Florida Key Lime Pie

I spent last weekend in Fort Myers, Florida with my sister Courtney, visiting our cousin Jaime, her husband Ben, and their kids – one daughter and two dogs.  Bowen (Bowie) is now a toddler, so Courtney and I were delighted to follow her around, read to her, sing songs, and try to get her to say “Auntie.”

The visit included a lot of good eating. To start, Ben made us his signature family recipe for Tomato (‘Mater) Gravy, which we spooned over drop biscuits and followed with frothy homemade lattes.

A trip to the gelato shop helped beat the southern Florida heat.  Notice how Bowie has a spoon in each hand.  All the better to sample with.  Smart kid!

This photo is from my sister.  She propped her camera on a counter and set the timer.  If you know her, you know she has perfected this move to the letter.  Thanks, Court!

We tried to have a sunset beach picnic on Sanibel Island, but when the rain didn’t let up, we had to eat our sandwiches in the car.  Undaunted, we still got out and headed for the beach, demonstrating the “Sanibel Stoop” while hunting for shells in the waves and catching glimpses of the sunset through the clouds. The ocean wasn’t just warm, it was almost hot. Nothing like the frigid Atlantic I am used to…

Playing on the beach in the rain with my sister and cousin had me feeling very much like a kid again.  We spent a lot of time on the beaches of Cape Cod during the 80’s, and it doesn’t take much for us to slip into our old roles when we get together.  I am lucky to have my sisters and cousins. 

On our last day, Jaime took us to Norman Love Chocolate Salon, which was opened by master chocolatier Love in 2001 after serving as corporate executive pastry chef for the Ritz-Carlton for 13 years. I gave in and bought a half-dozen truffles to try. They were just too pretty to pass up.

Norman Love Chocolate Truffles

Top Row:  Peaches and Cream, Vanilla Cupcake, Coconut
Bottom Row:  Hazlenut Praline, Pumpkin Pie, Tiramisu

My favorite was the rich, espresso-flavored Tiramisu, though the Peaches and Cream was also very good and oddly juicy.  I split them all with John – his favorite was the Hazlenut Praline for its slightly crunchy texture. 

Everything we had was delicious, but the very best thing I ate in Florida was, as the title of this post implies, its official state pie…Key Lime!  

Jaime made us an amazing version using fresh squeezed key limes, a crust made with Biscoff cookies, and whipped cream.

key lime pie

Key Lime Pie has a neat history.  It was invented in Key West, Florida in the late 1800’s and has a filling made from key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk.  The sweetened condensed milk was a critical component because it would be decades before modern refrigeration would allow for fresh milk to be preserved and shipped to Florida.

Early recipes actually relied on the chemical reaction between the condensed milk and the acidic lime juice, which caused the filling to thicken on its own over time with no baking required.  Today, mindful of the safety concerns surrounding raw egg, the filing is briefly baked before chilling.

Key Lime Pie traditionally has an egg-white meringue topping, which I love on Lemon Meringue Pie, but for Key Lime I prefer Jaime’s version, which has whipped cream.

The visit, food, pie, and company were all wonderful.

Thank you Jaime, Ben, and Bowie for a great visit! 

Jaime’s Key Lime Pie
Adapted from Gourmet via Epicurious

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups Biscoff cookie crumbs
2 Tbsp. sugar
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and get out a 9-inch pie plate, preferably glass.
  • Use a fork to stir together cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of the pie plate.
  • Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool. Leave oven on.
  • Whisk together condensed milk and yolks, then add lime juice and continue whisking until thoroughly combined and slightly thickened.
  • Pour filling into crust and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Cool pie completely, then cover and chill overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • When you’re ready to serve, beat the cream and powdered sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer (Jaime wowed me by using her food processor) until it just holds stiff peaks. Add more powdered sugar to taste, if desired. Spoon and smooth the whipped cream over filling and serve.

Yield: 8 servings

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20 Comments on “Florida Key Lime Pie”

  1. mgw
    July 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Great post! The Key Lime Pie looks delicious, would be so perfect for today with this heat. I just love Key Lime Pie. Sigh…. (Apparently Bowie is not someone you’d want to sit next to when you’re having dessert. She’s awfully cute though!)

  2. July 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    oh, brilliance to use Biscoff cookies for the crust! can’t wait to try this one out – thanks!

  3. July 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Love me some key lime pie! Almost as much as I love these pictures!

  4. July 22, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Aimee, sounds like a great trip! The pie. I want some. Now!

  5. July 22, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Sounds like such a great trip! Those truffles do look amazing.

  6. Jaime
    July 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    To give credit where it’s due, the hardest part of this recipe is juicing the limes…and Aimee was an excellent key lime juicer!

    We should probably share the tip of cutting the key limes in half and using a garlic press to juice them.

    And mgw, Bowie is lucky she still has the hand that was holding the second spoon that made it’s way into Auntie Courtney’s gelato.

