Key limes are celebrated and grown in Florida. Using the Key limes, every restaurant in Florida Keys specializes in making the Key lime Pies which are a real specialty. Though considered as the official pies of the Florida Keys, they come in various variants and there is no single way of making them. There seems to be a Key Lime Pie to satisfy every palate in the world. Here is one possible way of making a lip smacking Key Lime Pie dessert.
The origin and history of the lime pie has not been documented in a written form and all that we know today is what has come down via word of mouth. According to the story, Florida’s first self-made millionaire, William Curry (1821-1896), had a cook, Aunt Sally who perfected a local, fishermen’s recipe into the lime pie. In the 1930’s the first written recipes for the pie were out. Before the arrival or mass refrigerated transport in the 1930s, these pies were made from canned and sweetened condensed milk. Then, milk took over. The Key Lime tree arrived to Florida Keys from Malaysia in the 16th century AD. When a hurricane wiped out the entire plantations in 1926, the Malaysian Key limes were replaced with Persian varieties and these flourish to date. The Key limes are now restricted only to the Florida Keys.
Here, we shall attempt to make the classic Key Lime Pie. It is presented in an unaltered form, as it has been for centuries. This is the basic pie with zingy toppings made of sugar-coated lime zest. You could definitely experiment and come up with innovative versions of the same pie.
The following ingredients go into making the cuisine:
- 375g/12oz crushed, plain digestive biscuits or sweetmeal digestive biscuits
- The grated juice and zest of 8 large limes.
- 150g/5oz of unsalted butter
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (397g/14oz)
- Crystallized lime zest (to use as decoration)
The process of making this tasty and mouth-watering dessert is described in detail below.
- Prepare the lime zest in the beginning. Peel two limes after washing and drying them thoroughly.
- Blanch the peels in hot water for about a minute after cutting them into thin strips.
- Drain the hot water and wash the strips with cold water.
- Now add about 50g of granulated sugar or caster in a pan of water and boil. Ensure that the water level is just sufficient to cover the sugar.
- Add the lime zest and then remove from the source of heat.
- Stir the mixture well and pour it into a bowl via a sieve.
- Using a fork, separate the lime zest as the sugar cools down. Cool the mixture completely and then remove the lime zest from the sieve.
- Rub away the excess sugar that has hardened over the zests. The crystallized lime zests are now ready.
- Next we start making the base.
- Place the butter in a pan over the flame of a stove and allow it to melt.
- Add the crushed biscuits into this molten butter and stir well. The crust needs about 8-10 minutes to get ready.
- Making use of a fluted flan tin that is loosed-bottomed which is about 9 inches deep, gently press the preparation into its base.
- Put this in the deep freeze for chilling and start preparing the filling.
- Take the lime juice in a large bowl and add the condensed milk and cream to it.
- Whisk the mixture for about 2-3 minutes and then add a little lime zest. Stir lightly.
- Pour this filling over the base that had been previously prepared and placed in the refrigerator to chill for about 2 hours.
- Decorate the pie with the crystallized lime zest before you serve dessert.
Why you should try it:
This is a pie that has a great history and rich tradition behind it. Getting the recipe right in itself would be considered as a wonderful thing. You will end up with a perfect pie for the perfect dessert. You can make healthier substitutions for the various ingredients and end up with a snack that is healthy and tasty at the same time – a rare combination indeed. Make it once and we assure you that you will keep making it over and over again.