Last month I shared my personal manifesto that I’m going to bake a lot of pies. Until I get really good at baking pies. Or at least until the idea of baking a pie isn’t so dang intimidating.
After my delicious disaster [aka cherry pie], I decided to pick an ‘easier’ recipe this month. Something with a graham cracker crust because… let’s face it… crushing graham crackers doesn’t take skill [my toddler is quite good at it], whereas rolling out pie dough is only for the brave.
Luckily, it just so happened that my husband requested key lime pie as his birthday ‘cake’ last weekend!
A couple years ago, Oprah invited the chef from Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club onto her show to share his key lime pie recipe, the most requested dessert on the menu. And if Oprah says it’s good… it’s good. It’s a little bit strange that her episode immediately came to mind when my husband requested key lime pie [how many years has she been off the air now?] but I took it as a sign that this was the perfect recipe for me.
Key Lime Pie
as seen on Oprah, recipe created by Jeff O’Neill
3/4 pound graham crackers
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 sticks melted butter
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4 egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice [approx 1lb key limes]
1 lime, grated zest
1 cup heavy or whipping cream , chilled
2 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Crust: Preheat the oven to 325°. Break up the graham crackers, place in a food processor and process to crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt and pulse until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, forming an even layer on the bottom, sides and edge. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool.
Filling: While the crust is resting, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, whip the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until fluffy, or 5 to 6 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to whip until thick, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Topping: Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until nearly stiff. Evenly spread the whipped cream on top of the pie, and place in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to serving.
I did it! A respectable pie! In fact, it was quite delicious. For next time, maybe I’ll work on getting a bit fancier with the presentation. I’m sure at Donald Trump’s resort they don’t slather the whipped cream on top of the pie using a butter knife. But, one step at a time, my friends… one step at a time.