Cream Pies – Easy Key Lime Pie

key20lime20pieNot too tart and not too sweet, just 5 ingredients in a graham crack crust, how much easier can it get.  This recipe is off a can of sweetened condensed milk, a common brand name used in the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, which I cannot remember, but it wasn’t Borden or Carnation.  At any rate, you must use a really good quality condensed milk or this pie will flop.  It was one of the best selling desserts at my restaurant in Tonga.  If you’re anti-meringue just top it with whipped cream … or not. 

The native limes in Tonga are very small, like a key lime, so to grow the big beautiful limes from overseas, the plantations grafted the big limes onto their native lime trees.  The same grafting procedure was carried out with Meyer lemons.  Tonga hadn’t gotten around to grafting sweet mandarines yet when I left in 2006, but surely it will happen as the native mandarines are so sour that they’re only good for jams and chutneys, though the Tongans like to eat them out-of-hand.  “Pucker Power” is the phrase I always used to describe the local citrus fruit.  More about Tonga and tropical fruit later…

Key Lime Pie

  • 1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Zest of 1 lime (reserve 1 tsp for meringue)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (about 6 Key limes)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar for meringue
  • 1 graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Pour condensed milk into a bowl.  Beat egg yolks until smooth, gently stir into condensed milk until combined, add zest and lime juice.  Stir gently until combined.  Pour batter into graham cracker crust and chill while making meringue.  To make meringue, whip egg whites until frothy, add zest,  add sugar gradually and continue beating until soft peaks form.  Top pie with meringue, swirling the meringue out to the edges of the crust.  This will seal in the custard.  Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes.  Cool before serving.

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