I’m all for the idea of using high-quality, healthy and organic ingredients in baking. I’m also all about the idea of labor-intensive pies that take all day to make, and involve various steps that eventually dirties every mixing bowl, pan and plate in the kitchen.
But sometimes… sometimes you’re short on time, energy, and dish soap. And damn if you don’t want to sacrifice flavor because of it.
My solution? My go-to pie recipe, the one that’s always a crowd-pleaser (especially in summer) – Key Lime Pie. It’s quite possibly the easiest pie to make, and it’s also one of the very best. The ingredients are all guilty pleasure ingredients like sweetened condensed milk, pre-made pie crusts, and lots of whipped cream out of a can. Ingredients that most self-respecting bakers wouldn’t use, but that are worth indulging in for this recipe. This is the creamiest, smoothest, and most refreshing pie I know of. It’s the kind of pie I could see Cinnamon churning out in large batches on a hot and smoky August day at her pie shop in Christmas River (which, in Malice in Christmas River, due out this August, she actually will be!
I can’t really take credit for this recipe. It’s just a variation on your basic Joy of Cooking Key Lime Pie. But I've been making it for years, and I have yet to come across one person who hasn't fallen head-over-heels for it. Just be sure to make more than one, as it tends to disappear quickly!
Key Lime Pie
(makes two pies)
2 pre-made, store-bought graham cracker crusts
2 14-ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk (I find Eagle Brand to be a tried and trusted standby)
8 egg yolks
1 ¼ cup of key lime juice (fresh squeezed, or from the bottle)
4 teaspoons lime zest
Whipped cream in a can
Lime peel twists (Lime peel strips twisted)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice and lime zest in a bowl and stir until well-combined. Divide mixture between two graham cracker crusts, and bake for about 17 minutes. Remove pies, let cool completely, and then chill in fridge for several hours. Add whipped cream to top just before serving, along with a lime twist. Sit back, eat, and enjoy the summer!
Warning: Eating too much Key Lime Pie may result in this...