Recipes by Samantha Deebel: Key Lime Pie

By Samantha Deebel

This year is my 12th year as a Floridian and the 12th at my job as well.

I really do love it here; there is so much to do and so many opportunities for relaxation. Visits to the Keys are a big part of the Florida experience for many people. So far, I’ve only been there once — and not even all the way to the end! But I did make it to Butterfly World and the Coral Castle, both of which are charming. But the best part of the Keys has to be that uniquely Floridian dessert, Key lime pie!

This recipe is definitely a “foodie” version of the classic; if you don’t want to make the homemade graham crackers for the crust, just be lazy and buy one! But I do think the homemade crust makes this pie stand out. Just be sure to get Key lime juice, not simply lime juice!

Homemade graham crackers

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
4 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup of honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the whole wheat flour, unbleached white flour, and salt in a bowl and mix with a fork till well blended. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with the water and set aside. Cream butter, sugar, and egg until fluffy, then add the baking soda mixture and the honey. Mix well and add the flour a little at a time till well combined. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and divide dough into two sections, rolling both out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into squares large enough to turn over with a spatula. Bake for about 8 minutes until underside is browned, then turn over and repeat for another 8 minutes. When finished baking, leave the crackers to crisp with oven door open after it has been turned off. Make sure to loosen them first so they don’t stick to the parchment paper. Let them sit about 3 hours in the oven.

Graham cracker pie shell

If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender to make graham cracker crumbs for the pie shell. For the pie shell, you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of the graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar, and 5-1/2 tablespoons butter. Mix dry ingredients together and then cut in the butter until well combined. Press into a 9-inch pie pan (this will take patience and a little time!). Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.

Key lime pie filling

3 eggs
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup Key lime juice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Beat the eggs with a mixer until foamy, then add the condensed milk and cream of tartar followed by the lime juice and stir for about 5 minutes. Pour the filling into the graham cracker crust and bake for about 20 minutes until the filling is set. Let cool for half an hour before refrigerating overnight. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

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