  7. July 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Omg, when I saw the crust was made of Biscoff cookies I kind of died from excitement. That has never even occurred to me, I’m imagining the possibilities!

  8. July 25, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    I’ve never had key lime pie, but I really wanna try it! Here in Australia, I don’t think I’ve ever seen key limes in the shops before.

  9. July 25, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Great recap of your trip Aimee!!!! I love Key Lime pie- and I love this authentic version!

    Also-you have successfully made me hungry

  10. courtney
    July 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    i have to admit that key lime has never been my first flavor choice for pie, but this particular pie has changed that sentiment! in my opinion, the biscoff crust is the best part. jaime wowed me as well by sharing that you can make homemade whipped cream with the food processor. your arm doesn’t get tired and it takes 1/3 the time!

    beautiful pictures, aim! seriously…that picture of the pie with the key limes is so pretty!

    and for the record…while i LOVED that gelato (a combo of salted caramel and fondue chocolate), miss bowie can share with me anytime! :)

  11. July 25, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Sounds like a fun trip! Key lime pie is the best!!!!!! Yours looks wonderful.

  12. July 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Oooh, I had forgotten how much I love key lime pie! Yours looks delicious!

  13. July 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! This pie really was as good as it looks. Use the Biscoff cookies in the crust of your next pie – they have a slightly gingersnap/molasses flavor so would be extra tasty with pecan or pumpkin in the fall, too. YUM!!

  14. July 29, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    I live in Florida, so you would think I would be an expert at Key Lime Pie, but I have actually never made it before. But I saw your recipe (and your photos!) and I will definitely be making one! Thanks!

  15. July 31, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    I heard this was the best key lime pie EVA!

  16. Ali
    July 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    This looks amazing! My mom loves key lime pie, and biscoff cookies, so I’m definitely going to be making this for her birthday. Why go the traditional cake route when you can make an amazing pie instead? Thanks for sharing!

  17. August 2, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Looks like a great trip! The pie really does look amazing and biscoff cookies as a pie crust is genius. I love the idea of juicing the key limes in a garlic press! I love key limes, but they kind of take forever to deal with….At least you don’t have to zest them for this pie!

  18. Anonymous
    August 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Jaime, Thank you so much your photos of the Key Lime Pie “looks terrific”, I would love to try yours someday really soon. We met a really cool guy traveling in North Carolina a few years back, his name was “Kutchie Pelaez”, I hope I spelled it right. We had been told that if we were ever in the state that it would be a big mistake if we didn’t go to Asheville and “Kutcharitaville” and try-out their world famous cheese burgers and a slice of the greatest key lime pie ever made. Well to say the least, after visiting the Biltmore House and Gardens, what a place that is, we drove a few miles down the road to the famous “Kutchie’s Key West Kutcharitaville Cafe'”. “WOW”, what a place that was! You know that they had a Monster Sized Iguana Lizard to meet us at the front entrance, his name was “now get this”, “Jimmy Green”. Looked like one out of a dinosaur movie. So Cool. A big crocodile in the middle of the dinning room, his name is I think “Garbanzo”. Scary looking creature for sure. He looked like he wouldn’t mind taking your arm off!
    Yes “Kutcharitaville” It’s Wild–It’s Weird–It’s the Most Wonderful Place on Earth. The whole family thought Kutchie’s Place was better than “Disney World”. Those cheese burgers were the best ever and Kutchie’s Key Lime Pie is “Better Than Sex”!!! With 6-Kids, I feel that I am allowed to say that.
    So if “Fantastic Cheese Burgers”, like the One’s Jimmy Buffett can only dream about. If you want to Experience “The World’s Greatest Key Lime Pie” then Kutchie’s Key West really is “The Place to Be! ….We Highly recommend that you go to the end of the Lime, like it says on the menu. And enjoy the Best Lip-Smacking Cheese Burgers in Paradise as well as The World’s Best Key Lime Pies this side of “Heaven”. And tell “The Kutchman” that the McDonald’s from “Chicago” sent you………..Thanks,………LeAnn

  19. Anonymous
    December 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    My dear wife insists that Kutchie and Anita Pelaez of the Kutchie and Anita Pelaez’s Key Lime Pie Factory bakes the best key lime pies in the universe. She tells me that it is better than the ones her granny baked in Florida Keys when my wife was a little girl. I just smile at her and say o-Kay honey I’m sure they are. She really gets turned-on when she eats those pies. No problems here but it’s hard to get her to do it in the bed anymore. Last night it was the kitchen table. Day before yesterday in the drive-way behind my car. That woman has just gone crazy since she started eating those pies. Help in Kentucky.

    Dave

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  1. Pie Day 2012: Rhubarb Cherry Strawberry Galette | Undercover Caterer - June 20, 2012

    [...] The Apron Archives’ Florida Key Lime Pie [...]

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