Key Lime Pie

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May 1, 2010 by ritadate

Firstly let me apologize, I forgot the camera. The food at the Old key Lime House in Lantana, part of beautiful West Palm Beach, was worth taking pictures but unfortunately all I have to offer is words.

Located right off the pier, this unassuming house like structure is packed with a waiting crowd every day of the week. The clientele is not tourists although there are plenty of them, but local residents who know that the food will never disappoint. My brother’s family lives in the area and took me because they know I love seafood.

The name is as it suggests, the place is also known for its key lime pie. I never had tasted this desert because I knew it was the creamy variety which I do not like but naturally had to try the best offered. We ordered one portion for four of us which was more than enough as the piece was very large. It was delicious. It could have done with less cream but the overall taste was tremendous. A little tart and more sweet, now I know why people liked this traditional Florida desert.

Key Lime Pie originated in Key West, Florida before the days of refrigeration. There were no cattle in the area so the only milk available was canned milk originally brought in by ship, later by train. This is why the recipe uses canned milk and not fresh. Also, the traditional key lime pie would not be cooked. The acid from the lime juice would set and thicken the egg yolks.

This was eaten after a scrumptious lobster meal with a prequel of calamari and warm crab dip. The main courses are the reason that makes this place popular, more than the key lime pie. Two lobster tails for $45.00 was good for two people to share. The roasted cedar plank salmon and trout was very good and my 12 year old son polished off his entire NY sirloin. Everyone was happy with their meal. I say I will not overeat but did not stick to that resolve this night!

The Old Key Lime House is regularly rated as one of the top 50 restaurants in all of Florida. The perfect setting and the variety of food including, wraps, burgers, salads and the freshest island classics such as crab cakes, Mahi Mahi, salmon, shrimp, tuna, swai, tilapia, and grouper makes it a must for seafood lovers visiting South Florida.

This recipe is not from the restaurant but from one from that a friend said was authentic. I think Indian lemons would substitute fine for the limes and ginger biscuits for the crust.

Key Lime Pie
For crust
• 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For filling
• 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (if using bottled, preferably Manhattan brand)

For topping
• 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.
Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make filling and bake pie:

Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.

Make topping:

Just before serving, beat cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve pie topped with cream.


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