Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Strawberry Key Lime Pie

Spring is upon us, and this pie was a wonderful way to welcome it in! 

The fresh berries blended beautifully with the zesty lime taste to create a culinary masterpiece.

I’ve made a key lime pie and a strawberry pie, but this marriage was a match made in heaven.

In the past for my key lime pie I spent hours juicing tons of key limes from the tree in our yard, but I opted for the easy way this time and just bought a bottle of key lime juice. It tasted great!

Here were the ingredients I used.

The first thing I did was chop strawberries. That’s really the most time-consuming thing about this pie – once you have that down the rest is easy!

The chopping takes some strategy too, at least if you’re as particular as I am. I chose the prettiest ones for the “perfect slices” first while using the oddly shaped strawberries (like this one) to be chopped up into tiny pieces.

Slice the pretty ones into fourths lengthwise, saving some ends to garnish the top of the pie and using the middle slices for a strawberry layer in the middle of the pie. (The tiny chopped up pieces are pictured on the left for comparison.)

Mix the chopped strawberries with sugar!

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the sweetened condensed milk! Getting the last little bit out of the cans is always interesting – the designs it made on the sides of the bowl as I shook the cans trying to get every last drop out intrigued me.

Time for egg yolks! There are 12 in here because I was making 2 pies. And yes, I accidentally got an egg white in there too. Oh well.

The key lime juice was so fragrant! It’s hard to believe you only need a half cup to get such amazing flavor!

Now gather the chopped-up sugared strawberries you’d already prepared and plop it into the mixture.

I also added some red food coloring. Swirling it all around was quite fun!

Then, fill the pie crust halfway with pie filling and spread the beautifully sliced strawberries all around to make a yummy layer in the middle.

Finally, pour the remaining filling over the strawberry layer. Voila! It’s ready to be baked. I would recommend putting the pie(s) on a baking pan before filling them, just in case it overflows, like ours nearly did. (I filled them to the brim trying to use up all our filling!)

The main reason for baking the pies before refrigerating them is to cook the egg yolks. This is what they looked like when they came out of the oven. And this is what they looked like when I put them in the refrigerator for almost 24 hours.

Before serving the pies, we also sliced up a lime to garnish it, as well as pulling out those strawberries we had sliced before. I was going to do some whipped cream garnishes, but it didn’t quite work out.

To get these beautiful lime slices, just cut all the way across the lime, leaving the rind intact on the opposite side. Then twist the lime around – so simple and beautiful!

The next time I make this pie, I might try putting the pie in the freezer for part of the time just to solidify it even more. It still tasted great, but it could have been firmer I think.

All in all, I’d say my 51st pie was a success!

Strawberry Key Lime Pie (recipe from Key Lime Shop)

9-inch graham cracker pie crust

2 (14-oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk

6 egg yolks

½ cup key lime juice

~½ qt. strawberries, divided

⅛ cup sugar

4 drops red food coloring

  1. Finely chop ½ cup strawberries, and slice remaining strawberries into fourths.
  2. Blend milk and egg yolks at slow speed until smooth. Add key lime juice and finish blending.
  3. Mix ½ cup chopped strawberries with sugar, then mix into filling. Add food coloring if desired and mix until blended.
  4. Pour half of filling into pie crust and top with strawberry slices. Pour remaining filling over sliced strawberry layer.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool pie for 20 minutes before refrigerating overnight.
  6. Garnish with whipped cream and/or strawberry and lime slices if desired before serving.

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