I have a friend called Sarah who hails all the way from North Carolina in the USA. She moved all the way down to Sydney for love and for love she is going to stay.
With her she brought the most fantastic and delicious Southern recipes with her and, lucky for this Littlest Anchovy, she shared them with me! Mouth watering dishes like pulled pork, ham biscuits, pumpkin pie and now this. Whenever she has had her family to visit, they have brought with them hard to find ingredients so that she can continue to please her fiancé and friends with down-home Southern goodness. Yeah, we'll keep her!
Many a time I have requested Key Lime Pie and through my tenaciousness one day Sarah presented me with a box of Graham Crackers and a fun bottle of (how awesome is this) "Nellie and Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice".
The only time I had ever heard about Graham Crackers were in the 'Baby Sitters Club' books that I used to read as a kid where they would make S'Mores at summer camp after a day of pre-teen angst and, well, babysitting. And as for Key Lime juice, I think I had a Key Lime flavoured lip balm at some stage of my life...
According to Wikipedia, Key Limes are found mainly in the Florida Keys. They are small, yellow in colour and highly aromatic. The flavour is more tart and bitter than the regular limes you find in the fruit shop which to me is perfect to cut through the sweetness of the condensed milk used in the filling of the pie. Now, check out my Graham Cracker pie shell.
Now for a moment of truth: this was the third pie shell that I made. The first, I burnt. The second, I forgot to add the beaten egg white to the filling after I had poured it in the shell. So that is my box of crackers gone. Sarah was kind enough to flick me a few to photograph for this post when I brought the pie over to her and her fiancés house on the weekend. They were also kind enough to let me set up a mini photo shoot of the pie on their balcony. I paid them in pie.
It is not unlike a lemon meringue pie in looks, but the flavour is unmistakably unique. Still, you can achieve a very tasty lime pie using lime juice and maybe throw in a teaspoon of lime zest to up the tang factor. Naturally, we don't have Graham Crackers readily available at your local Woolies, so try using Granita biscuits as a good substitute.
The recipe came from Sarah's copy of Someone's in the Kitchen with Melanie: A Southern Collection of Timeless, Treasured Recipes by Melanie Reid Soles
Mmm mm, now that's good eatin'!
Key Lime Pie
The recipe below was made, step by step from: Someone's in the Kitchen with Melanie: A Southern Collection of Timeless, Treasured Recipes, by Melanie Reid Soles however I did adapt it to suit Australian measurements and temperatures.
You will need a 22cm pie dish.
For the base:
8-10 graham crackers (sheets of 4 small ones) OR 1/2 a packet Granita biscuits
6-7 tbsp butter, melted - OR about 5.5 Australian tbsp
1-2 tbsp sugar (optional)- OR 1.5 Australian tbsp
Pre heat the oven to 190*C
Break the crackers up and add them, along with the butter and sugar to a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs and the butter is fully incorporated into the mix.Spread the biscuit mixture evenly into pie dish, pressing down into the base and on the sides of the dish and then bake at 190*C until edges are beginning to brown. Take the shell out and set aside to cool and harden.
For the filling
4 eggs, separated, put one of the whites aside from the rest
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz) OR 400 ml in Australia
1/2 cup key lime juice - Same in Australia
6 tbsp sugar - OR 4 3/4 Australian tbsp
1/2 tsp cream of tartar- Same in Australia
- Combine condensed milk, 4 egg yolks and lime juice.
- Beat 1 egg white until stiff peaks form and fold into mixture.
- Pour the mixture carefully into the pie shell.
- Now for the meringue: Beat 3 egg whites until you have stiff peaks and then gradually add the sugar and the cream of tartar while beating. Cover top of pie with meringue and using a fork, make "waves" in the meringue, these will become brown in the oven.
- Bake at 180*C for 20 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
- Chill for at least 8 hours or even better, over night.