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timing key lime pie

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm making key lime pie for dessert for dinner tomorrow evening. Can I make this the day before (i.e., more than "overnight")? Do I put plastic wrap on the surface of the pie to prevent skin forming or not worry about that? 

 

Thanks in advance,

Mezzaluna

 

The recipe is from King Arthur Flour website:

 

Crust:

1 cup + 2 tablespoons very finely ground salted pretzel crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

7 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Filling

4 large egg yolks

two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup Floribbean Key lime juice (I'm using Nellie and Joe's)

3 tablespoons Persian lime juice (juice of 1 medium lime), optional

zest of 1 lime (about 2 teaspoons), optional

 

Method: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9" pie pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Crush the pretzels until very fine; processing in the food processor for about 30 seconds works well.
  3. Add the sugar and melted butter, mixing to combine; you can do this right in the food processor. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; the crust won't change color much, but will firm up. Remove from the oven and make the filling.
  5. Whisk together the egg yolks and condensed milk.
  6. Add the lime juice (and zest if using). The mixture will thicken almost immediately.
  7. Pour into the crust and smooth with a spatula.
  8. Bake the pie for 28-32 minutes, until the filling is set, with a small spot in the middle still soft-looking. Cool for several hours (or overnight) before serving.
  9. To serve, top with slightly sweetened whipped cream and a garnish of crumbled pretzels.

 

Yield: one 9" pie, 8 servings (or 4 if you're my husband! :lol: It's one of his favorites.)

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post #2 of 25

In my custard experiences, the biggest problem is weeping watery liquid. With the topping at service, I think you'll be OK a day ahead. There will probably be some crust degradation but not significant at that point. Day 2, the crust will likely be suffering some sogginess.

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post #3 of 25

Mezzaluna,

Hello old friend.

May I suggest that you refrigerate the pie for a short time to bring down temp and then overwrap the whole thing. That should take care of weeping. We also temper the yolks over heat as not to use the raw egg.

We use the pretzel for the crust and add salt, add a little Tequila and Triple Sec to mix. Margarita pie:beer:

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post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 

Dear @Panini! Always wonderful to see you. :smiles:

 

The pie will be baked; do the yolks still need tempering if they're being mixed with the condensed milk and the lime juice? If it were a true custard (which I'm not completely sure this is...?) I would certainly do so. With SO much sugar and the extra-dense protein in the condensed milk, would it still be necessary? King Arthur doesn't say so, but they've been known to make mistakes now and then. (although I'm wild about their gluten free recipes so far. :rolleyes:)

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post #5 of 25

From a former Key West pastry chef-

 

For the classic KLP-we use graham cracker crumbs, but pretzels will be OK, if only a little Yankee-fied.

 

The ratio is 4 yolks to one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, to 1/3 cup of real key lime juice (Nellie & Joe's or Floribbean are both good)-all for a 9" shallow dish pie

 

Please, do not add spanish limes! And do not add lime zest, it just makes the custard bitter and ruins the creamy filling with little bitter flakes! 

 

Your baking time is a little long but if you are doing double the SCM and lime juice, you might need it.

Do NOT allow it to brown AT ALL! It should be a little puffed around the edges, but still jiggly in the middle when you pull it from the oven. 

 

Note-it always weeps a little once chilled, just blot it off before you top it with whipped cream.

 

HOWEVER!

The traditional topping is a huge mound of billowy baked meringue. This should be put on right after you remove the pie from the oven and when the custard is still hot. This will prevent the meringue from weeping and shrinking. 

 

When you remove the pie from the oven, bump the heat up to 450˚F while you prepare the meringue from your reserved egg whites. I use about 1 ounce of sugar per white. Warm the whites and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved, then beat on medium speed (not high) until stiff , not dry, peaks form. Pile the meringue onto the hot custard and spread with the back of a spoon to touch all the crust edges and form an even layer. Then press the spoon into the meringue and pull out quickly to form peaks!

