Wednesday, April 28, 2010

131. Key Lime Pie

Date Cooked: March 25, 2010
Page: 909
Rating: B+

There is one Whole Foods Market in Toronto and it happens to be close to my sister-in-law’s place. During a quick delivery trip to drop some stuff off for her we decided to peek our heads in and see what the fuss was all about. It was quite an interesting place. I wasn’t entirely blown away by most of the store, but I was enthralled by the produce section. It wasn’t just the variety that was there but the quality of the produce was amazing! As we wandered around I picked up some spices that I couldn’t find in the regular chain and I also grabbed a small bag of Key Limes, I had a plan for these.

A few weeks back I baked a key lime pie (from a box mix) and the kids liked it. But I wanted to know what real key lime pie was like. That is the new curse I live with. I am always trying to figure out a way to make everything from scratch… I have even started looking into the possibility of cheese making! But that will be another time. This time I was simply tackling a pie and since I found key limes I figured this was perfect.

So as I started to flip through the recipe in the book, I’m reading the blurb about the limes and it turns out the book actually recommends regular limes, both because they are easier to find and juice easier, and there is little difference between the flavor of key limes and regular. I was a little disappointed, because I could have done this pie sooner and I could have spent less for the limes. But I soldiered on anyway.

First I need three tablespoons of zest from the key limes. Well, score one for the book. Zesting tiny key limes sucks. Thank god I purchased a microplane zester awhile back, it made a tedious job slightly quicker, although that sharp zester can wreck havoc on your fingers if you slip. Once I had acquired the requisite amount of zest I then needed to juice this little orb. It took nine key limes to extract enough juice. I will say these particular limes really gave up a good amount of juice each. So with the lime processing complete it was time to get busy.

The zest was beaten in with some eggs yolks and then condensed milk and lime juice was added and the mixture was set aside to thicken. I’m not sure what size condensed milk cans are supposed to come in but the size they use in the book (14oz) was not the size they sell at the grocery store (10oz). I was lucky I purchased 2 cans because I didn’t realize this until I was at home. So I ended up using almost a can and a half. Any suggestions on what I can use 5ozs of sweetened condensed milk for? With the filling thickening I moved onto the graham cracker crust.

Graham crackers were processed with some sugar and melted butter and then spread out onto a pie plate. This was baked for about ten minutes and then allowed to cool. Once cooled the filling was added and the pie was baked for an additional 15 minutes. This entire pie then needed to cool for 3 hours… Since it was already 10pm I figured we would have this for dessert the next night.

When it was finally time to enjoy this pie I whipped up some cream and confectioner’s sugar with the KitchenAid. I probably should have sifted the confectioner’s sugar. When tasting the whipped cream for “quality” I found a small lump of sugar. I won’t lie…. I actually liked that. The pie was garnished with some thinly sliced limes (I need a good quality mandoline) and sliced to be served.

Rating: B+. I liked the pie and it definitely tasted more real than the pie mix I had used previously. It was definitely tart but not overpowering. I only had one real complaint. The three tablespoons of zest needed to be very finely chopped to ensure it better blended into the pie. I also wouldn’t even bother with the lime garnish… not unless I get more creative with them. My oldest son liked the pie (which is no surprise since he likes anything sweet), his brother wasn’t as big a fan.
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