Uncommonly Good

Key Lime Birthday Pie

My birthday was Sunday, March 21, but a snowstorm blew all day Saturday so we decided to postpone the family gathering until the weather was more cooperative. I was delighted to spend the day by myself and made two of my favorite things: Spicy Talapia with Rice and Mango Salsa; and Key Lime Pie.

I didn’t have as much red pepper as I would have liked for the mango salsa, and I was light on the lime juice because I used all my limes in the pie. But an extra splash of white vinegar gave it the tartness I crave and it was still delish.  The leftover mango salsa is in the fridge mixed with the right amount of rice. I plan to have it with chicken breast this weekend.

Mom promised me a German Chocolate Cake for my birthday,  complete with coconut icing. But having just purchased a bag of key limes I decided I’d go with a Key Lime Pie on my birthday.

My dad was from Florida, so all my childhood vacations were road trips to the Sunshine State. My grandmother lived in Key West and she always had fresh oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in a glass cookie jar on the kitchen counter when we pulled into the yard. And there was at least one key lime pie in the freezer.

Some notes about Key Lime Pie:
Real key lime pie isn’t green. It doesn’t look like pudding. And it isn’t baked.

That’s the way my grandmother made it and I make it the same way. I know there is a  risk of salmonella from eating raw eggs, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take a  few times a year when I make one of these. I’ve also inlcuded my Aunt Dorthy Ann’s recipe without eggs. It’s also pretty darn good.

Key Lime Pie
Grandmother Hamilton’s Version

Mix together:
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 C key lime juice

Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into other mixture. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Freeze.

Serve with whipped cream on top.

Aunt DA’s Version

Mix together:
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3–1/2 C key lime juice

Fold in:
1/2 of an 8 oz Lite Cool Whip

Pour into prepared crust and top with the other half of the Cool Whip on top. Freeze.
(You may want to freeze a bit first and then spread Cool Whip on top.)

For some reason, I had a store-bought graham cracker crust in the cabinet and I used it for this pie, but it was not as good as it would have been if I’d made my own. Make the crust ahead of time so it’s good to go when you’re ready to make the pie.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust for Key Lime Pie

1 2/3 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 C plus 2 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine all ingredients and blend well. Firmly press the cracker mixture over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. To smooth it out, place a smaller pie plate on top and press firmly against the sides and bottom. Bake at 350° 6–9 minutes. Cool.


March 26, 2010 Posted by | Dessert | , | 3 Comments


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