So here's a good thing to know about me for anyone who decides that in a fit of retribution they suddenly want to bake for me: I love key lime pie. I know I go on and on about not being much of a sweets person, and maybe it's because the key lime has that tart limey flavor to its sweetness, but I would eat just about anything you could think of to make out of key lime juice. Pie, cheesecake, tarts, whatever you can think of. In Florida, in the grocery stores, they make a mango key lime pie, and they just have it there, waiting to be purchased and eaten. It's a good thing I don't go to Florida all that often.
Brown's recipe for Key Lime Pie, representing Florida, quite appropriately, was a pretty typical recipe. It is also probably the recipe of his that I messed with the most. I made this pie for a BBQ I was having with my cousins at the very end of the summer. All summer I was on something of a coconut kick, which led me to purchase Hawaiian Tropic suntan lotion (which is awesome), and spend many hours trying to find coconut-scented lotion. Basically, I wanted to spend the summer smelling something like a beach mixed with a pina colada.
Because of my coconut kick, I decided to kick up the key lime pie a notch. I made the graham cracker crust the way the book told me to, but I added some dried, sweetened coconut to the graham crackers and butter. The pie was pretty basic, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice (Brown recommended Nellie and Joe's and it did not disappoint - available at Whole Foods, btw) and eggs. I left the custard filling alone. What I messed with the most, was the topping.
Brown wanted me to top the pie with a meringue. I refused. For one thing, I don't like meringue. For another, meringue does not belong on key lime pie, it's just not natural. I think it was Brown trying to find something to do with the whites of the eggs that weren't used in the pie. Whatever the reason, I went in another direction. I made fresh whipped cream. But I didn't just whip up some cream and sugar. No, I whipped up cream, sugar, vanilla seed, coconut rum and key lime juice. And I want to say right here and now, I would have bathed in that concoction. It was DELICIOUS.
Then I toasted up some dried coconut and sprinkled it on top. Seriously, key lime pie is probably one of the easiest things to make, and easiest things to make look really impressive. If anyone wants this recipe, just ask. It's worth sharing -- at least with my adjustments it is :-)
The pictures I took weren't the best, but here's the idea:
Next we're taking a diversion from the road trip and going on a canning adventure!