Monday, January 23, 2012

Key Lime Pie with Meringue Topping

Today just happens to be National Pie Day and I have chosen to participate. Awesome, I know! I love pie and to be honest, it's probably my dessert of choice. There is something so simple and somewhat old-fashioned about pie that gets me. It's classic and it always has been and always will be around. There are SO many different kinds of options for pie, some require more skill than others and some can cost a ridiculously high amount of money. But pie can also be the easiest, cheapest dessert you can choose to make. The decision is all yours, and the possibilities are endless. Savory or sweet, man, pie can do it all.  

I chose to do Key Lime Pie on National Pie Day because it's my favorite pie of all time. Bold statement, but very true. I found a recipe that included meringue on top of this pie and I was sold. Meringue just happens to be my favorite pie topping. This particular meringue recipe turned out perfect, it looks and tastes just like how my grandma's does on her rhubarb pie and that is exactly what I wanted. I was way more excited about this than I should have been. I'm super cool, ya know. I have officially conquered meringue and I'm damn proud of it. Now, this recipe is based off one from Paula Deen and her Food Network gang. This is the first recipe I've ever made from Paula Deen's recipe collection. Recently the popular southern cook has been getting some (a ton) of bad press because of her health issues, selling diabetes pills, and use of butter or something, but I decided to give her a chance anyway. Even if you are despising Paula Deen at the moment, don't take it out on this pie. It's great. It's better than great. I plan on using this recipe many more times. Happy National Pie Day to you and I hope you're able to get a slice, or two. 

Key Lime Pie with Meringue Topping
Adapted from Paula Deen on Food

1 1/2 cups graham crackers, finely ground (about 12 crackers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

4 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Pinch salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake until crust is fragrant and edges are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice, and cream. Pour the filling into the crust and bake about 30 minutes or until firm. Mine only took about 25 minutes. Remove pie from oven.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, which will take several minutes. In a second bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the sugar mixture, a little at a time, to the egg whites, beating between additions. Continue to beat until the sugar dissolves. Spoon the meringue over the hot pie filling. Spread it out to the ends of you can. The meringue tends to shrink a bit. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve pie warm or at room temperature

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