Monday, May 18, 2009

Joe's Stone Crab: Key Lime Pie

Pretty sad, but only a couple weeks after returning from Florida, I'm already wishing I hadn't come back. I really need the everyday sunshine to re-charge my batteries. And all the fabulous seafood and citrus isn't bad either.  Luckily for me, I brought back a bottle of key lime juice so I could make a nice little pie.

I cheated and ate some the same night. It was little soft, so I forced myself to wait until tonight to try another piece. The pie had weeped overnight, but I was able to clean it up and cut off the soggy portions, and it was much better. There was a small portion at the very center that was still a little soft, so I'm not sure if I'm a believer in the only-cook-it-for-10-minutes-or-you'll-ruin-it line. Next time I'll probably do 12.  Other than the weeping-filling-thing, the pie was delicious, nice and tart and refreshing. I highly recommend it.

Key Lime Pie
From Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in Miami, FL

1 cup plus 2½ tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar

3 large egg yolks
1½ teaspoons grated lime zest
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
⅔ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup heavy or whipped cream, chilled
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

For the graham cracker crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. In a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

For the filing:
Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

For the topping:
Whip the cream and the powdered sugar until nearly stiff. Cut the pie in wedges and serve very cold, topping each wedge with a large dollop of whipped cream.

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