Place in the 450˚ oven and bake until golden brown and the peaks are almost black. 

 

Cool to room temp, then chill thoroughly before serving. 

Yum

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post #6 of 25


Graham crumbs s the only traditional pie.   Pretzels??

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 The ratio is 4 yolks to one 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, to 1/3 cup of real key lime juice (Nellie & Joe's or Floribbean are both good)-all for a 9" shallow dish pie

Yeah, I thought there was an awful lot of milk for just four yolks. Your ratio is the same on as on the Nellie and Joe's bottle. The baking time seemed long to me too, but then I never set the timer for the full baking time when I'm doing a recipe for the first time. I always knock off 25% of the time, take a look and go from there. You can always add time. If I were serving this at my house instead of transporting it, I'd probably go with the meringue. I don't have a pie tote to accommodate the "pouf".

 

I don't have graham crackers, nor do I have a chance to buy any before I have to make this tomorrow morning, so the crust will be made with pretzel crumbs. I'm leaving out the lime zest, didn't intend to use it in the first place so we're on the same page there. :D And I'll trust foodnfoto's experience for the ratios and ditch KAF's recipe for the filling, too. :thumb:

 

While I do like Panini's idea to make it a little more "festive" with some tequila, I must omit alcohol for this meal. But boy, you gave me some great ideas for the next time around! 

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post #8 of 25

Does alcohol mess with the setting power of the eggs? 

 

And be sure to post the pie as an entry in the eggs challenge!

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post #9 of 25
Sure i'm too late in time for you making a key lime pie this go round but i have been making and serving this one for over 20 years at our restaurant...people(even floridians) say its the best, and i agree...it's the perfect balance of sweet and tart and simplicity...we dress it up a bit with a mango coulis, fresh whipped cream and a few blueberries, but it can stand alone all on its own.....the recipe is from Joe's Stone Crab House in Miami, which has been there since the early 1900's sonthe recipe is definitely tried and true..my endorsement is minor to the 100 years that Joe's have been making people smile with theirs.

http://joesstonecrab.com/recipes/keylime.html

Fyi....I make them two at a time, cool down, then freeze....they are easier to cut evenly for restaurant service when frozen and i like to serve them with a bit of a chill on them...never had a problem with the crust being soggy, but i use pre made graham cracker crusts which i brush with melted butter and bake for 8 minutes before filling.....perfect every time....i mean, every single time!

joey
Ps...lime zest is essential!

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post #10 of 25

Call me a stickler, call me OCD, call me a traditionalist-

 

It's not Key Lime Pie if you don't use key lime juice. 

 

Any why everyone has to put lime zest in it is beyond me. Yeaccchhh.

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post #11 of 25


I use stone crab formula to . Never had a problem serve  it atop of raspberry coulli, whipped cream and slice of candied lime.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 25

phatch

I haven't found that the alcohol doesn't effect that much. But after seconds, it pretty much doesn't matter;) 


Edited by panini - 8/22/14 at 9:45am
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post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

I made foodnfoto's recipe proportions with the pretzel crust. I didn't use booze because I seem to remember not to use alcohol for one of the people who will eat this, so I'm leaving it out for that reason and no other.

 

The filling set nicely at about 19 minutes. I let it cool completely on the counter, covered the plate (being careful to avoid touching the surface of the filling) and put it in the fridge by 9 AM. I have whipping cream but I also have five egg whites (I goofed up and threw away one of the egg yolks by accident). I just made a pie for the first time and will serve it at a dinner party, so why not go all out and try making the meringue too?

 

Am I going to have trouble if I make and bake the meringue on a cold pie? Or should I let the pie sit out of the fridge for a bit first? Failing that, should I skip it since I didn't make the meringue while the pie was still hot? My egg whites are at room temperature.

