My Creamy Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie. Dexter. Hmmm… I want to try a key lime pie. Thing is, I don’t have key limes. The key lime pie is a dessert that is named after the small key limes found throughout the Florida Keys. This is why the key lime pie was officially made the Pie of the State of Florida in 2006.
These limes’ rinds are yellow when they are ripe and key lime juice is yellow in colour. But for some reason, if you Google key limes pies, you will see green coloured filling — that is because green food colour is added. Why? I would surmise it is to distinguish the pie as being made from lime, and not lemon. The colour shouldn’t change the taste of the pie.
The filling is mainly made with condensed milk (this is what makes it creamy), egg yolks and key lime juice. The egg whites are made into a meringue to top the pie. The key lime juice reacts with the condensed milk in a way that thickens it without having to bake the pie. But there are now baked versions that came about in the interest of safety from salmonella, which normally is traced to the consumption of raw eggs.
As I have said, I don’t have key limes. But I do have the normal, ordinary fresh limes from my brother’s backyard and I dared to make my own lime pie using raw eggs. If you are uncomfortable with this, wait for my future post of a baked version. Or, try using pasteurized eggs. Also, I wanted to try a topping made of cream instead of meringue (maybe because I used the egg whites for the filling too :))
For the pie crust, you can just buy or make your own shortcrust pastry, blind baked on a 9 inch pie pan for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees C and cooled. Some people make their crust from crushed biscuits and butter but I used shortcrust in this. I didn’t want my pie too sweet.
1 can condensed milk
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
1/2 cup FRESH lime juice (note that I said “fresh” because the bottled ones won’t taste as good as the fresh ones — for me, the bottled ones sometimes don’t taste like lime at all)
drops of green colour (only if you want!)
3 extra large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon unflavoured gelatine powder (if you are using Know, use 1 envelope)
1/4 cup cold water
300 mls thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
In a very small saucepan, sprinkle gelatine on the cold water and let it soften. After about 2 minutes, heat the mixture on low heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatine. If you don’t like the smell of the gelatine then you are not alone :). Set aside.
Mix the milk, lime juice and food colour in a bowl. At this point, if you want to add some of your grated lime peel, feel free (I didn’t).
In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff and glossy. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks until it turns pale yellow and stir in the milk mixture.
Fold the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites. Continue folding until there are no white streaks. Mix in the gelatine and pour everything onto the baked pie crust.
Because of the raw eggs, I think this should be consumed within 2 days. Mmmmm