Besides its fabulous, zesty taste, pie fans love Key Lime Pie because its ingredients are so few and so simple. It’s a super-easy-to-make pie. There are some heated discussions about the authenticity of using a meringue topping versus a whipped-cream topping. Well, according to David L. Sloan, author of The Ultimate Key Lime Pie Cookbook, the answer is “neither.” The original key lime pie didn’t have a topping at all. Sloan also explains how this pie came about with the invention of sweetened condensed milk in 1856. It was shipped to the Keys in lieu of fresh milk, and men who fished the seas for sponges poured the sweet, thick milk over their stale bread to soften it, mixed in whatever eggs they could find, and squeezed lime juice on top to “cook” it. And this is how this beloved pie was born.
- 4 egg yolks (save 2 egg whites),
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk,
- 1⁄2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 20 Key limes), or bottled Key lime juice,
- 2 tsp fresh lime zest.
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream,
- 3 tbsp sugar.
- Make the Graham Cracker Crust.
- Make the Filling: Beat 4 egg yolks in a large bowl, then stir in the condensed milk, lime juice, and lime zest. Whisk the 2 saved egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. This will make the filling lighter. Pour the filling into the prepared crust shell.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Set aside to cool, then put in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
- Prepare the Topping: Beat cream and sugar until peaks form. Spread over the top of your pie. You can also use the leftover egg whites to make a meringue topping. Many people like the whipped cream more than the meringue for its sense of freshness.
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