Friday, January 19, 2018

Charles' Florida Key Lime Pie

My dear friend Charles makes the finest Key Lime Pie. He came across his culinary ability honestly. His mother was a great cook, and Charles with a prodigious sweet tooth, mastered desserts. Born in the American south, his homemade Pralines, Southern Fried Chicken and Pink Elephants are equally irresistible as his Florida Key Lime Pie. Served after a long leisurely lunch in Naples a few weeks ago, he obliged me with his secret recipe. Named after the small Key limes that are naturalized throughout the Florida Keys, I was surprised when his secret ingredient was Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice, which Charles swears gives his pies more pizzazz. At 91, who are we to argue with that?

Charles' Florida Key Lime Pie

Serves 6-8
Recipe courtesy of Nellie & Joe's 

2 300ml cans of sweetened condensed milk

6 egg yolks - whites not used but could make a meringue top if desired
1 cup Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice
2 fresh limes, zest only

Thick Pie Crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter 
1/3 cup sugar

In a large bowl, combine the pie crust ingredients thoroughly for a deep dish 9-inch pie plate or springform pan. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Press the crumbs firmly over the bottom and up sides of the pie plate, then chill for an hour before filling. For the filling, combine the condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice, zest and blend until smooth. Pour the filling into the graham cracker pie crust and bake at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream or meringue, and garnish with sliced lime.

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