Thunder and lightning in the nighttime sky, mood is right for some key lime pie. The phrase easy as pie was written because of this pie. Very, very easy, and very, very good. Wowee. The whipped cream, although I don’t typically enjoy whipped cream, was very necessary for this dish because of how tart the filling tastes.
Key Lime Pie
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
Prepare the filling for the pie first, so it can thicken during the time it takes to prepare the crust.
4 tsp lime zest
1/2 cup strained lime juice (from 3 or 4 limes)
4 large egg yolks
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
Graham Cracker Crust
9 graham crackers (5 oz), broken into rough pieces
2 TB granulated sugar
5 TB unsalted butter, melted and warm
Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup (1 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 lime sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional)
1. For the Filling: whisk the zest and yolks in a medium nonreactive bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in the milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken (about 30 minutes).
2. For the Crust: adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. In a food processor, process the graham crackers until evenly fine, about 30 seconds (you should have about 1 cup crumbs)—I did this all by hand, and it tasted great.
Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding the warm melted butter in a steady stream; pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch glass pie plate, evenly press the crumbs into the pie plate, using your thumb and a ½ cup measuring cup to square off the top of the crust. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes;
transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
4. Pour the lime filling into the crust; bake until the center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return the pie to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (The pie can be covered directly with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 1 day.)
5. For The Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip the cream in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer to very soft peaks. Adding the confectioners’ sugar 1 TB at a time, continue whipping to just stiff peaks.
Decoratively pipe the whipped cream evenly with a rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.