March 15, 2017

Key Lime Pie

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sweet and tart Key lime pie

For π Day I made sweet and tart Key lime pie. I don't use the bottled juice because I don't find it authentic enough. It's a pain to juice the tiny fruits but it's worth it. Besides, the zest is also great to infuse into sugar for later use or caramel custard or fizzy kefir water.

In the Philippines, Key lime is called dayap. The zest and a little of the juice is used to flavor caramel custard (leche flan) instead of vanilla extract. The juice is also mixed with fish sauce, chopped bird's eye chili, and a little sugar as a savory dipping sauce, usually for fried or grilled fish.

Key Lime Pie
1½ cups fine Graham cracker crumbs
½ tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, store-bought or homemade (recipe follows)
½ cup fresh Key lime juice
1 teaspoon Key lime zest

lightly sweetened whipped heavy cream
candied Key lime rind, optional
  • In a small bowl, whisk together crust ingredients. Press evenly in a 9-inch pie or tart pan. Prick all over including sides with the tines of a fork. Blind bake in a 325°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in the rest of ingredients until fully mixed. Pour into the crust and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is set but still a bit jiggly.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.
  • Pipe whipped cream on the edges of pie and serve with a sliver of candied Key lime rind. 
I started making sweetened condensed milk after several old canned ones in the pantry have turned a dark caramel color. I had to throw them away. I used to use it a lot in the past but lately have abandoned it because of the sugar content. With homemade I reduce the carbs by using 4;1 birch xylitol (Made in USA) and cane sugar. I only prepare a batch when the need arises because it doesn't last very long, about 3 weeks. I use ½ cup heavy cream for extra flavor and creaminess.

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
makes 2 cups

3½ cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
  • Combine milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a measuring cup and stir until sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour half into a heavy bottom stainless steel sauce pan. Using a piece of masking tape outside the pan, mark the top of the milk to determine if the mixture has reduced by half.
  • Add the rest of milk mixture. Heat to boiling then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook while stirring occasionally, uncovered, until thickened and reduced by half. This will take more than 1 hour.
  • Turn off heat and stir in butter.
  • Transfer into a glass measuring cup and let cool completely. Transfer into a jar or a plastic squeeze bottle [easier to dispense forMilo Toast].


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