Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a pie person. In fact, my parentage has often been questioned because of it, seeing as everyone in the family, young and old, absolutely adore it. I was once heard to refer to pie as "the liver of desserts" and I meant it. Quiche, I like. Tarts, I like. Savory pies, I like, but hot fruit in a soggy crust has just never really been my thing. But I've mellowed with the passage of time; I've come to appreciate the artistry that is pie making, and now try to make one or two annually.
Today's effort was of the citrus variety, largely because I came across a container of frozen key lime juice while cleaning out the freezer and thought I'd better make use of it before this year's crop comes in. It was as delicious as it was beautiful.
The recipe I used is an amended version of the one from the Blue Heaven Restaurant in Key West, FL.
Here is the recipe, with my revisions below:
BLUE HEAVEN KEY LIME PIE
Graham Cracker Crust:
4 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Butter -- melted
2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk -- Borden's
1 cup Key Lime Juice -- fresh
8 Egg Yolks
8 Egg Whites
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/3 cup Confectioner's Sugar
Graham Cracker Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together. Line a 9 inch pie tin with the cracker mix, pressing firmly to line bottom and sides. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Whisk the condensed milk with the lime juice and egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl. Pour into the pre-baked graham cracker shell. Set aside while making the meringue.
Beat the egg whites to a soft peak - add cream of tartar and continue to whip to a stiff peak. Continue whipping and add the sugar, whipping until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Decoratively add meringue on top of the custard. Bake for 15 - 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Cook until the meringue has good color. Check with a wooden skewer or cake tester to be sure the custard is done.
NOTES: The measurements for the crust are way off. Four cups of crumbs was just way too much, and only 1/4 cup of butter for all of this plus the sugar yielded graham cracker dust. Double the amount of butter and halve the amount of crumbs and you'll get a beautiful and easy-to-cut crust.