Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Frozen Key Lime Pie

OK, I'm sorry that all I have posted lately are sweet recipes but I can't help it, dessert is on my mind! You see, I have decided to start a cake and pie making business from home and I couldn't be more thrilled! I have thought about doing something like this for a long time but never got really comfortable the idea because I couldn't really find my niche. I thought that if you did cakes from home no one would want to buy them unless they were wedding cakes. I am not an incredible cake artist and I have never worked with fondant so that was out. However, I had a revelation the other day that was just the contrary. In our town there is no where to buy cakes for a birthday party, bridal shower, baby shower, anniversary, etc. unless you get it from A) the grocery store B) Winona's, which no one does anyway, probably because they don't market themselves and they charge $27.00 per layer, and their cakes are usually 3 layers so that totals up to a cool 90 bucks a cake C) A caterer or Chocolate Soup which is an adorable little bakery but their cakes are lacking in taste and they don't have a variety.

I have variety. In fact I like to dream up cakes on a whim with different combinations/frosting's/fillings/curds/creams/icings, you get the idea, all at a moments notice. You know the saying "easy as pie"? I get that. Just today I completely made up a Bananas Foster Cake. It was a yellow cake base and it had rum, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and bananas all oozing into it and since bananas foster is usually served with vanilla ice cream, I tried to think up a frosting that would compliment that. I ended up with a cream cheese like frosting with whipped cream folded in to tone it down. I think it's killer, although I can't taste it--dang no sugar cleanse!!! Actually I googled "bananas foster cake" and there is such a thing, but I have never heard of it and I made it my own way so I'm saying I made it up, he he.

I've been baking like crazy the past week and so far I have made a Hummingbird Cake, Lemon Lady Cake, Yellow Cake with Chocolate Butter cream Frosting, Bananas Foster Cake and a Frozen Key Lime Pie, which is the recipe I'm going to share with you. This pie is awesome. It's sweet but not too sweet, it's tart but not too tart, it is frozen so you can make it ahead, it's a custard base so it doesn't freeze solid, I could go on. This is a favorite of everyone I've made it for and a great summertime dessert. I don't use key limes, because they are not in season for long, but trust me, no one will miss them. If I could describe this pie in 2 words it would be fresh and cold. You top the lime custard off with a light cloud of whipped cream and freeze and when you cut a slice out you have the perfect ratio of cream to lime, it's scrum-didely-yone (In Jeremy language).

Frozen Key Lime Pie
adapted from Ina Garten

for the crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) melted unsalted butter

for the filling
6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4-5 limes)

for the decoration
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
thin lime wedges

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs ( I make crumbs in the food processor) sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9 inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration (and this in NOT optional) beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm about 30 seconds more. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie (I like to just spread the whipped cream over the pie so it looks like a cloud, leaving about a 1 inch border around the edges so you can see the pie along the sides) and decorate with the lime wedges. I just nestle a couple into the cream. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

Alright, I know, I know, there are raw eggs called for in this recipe but if you have concerns, just combine the yolks with 1/2 cup of the lime juice used in the recipe in a double boiler. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture reaches 140 degrees. Use in place of the raw egg yolks, remembering to add the remaining 1/4 cup of lime juice to the filling mixture along with the condensed milk and zest. I don't do this because I buy high quality eggs (Egglands Best) and I am just not that worried about it. Don't worry, the filling doesn't taste eggy.

Sometimes I find I like a little thicker crust for my pie. If you do too, just add a couple crackers to make crumbs with and add enough extra butter so that it binds together easily, it isn't rocket science and a little extra butter wont wreck it.
And hooray! I finally realized how to put pictures up on this dang website! the downside is my camera genuinely sucks and I can't take glamorous food pictures with it, so just pretend they are bright and beautiful and the lighting is perfect! I should mention however, that I usually cut my lime decorations in wedges. It looks prettier than the round ones pictured here.


  1. OMGoodness, I wish we lived closer together! I would love to watch you cook & bake & absorb all your food knowledge!!