|Sunset over Siesta Key Beach|
Who doesn't like this bright and cheery, tart and creamy, key lime pie? It's deliciously refreshing and a beloved. treat found throughout Florida. A must for a sweet, citrus treat for the upcoming summer months. I recently spent a week in Florida with my husband and my very good friend, Jackie Partridge. This was our second year in a row at the House of the Sun condo on Siesta Key Beach. Great weather, day trips, awesome restaurants, walks on the beach and sunset cocktails. It was a relaxing vacation in a gorgeous location. One of our pastimes was to taste and rate key lime pies all throughout Siesta Key and beyond. We tasted them at every eatery, deconstructing them all, rating them and discussing how combining our favorite elements to create the ultimate and unbeatable key lime pie. We ranked them all between 1 - 5, 5 being the highest and here's what we found:
4.0 Phillippi Creek, Sarasota, FL
Great texture and flavor of filling. Seemed like there were ground nuts in the filling. Points off for fake whipped cream.
3.25 Turtles, Siesta Key, FL
Filling was too light and too creamy for a key lime pie. Crust was to limey and soggy, but the real whipped cream was great.
3.75 South Beach Bar & Grill, Madeira Beach, FL
Presentation was awesome. Crust was good but needed more texture and flavor. Real whipped cream and a raspberry / lime embellishment.
4.0 Walt's Fish Market, Siesta Key, FL
Crust was good and included crushed shortbread, however filling needed more lime. Real whipped cream topped this great pie.
3.5 Mike's Pie, Seminole, FL
Purchased at a gourmet food store, this pie had more lime and not as sweet as the others. Crust was grainy and just a little too sweet.
Based on this taste test, I think I have developed what I think is the ultimate and unbeatable Key Lime Pie! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. ground ginger, shortbread or coconut cookies
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. melted butter
4 egg yolks [2 egg whites, whipped, optional]
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c. fresh lime juice
2 T. fresh lemon juice (3 - 4 limes)
1 t. lime zest
Whipped Cream Topping:
1 c. heavy cream
3 T. confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients and drizzle with melted butter. Stir until combined and press evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake until set, about 10 min. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Leave oven on.
Filling: In large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Add lime and lemon juices and zest. [At this point, you can fold in 2 whipped egg whites if you want the filling to be a little lighter and not so dense] Spread mixture in pre-baked crust and bake until set in the center, about 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Garnish and Serve: In medium bowl, combine cream and sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Cut into slices and garnish with whipped cream and top cream with a twist of a slice of lime.
Key Lime Pie Martini for those of you who would rather drink your dessert
Rim 4 martini glasses with fresh lime wedge and dredge in a mix of 1/2 graham cracker crumbs and 1/2 shortbread cookie crumbs. Put in freezer until ready to use.
|Key Lime Pie Martini|
1/3 c. vanilla liquor
1/3 c. vodka
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. orange juice
1/3 c. coconut milk creamer