Sometimes you make things because you bought the ingredients on impulse and you've really got to use them before they go bad. Sometimes it's a bag of limes. This would be one of those times. I really wanted to try the Key Lime Bars from Cook's Illustrated but didn't have all ingredients. I might make it to the store for those but I only had stuff for PIE. And what's more fun than PIE, I ask you. Or, at least, saying "PIE".
I was informed, afterwards, that you can put a bit of green food coloring in the filling to make it, you know. Green. Since it's not. It's yellow-ish. It tastes like lime, sure, but I have to admit, there's a little disappointment. I know for future reference.
Being a relative beginner to cooking, I was pleased with how easy this was. Whip up some filling, plop it into a crust then throw some cream in the standing mixer and voila. There was a lot of cooling time in between each step so it took a while in that regard but the actual prep was easy. It's not as tart as I expected but I suspect that's because I didn't use real Key Limes. It's mild and quite nice but I think in the future, I'd use the real deal to get that punch of flavor.
KEY LIME PIE
Source: The Best Recipe, Cook's Illustrated
4 teaspoons grated zest plus 1/2 cup strained juice from 3 to 4 limes
4 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
11 full-size graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 lime, sliced paper thing and dipped in sugar (optional)
1. FOR THE FILLING: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.
2. FOR THE CRUST: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Scrape mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
3. Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)
4. FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding confectioners' sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Decoratively pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.