I was therefore forced to innovate.And since it was far too early in the day for margaritas, I made pie. I called it Key Lime Pie but it’s really just Lime Pie. And it’s so easy and good that I thought I’d share.
Crust: You’ll need a 9 inch prepared graham cracker crust, or you can easily make one yourself. (I made my own because I like to use butter and I like the crust thicker than commercial varieties.)
16 full size graham crackers, crushed,
1/2 stick of melted butter
2 Tbls of white sugar
a dash of salt.
Press crumbled mixture into a pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for about ten minutes. Cool before adding filling.
This is actually a 9.5-inch pie plate, which complicated following all the 9-inch pie recipes I saw floating around the internet. I could have just followed a 9-inch pie recipe, but I like full, upstanding pies, so that didn’t appeal to me.
My solution was to increase the volume by approximately a third. It worked because this is a forgiving recipe. Perhaps that’s one reason I love pies: you don’t have to weigh and measure everything so carefully to get a delicious result.
Filling: The basic ratio is 1/2 cup fresh lime juice to 1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk. More lime juice makes it tarter, but I wouldn’t recommend less. It’s all about the lime flavor, after all!
For a 9.5 inch pie filling, you’ll need:
1 cup of fresh lime juice,(about 18-20 small limes)
2 14 oz cans of sweetened, condensed milk,
4 egg yolks,
1 T. of lime zest, or to taste.
One of the internet tips I used was to beat the egg yolks for about five minutes until they paled and grew ribbon-like, then I added the milk and lime juice. It made the final product really smooth and light.
Bake the filling for 12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until nearly set. Don’t brown it. Cool on counter and chill thoroughly before adding topping.
Toppings. I saw several recipes that recommended sour cream as a topping. Too heavy and the sour competes poorly with the tart lime flavor, in my opinion. This is a rich pie, but paradoxically, I think whipped cream lightens it up. You could leave it plain, but I went with a crown of whipped cream, sprinkled with a few bits of left over lime zest, and that was very well received at Casa Renfield.
And again, I spent way more time looking at options than it took to make the final pie. So try this if you have a massive pile of Costco limes . . . or even if you don’t. Lime pie is guaranteed to banish the winter doldrums at your house!