 

Questions, questions, but you all are the best ones to ask them of. Gotta love Chef Talk, where a home cook can get answers from patient pros. :)

 

Mezz

 

Added later: I've checked lemon meringue pie recipes that have add meringue to a chilled pie or bringing the pie to room temperature before adding the meringue, and then baking anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on how much meringue there is.

Extra note: it's very humid today. Should I bother making meringue? 

Thoughts?


Edited by Mezzaluna - 8/22/14 at 12:56pm
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post #14 of 25

Thanks, @panini just something I was wondering.

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post #15 of 25

You can still do the meringue Mezz, even after cooling the pie. Just make it as close to the time you plan to serve it as possible. 

One trick I learned from Shirley Corriher with meringue topped pies is to sprinkle a fine layer of fine dry breadcrumbs on the top of the cooled custard before topping it. This keeps the meringue from slipping around even if it does weep some due to the humidity and the cooled custard. 

If you worry about the humidity of the day, make the meringue by boiling the sugar to soft ball stage and then slowly beat it into partially whipped whites. Then beat until peaks form. 

Swiss meringue seems to hold up to humidity a little better in my experience. 

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post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 

@foodnfoto, your filling was delicious! Clearly, the recipe from KAF would have been far too milky and not citrusy enough. I wasn't at all wild about the pretzel crust, but it was okay. I ended up serving sweetened whipped cream (I had a can of it in the fridge) but also had some whipping cream, which I didn't sweeten and stabilized with a smidge of corn starch. It held up very well and I didn't have any pie to bring home.

 

@phatch I could kick myself: I forgot to take a picture for the egg challenge! But I'll post about it there anyway.

 

Thanks, everyone, for your help and advice. 

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post #17 of 25

Oh so glad to know you liked it Mezz!

 

You know, classics are classics for good reason. Why mess with a good thing?

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post #18 of 25

foodnfoto,

I knew from your Bio not to get involved with the formula, you practically created it. LOL

 

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Kind of reminds me of a margarita tart with merengue. Just curious if you've ever tried something like this?

I grabbed one from the bakery yesterday. I really like them but we don't use the merengue. We do use a drop of green food color.

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post #19 of 25

Hi Panini

No, I cannot take credit for developing the Key Lime Pie. I give that to those talented home cooks who managed to create a wonderful dessert with five ingredients and what was available locally. Those early Florida Keys residents were tough souls for sure-living with rain water from cisterns only, no air conditioning, little refrigeration and hurricanes! Having lived in Key West for three years without AC, I realized that summers are nice (no tourists), but September can be brutally hot and humid!

 

But what those cooks did with such simple ingredients is an American wonder!

 

 

Margarita pie is a nice dessert but I prefer a classic KLP. 

 

Real key limes are yellow, not green. In the keys, if you serve a green Key Lime Pie, they'll laugh you all the way back to Georgia!

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post #20 of 25

foodnfoto :Real key limes are yellow, not green. In the keys, if you serve a green Key Lime Pie, they'll laugh you all the way back to Georgia!

 

Can you tell me how you really feel? LOL. LOL luv ya!

You have me thinking now. We do a light green to try to imitate the Margarita. Also to tell them apart, we offer both.

We use Nelly and Joes in the gallon, but that has sporadic lately. If I can't get it we just 86.

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post #21 of 25
So, not to sound too snarky, but does classic' mean 'your' way is the new 'classic'?
You didn't invent it but you perfected it, right? Why is your way 'classic' and restaurants
who have doing it for 100 years in old florida not? hmmmm, just curious here hoss.....

joey

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post #22 of 25

By classic KLP, I mean the recipe that the conchs (generational dwellers of the FL keys) have been making since the only refrigeration was the ice box. That's the one I use and that every respectable pastry chef living and working in the Florida Keys uses.

I make NO claim to having originated or perfected this recipe. It was perfection when I visited my Aunt Lotte in Marathon Key when I was 10 years old. (I had the wonderful adventure of taking a ride on the original Flipper that trip, but that's another story.) That was back when there were still a few key lime trees in the keys. Due to disease, this lime variety no longer grows there in any quantity. All key lime juice that is bottled for Nellie & Joes or Floribbean is grown elsewhere in the Caribbean.

