Florida Pie! What better place to make one than in Florida? Ok, considering how much I want to move that’s a bad question since I’d answer pretty much any other state, but let’s pretend I don’t think that way and I’m just toe twiddlin happy to be making this in the Sunshine State. Don’t y’all be looking forward to coconut and meringue, because D’s fav pie is key lime so I went purist. Key lime and crust is all y’all will find in this pie.
The most important ingredient in this is… these!
A lime ain’t a lime y’all, and while it will work if you sub regular limes you ain’t getting the right flavour at all. key limes are strong, with a particular sour bite that you ain’t finding in any other citrus. They’re like black walnuts, you might as well use an orange and call it key lime for all the similarity it has to a key lime.
Look how tiny they are! They’re like toy limes! This shows how little they are, as long as you assume that I have a rather small hand being a kinda small chick and not that I have paws like a Sasquatch. The only thing Sasquatch about me is how difficult it is to remove my leg hai… y’all don’t wanna hear about that though. Sorry.
This is my new juicer. There really is a second bottom cup part, but it was being used as a large measuring cup. There used to be a large measuring cup around, but it was really old and it cracked so now I have to use the bottom of the juicer to measure more than a cup at a time and so a large plastic fast food cup gets to catch juice, yay! This is why my friends are jealous of my class.
Not that the juicer is helping much. Did y’all know key limes are really small, and a big plastic citrus smoosher don’t do much good?
Back to the hard way. Key limes also have really strong citrus, and these were stronger than usual. It was right about here that I found out I had a paper cut on my finger. The second lime let me know that. The 20th lime gave me a little blister. Ow.
Oh, the lime-anity!
The pain and struggle (all 20 minutes of it from start to finish since I left out the coconut cream and meringue) was worth it in the end, when out came the tastiest key lime pie ever!
In keeping with my high falutin ways, it’s in the tin foil pan it came in. That’s why y’all read my blog, for the presentation and art. Yup.
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (page 235), fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, separated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.
Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the reaming juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.
Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.
To Finish the Pie with Meringue:
Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you’ve got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.