Saturday, March 05, 2016

Mar-a-Lago Club: Key Lime Pie

My sister is currently 8+ months pregnant, and it is nearing her birthday.  We asked what she wanted for her birthday meal, and she told us Alaskan king crab legs, deviled eggs, chocolate fudge, and key lime pie.  If that's not a stereotypical pregnant woman meal, I'm not sure what is.  I think all we're missing is some pickles.  But I made sure to fulfill her wishes (everyone gets what they want on their birthday), and I used this fabulous pie recipe to do it.

Note:  You really should take the advice and freeze the pie briefly before cutting.  It's really too creamy to get a good slice otherwise, and it has a tendency to try and collapse as you're pulling it out of the pie plate.  Lesson learned.

Key Lime Pie
From Chef Jeff O'Neill at Mar-a-Lago Club, Palm Beach, FL

¾ pound graham crackers
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 Persian lime
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
⅔ cup fresh key lime juice (from about 2 pounds key limes)
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Break up the graham crackers, place them in a food processor, and process into crumbs.  Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse until combined.  Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom, sides, and edge.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.

While the crust is resting, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until fluffy, 5 or 6 minutes.  Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to whip until thick, 3 to 4 minutes longer.  Lower the mixing speed and slowly add the key lime juice until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling has just set.  Cool on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Whip the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until nearly stiff.  Evenly spread the whipped cream on top of the pie, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to serving.

Makes 12 servings

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