 

The classic is a graham or pastry crust with the above ratio of egg yolks, SCM and key lime juice, topped with meringue or whipped cream. Historically, the topping was meringue to make complete use of the eggs and that whipping cream in the hot sticky climate of the keys tend to turn disastrous in a heartbeat if you have no AC or refrigeration.

 

You see, Conchs are a formidable lot. They've made do with the few wonderful agricultural products that grow in the keys and the food found on the coal reefs  for generations. The classic recipes are simple, but wonderful! Conch salad and fritters are a revelation! Fried Grouper Sandwiches, Zappodilla pudding, stone crab, spiny lobster with key lime-mustard sauce. My gosh I could reminisce for hours on the foods indigenous to the historic population there, before it became so overrun with tourists and chefs that fancify everything.

 

Panini, you might look for Floribbean brand key lime juice.  It's just as good as N & J but does not have the sodium benzoate preservative. I don't know why they use that stuff anyway. It still turns dark and separates with age.

 

i miss living in Key West a great deal, even though I left in the early '80s. Back then, there was still the old Cuban man who sat in his shop window rolling Cuban cigars all day long. The air outside smelled remarkable. I miss riding my bike everywhere I needed to go. Also the crabby,4'10" Cuban lady with huge boobs, bigger hair and bright red lips that ran the laudromat but made the most amazing cafe con leche on her espresso machine in the corner. During the months of April and may, the Frangipani trees would bloom in clusters of while, pink, purple, or yellow flowers filling the air at night with clouds of sweet perfume that could make your head swim. Avocados the size of footballs. The Crazy papaya trees that looked like trees with boobs. Jelly coconuts for breakfast every morining. Square grouper too :)

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post #23 of 25
Back in the times when we lived on a sailboat we spent 8 years sailing florida, from st augustine to key west, around and up to pensacola so in those years i feel that i got to get a glimpse of the real florida...the 'old' florida, not south beach with all its glitter and bling. Not to say that miami isn't wonderful in its own right, its just not the slow pace of the 'crackers'. Real southern hospitality is real in florida. Most of our time was spent on the gulf coast( the gold coast) and the very old, wild and unpopulated keys of osprey, nokomis,and mannasota. Swing bridges, eating grouper sandwiches on quiet lagoons, impromptu fish fries when the fishermen come in,fresh caught stone crab, spanish moss, sugar sand beaches, quiet winding rivers, crabbers,oysterman,fisherman and endless citrus groves,and square grouper, just to name a few. All i know is that every region seems to have their own version of key lime pie....some with pastry crust, some graham cracker, some even with rum and bitters, and some with cool whip(eek). It has always been the subject of much debate as to which is the 'real' deal. To bake or not to bake? What brand of scm to use? The loudest debate always being about the crust...pastry or graham. All i know is that key lime pie is a simple down home dessert, and it is never green! Like hushpuppies or conch chowder, no two are alike.....
With all that said, here is a twisted sister of key lime pie. It is not in any way, shape or form a 'true' key lime pie, more of a cheesecake and eggless but fun nonetheless....wink.gif

Icebox Key Lime Pie
http://justlikethenumber.com/2010/07/icebox-key-lime-pie-at-last/
Edited by durangojo - 8/27/14 at 11:27am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #24 of 25
Glad to see another member of To Zest is Best Club.
Just cannot help myself.
Cannot even cut into a fruit of the citrus variety without running it over a rasp at least once.
Nothing else in the world can compare to the fresh brite scent from a sun warmed lemon.
No matter what variety it may be.
Leftover from my barkeep days I 'spose.

mimi
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 

I love where this thread has gone! It's one of the things I adore about Chef Talk. I learned what Zappodilla is and now I'm going to look up jelly coconut.

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