Hey, do you happen to know what day it is today? Why, it’s National Key Lime Pie Day! As if we needed an excuse to celebrate this exquisitely zesty confection, key lime pie is the perfect way to start off the week and chase away those Monday blues. As the official dessert of the Key West in Florida, this legendary sweet treat can be traced back to the early 20th century. The recipe is simple and straightforward and everyone seems to have their own version. However, the one thing we can all agree on is the authentic key lime pie is its pale yellow color, unlike its green food-dyed counterpart. Traditional filling calls for a simple combination of condensed milk, egg yolks and of course, authentic key limes. Layer it on top of a homemade, buttery graham cracker crust and top it off with freshly whipped cream and you have yourself a classic American dessert that’s worthy of its own national food holiday!
Key Limes are no ordinary limes. Sweeter and rounder than their traditional relative, the Persian Lime, Key Limes are worth their weight in gold despite their tiny, golf-ball size. Their unique flavor is different from other varieties of limes and are used in many different cuisines around the world. Green, unripe key limes are favored for their high acidity whereas their ripened yellow version results in a sweeter taste. Although they’re world famous as the primary ingredient in key lime pie, their culinary value is so much more than that. A squeeze of fresh key lime juice can be used to flavor chicken, fish, sauces, marinades, salads among many recipes.
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Then, use your hands to firmly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for about 10 minutes until the crust is golden-brown. Set aside to cool.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the key lime juice, key lime zest, condensed milk and egg yolks. Pour this mixture into the cooled pie crust.
3. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and allow for the pie to cool. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
4. When ready to serve, in an electric mixer whisk the heavy cream and powdered sugar together on medium speed until soft peaks form for about 3 minutes.
5. Gently spoon the whipped cream on top of the pie. Garnish with lime zest and serve immediately.