Ever since Dexter Morgan brought Camilla Figg a pie of Key Lime Pie to her hospital bed I have been craving this pie but it wasn’t until last December when I finally decided to make it and now I am in love with its fresh tingling flavor. Although it is impossible to find Florida’s key limes here in Madrid, I make it with regular limes and it doesn’t seem to affect the taste much. I am sure all key lime lovers will beg to differ.
1 ½ cups María cookie crumbs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup finely chopped almonds
5 tablespoons melted butter
4 or 5 egg yolks (depending on the size of the eggs)
1 ¼ cups sweetened condensed milk (I buy the small can)
¾ cup fresh lime juice (around 5 limes)
3 teaspoons grated lime zest
4 or 5 egg whites
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon Armisen (this is used to stabilize the egg whites and to give them more volume)
1. Preheat oven at 190º C. To make the crust combine the crumbs, sugar, almonds and butter in a bowl until blended well. Use the mixture to line the bottom and sides of a pie plate.
2. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the crust to a rack and let cool. It is very important that the crust is cool before you add the filling. Reduce the heat of the oven to 180ºC.
3. To make the filling, beat the egg yolks in a bowl and add the condensed milk, lime juice and lime zest. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes and then let cool on a rack. The pie filling will still be jiggly in the center. The pie must be cool before you add the meringue topping.
4. To make the meringue beat the egg whites until they form peaks. Gradually add the sugar and the Armisen. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
5. Spread the meringue all over the pie making peaks.
6. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool on the rack.
Note: Instead of the meringue topping you can add whipped cream once the pie is cool. I personally prefer the meringue topping since I am not a whipped cream fan.