I’ve been looking forward to the recipe chosen for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie because I’ve been craving key lime pie ever since I went to Florida last year, but just haven’t gotten around to making it. And I had a bottle of Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice that I needed to use. BTW, let me just take a moment to sing the praises of that key lime juice, folks – it’s the real deal, not the imitation stuff you find in the lime-shaped bottles in the supermarket. In my opinion, you can only get that Florida taste if you use either Nellie and Joe’s or squeeze the key limes yourself.
Anyway, this pie is a little different in that it has a coconut cream layer in addition to the key lime layer. I love coconut, so that works for me. But it was also supposed to have a meringue, which I’m not a huge fan of (yes, I’m the person who gets lemon crunch pie rather than lemon meringue). So I left that off, and instead decorated it with some stabilized whipped cream (which I piped on) and some thinly cut lime slices. And although it didn’t cut as neatly as I would have liked it to, here’s the final result:
As for the flavor? Nothing short of amazing. Not too sweet, not too tart. The coconut cream matched beautifully with the key lime filling. Meringue would have made this pie too busy. I usually get sick of key lime pie about halfway through a single piece, as most people recipes are either too cloying because of the sweetness, or too tart for me to enjoy. This is pure perfection. And will taste lovely tonight as the dessert for a Florida-inspired meal: Spicy Crab Cakes with Key-Lime Mustard Sauce, and Poached Grouper with Coconut-Cilantro Rice and Mango Salsa. I can’t wait.
recipe from “Baking: From My Home to Yours” courtesy Dorie Greenspan
1 9-inch graham cracker crust, fully baked and coolked, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 c. heavy cream
1 1/2 c. shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, separated
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 c. sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.
Working with a stand mixer, preferrably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the remaining juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.
Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.
To finish the pie with Meringue:
Preheat the broiler. Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you’ve got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue). Return the pie for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
Serving: If the pie has been frozen long enough to be firm, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. You want it to be cold but not frozen. Serve with espresso – dark and strong.
Storing: Covered and kept away from foods with strong odors, the pie can be refrigerated for about 8 hours.