Key Lime Pie | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Key Lime Pie

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Key Lime Pie

One year I demonstrated this recipe to so many audiences before Passover, I was unable to make it again when Passover finally arrived, and I love key lime pie. At one event in Brooklyn, New York, I made the mistake of stabbing some limes with a knife to extract more juice. All I achieved was a deep cut in my finger. I wrapped it tightly with paper towels and cellophane tape, put on a new plastic glove, and taught the class. Afterward I texted a photo of the cut to my Maryland doctor to see if I needed stitches, and thankfully, I did not. I went on to my next demonstration at New York University’s kosher dining hall. (Texting my doctor for a consultation was a great use of modern technology and allowed me to continue on schedule.)

The best (and safest) way to extract more juice from limes and lemons is to heat them in a microwave oven for 30 seconds, then slice the fruit in half and squeeze. Now that I know how to make this safely, I make it every Passover and all year round as my go-to gluten-free pie.

Servings & Times
Yield:
  • Serves 8
Ingredients

Crust:

4 tablespoons (57g) margarine

2 cups ground walnuts (from 3 ½ – 4 cups (420–480g) walnut halves)

3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

 

Lime Filling:

5 large eggs plus 3 yolks

1 ½ cups (300g) sugar

2 tablespoons lime zest (from 3 limes)

½ cup (120ml) fresh lime juice (from 4–6 limes or 12 key limes)

½ cup (1 stick; 113g) margarine

1 drop green food coloring, optional

 

Meringue Topping:

⅔ cup (130g) sugar

½ cup (60ml) water

2 large egg whites

Steps

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). You will need an 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm) pie pan for this dessert. A disposable pan works fine, too.

To make the lime cream:

Place the eggs, yolks, and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water in a medium saucepan (or a double-boiler). Stir to combine. Add the lime zest and juice and stir to combine. Cook uncovered over simmering water for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thick. Be patient and do not stir too much. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the margarine, one tablespoon at a time, until the cream is smooth. Add the green food coloring, if using, and stir. Set the mixture aside.

To make the crust:

Heat the margarine in a medium microwavesafe bowl for 45 seconds, or until melted. Add the walnuts and brown sugar and mix until combined. Place this mixture into the pie pan and press to cover the bottom and up the sides. Place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, leaving the oven on.

When the cream is ready, pour it into the prepared crust and smooth the top to make it even.

Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the outside edges of the cream are set (the inside can remain a little wobbly). Let the pie cool and then chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

To make the meringue topping:

In a small, heavy saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Continue to cook the sugar until it reaches 230°F (110°C) on a candy thermometer. While the sugar is cooking, beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff. When the sugar is ready, turn the mixer speed to low and then slowly pour the cooked sugar into the whites, down the side of the bowl, not directly onto the wire whisk. When all of the sugar has been poured in, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for one minute.

Use a silicone spatula to spread the meringue over the surface of the pie or use an ice cream

scoop to drop clumps of meringue on the top of the pie. You can use a blowtorch to lightly brown the top of the meringue or place the pie in a 450°F (130°C) oven for a few minutes, watching it the entire time, until the top browns (you don’t want it to burn). Store the pie in the fridge for up to three days.


Reprinted with permission from Holiday Kosher Baker © 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress