blended. Spread over the top of pie (a table knife works well) and shape peaks with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve cold; garnish with lime wedges.

Meringue you could ski down!

This was my first meringue, and I'm pretty excited about it. It's deceptively easy. Now I want to make a meringue Matterhorn!

Smith's PIE, indeed!

I love the mix of tart and sweet... perfect for hot weather. I'm pretty sure it's calling my name for breakfast.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” 
~ David Mamet

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