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Aug 30, 2005 04:31 PM

My First Custard Pie: Key Lime Pie Results

  • d

This Sunday I finally had a bit of time to make my key lime pie!

Those that helped me with my original post, saw that I was wondering if Mexican Limes were the same as Key Limes. I googled key limes and saw they were yellow and incredibly juicy… All the Mexican limes I’ve known are green and not so juicy. It turned out my family just doesn’t know how to buy ripe limes… LOL!

I went to the Mexican market and saw amongst the mountain of hard little green limes were squishy yellow ones! I got a bit under 3lbs, just in case (Which came out to 79 cents… I love the Mexican Supermarket!! :)) and happily discovered they were indeed the juicy rich tart key limes required. So juicy in fact, I still have over half the lime left over!!

As for the rest of the ingredients, The Trader Joes Graham Crackers were PERFECT (They come in a plastic tub, they aren’t the GO GO Grahams). In fact, they were just about the best graham crackers I’ve ever had! YUM!! Sadly, my Mexican Supermarket just carried La Lechera Condensed milk. :( But they totally saved the day by carrying Mexican Hand Juicers! I highly recommend these for anyone loving lemons and limes!

Putting it all together was also pretty easy, except for two things…

I assumed my home made crumbs were the same as store bought. So I put in the little more of a cup of my homemade crumbs and when I added the melted butter, the crust turned out slightly runny… I had to toss in a few more crackers to get a nice firm paste…

Second thing, I used two fresh free range brown eggs from the farmers market. These were a bit smaller than your conventional large egg, but I was nervous that adding three yolks would be too much. I beat the yolks until they got VERY custardy… but I would not describe the texture as, fluffy. I didn’t know egg yolks COULD get fluffy…

Nevertheless, the Pie came out WONDERFULLY! Even my MUCH more experience baker BF raved! YAY! :) Despite the smaller yolks, The custard did have a nice body, but was probably a little softer than I would like because I didn’t put it in the freezer before serving. (I was worried it would FREEZE solid). But I will definably do that next time! :) Also, I LOVED the addition of Brown Sugar to the crust. Although the crust was slightly harder than I would have liked, it had a WONDERFUL taste! :)

So thanks so much again everyone who offered advice! I’m going to use the rest of those yummy limes now to make key lime bars this weekend! YUMMM!!! :

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  1. Sounds lovely. I wouldn't worry about an extra yolk in the custard. Enjoy the bars...I've made them before and they are delicious!

    1. Excellent-I'm glad your 1st custard pie was a success. I was inspired by your initial query and linked recipe to Joe's pie and just had to give it a try too. Previously I have been using a recipe from an old Chocolatier magazine, about 12 years now! Joe's recipe was really delicious, much like their restaurant version, with a nice balance of tangy, rich, crumbly, creamy, and sweet (when you adjust the whipped cream (see below), a matter of personal taste, of course).

      I followed Joe's instructions very carefully and found a couple places for potential problems. The first is what you were talking about with homemade crumbs vs store bought. It all depends on how fine you make the crumbs (they don't really tell you what to shoot for in their recipe). I wasn't paying enough attention during processing and created crumbs that too dusty and fine. Made another batch of larger (medium & *crumbly*) crumbs and they worked much better. The melted butter really gets absorbed by the crumbs/sugar combo and sometimes you just have to play around with it like you did. My old recipe called for 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs and 4 T melted butter (no sugar) and I always ended up adjusting that according to the particular dryness of the crackers.

      My old recipe called for 8 (!) egg yolks (with same amounts of lime juice and condensed milk as Joe's), but I thought Joe's recipe was very nice with just 3 yolks. I don't think yolks are a problem and certainly help set the pie. The time to pull the pie out of the oven for firmness is when it wiggles a teensy bit, and a sharp knife tip goes into the filling feeling firm and not liquidy. Joe's instructions said it would take 10 minutes of baking-mine took 20! (oven was correct temp too, according to thermometer).

      Another thing I would say about the pie is that with the sugar in the crust, it does NOT need any sugar in the whipped cream. THe crust is very nice, almost candy/brittle like (and a PITA to get out of the pan!).

      THanks for the pointer to the recipe Dommy. After making it I would say that you can enjoy a slice of Joe's without having to fly all the way to Miami (although that's great too).



      2 Replies
      1. re: petradish

        Thanks so much for posting the picture and telling us how your pie came out! It looks absolutely wonderful! :)

        I forgot to mention how HARD the crust was and how it would kinda stick. I thought I hadn't buttered the pie dish enough... Also, I don't have the biggest sweet tooth (It's why it took me so long to start baking!), so I didn't make the whipped cream. I did serve it initially with ice cream instead, but you are right about the sugar in the crust being enough as I totally enjoyed a slice plain! :)


        1. re: Dommy!

          Agree with you on the merits of a plain slice. Hmm, that piece looks a little raggedy, better trim it down and eat the scraps! :-)