Published March 1, 1997.
With only three ingredients (including regular limes) and in just over 30 minutes, you can produce a four-star dessert.
Some of us have been served Key lime pie in restaurants and found it disappointing, usually harsh and artificial tasting.
"Classic" Key lime pie is said to be made with only three ingredients (sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and lime juice) that don't even need to be cooked. Was there a way to make this "classic" Key lime pie taste good?
Although we had suspected that the sweetened condensed milk was the party guilty of giving Key lime pies their "off' flavor, we found that the real culprit was the lime juice--bottled, reconstituted lime juice, that is. When we substituted the juice and zest from fresh limes, the pie became an entirely different experience: pungent and refreshing, cool and yet creamy, and very satisfying. We also discovered that while the pie filling will set without baking (most recipes call only for mixing and then chilling), it set much more nicely after being baked for only 15 minutes. We tried other, more dramatic departures from the "classic" recipe--folding in egg whites, substituting heavy cream for condensed milk--but they didn't work. Just two seemingly minor adjustments to the recipe made all the difference in the world.list of recipes