Friday, September 7, 2007

Miniature Key Lime Pies

Although it was only four days long in the U.S., this work week has been exhausting. Many friends are in school or have children in school. I was pleased to see photos of my friend Kiki’s children starting pre-school and kindergarten, and hear about the ambivalence of my colleagues Erika and Valerie as their children transitioned into new routines.

Although summer is not technically over, it feels like it is. To keep the autumn at bay, I decided to make miniature key lime pies. They turned out fairly well, although they were slightly overcooked. Also the cookie base did not remain firm during baking. If anyone finds an especially suitable cookie brand, please let me know. Despite the softness of these pies, they garnered strong reviews.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I use green food color, especially since naturally ripened key limes are actually yellow. Nevertheless, in this country lime is synonymous with green.

The ubiquitous green limes we know are actually known as Persian limes (the word lime comes from the Persian word limu). Key limes are smaller than Persian limes and are more tart, bitter, acidic and aromatic.

They are native to Southeast Asia and came to the New World via the Middle East, then travelled to Sicily, Andalusia, the Caribbean and Florida. A hurricane in 1926 significantly destroyed the U.S. key lime crop, allowing the Persian variety to gain prominence. Thereafter, the term “Key” was added, since the limes were primarily available in the Florida Keys.

Makes 18 key lime pies

2 tins condensed milk (14 ounces each)
6 egg yolks
1 cup key lime juice, freshly squeezed or from a bottle
zest of one Persian lime
4 drops green food color (optional)
18 cookies

whipped cream, for garnish
Persian lime wedges, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks. Incorporate key lime juice and zest.
3. If using, add one drop of food color at a time, and mix thoroughly before adding the next drop.
4. Place foil liners in a muffin pan and put a cookie in each one. The cookies should be the same diameter as the base of the liners. Select cookies that are dense, thick and crisp. I use gingersnaps.
5. Fill each liner with batter.
6. Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes or until set. Do not overbake or the edges will become chewy.
7. Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate overnight.
8. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a lime wedge.


Mr. K said...

Cook's Illustrated uses ground up animal crackers, which we have found work very well.

Cedar said...

What a great idea. Those are too cute! Those would be perfect for a summer cocktail party!

Lee & Andy said...

These are adorable, and key lime pie is one of my favorites. Andy and I will be having a party in the next few weeks, and I'll give this a try!

Anonymous said...

this looks too yummy!! **eye cake**

Anonymous said...

Excellent - cette tarte aux limones!

Anonymous said...

This recipe looks great - I LOVE key lime. I think I will try to use ground up graham crackers for the crust. Yum!

Mallow said...

I LOVE the way condensed milk bakes up with citrus. I'll bet those are great!

Anonymous said...

Mom said she was going to make this for a brunch she was hosting yesterday. She can't wait! Thanks again for the amazing recipes.


Anonymous said...

Aly !
every week you get me hooked up to your recipe - almost (let be fair) all of them sounds so good but i have no enough time to try all of them SO here is my proposal so there is more than just a blog here.....

why don't you propose to those that subscribe to your blog that we can order the treat of the week within 10 days before moving to the next one ! That way i can order my favor key lime pies !!! up to you to decide the minimum portions etc,,,, because i would have already placed an order !
that should be the next step !
keep me posted Chef .