Two weekends ago, two of my very best friends in the world, Eva and Nicole, made the trek from New York City and Portland, Ore., respectively, to visit me in Chicago. I was so excited for them to visit I think Doug thought I was going to die from happiness. I hadn’t seen either of them in over a year, but we picked up our friendship right where we had left off—and nothing seemed to have changed. Isn’t it lovely to have friends like that, ones you can always count on, even if you haven’t seen them in months or years?
With such good friends in town, I decided to throw a BBQ in their honor. Sadly, the weather wasn’t on our side, so many of the people I thought were going to show up didn’t, but we had a blast just the same—and an ungodly amount of leftovers that took me almost a week to finish!
One thing that didn’t last a week was the pie I made for my lovely redheaded Nicole. I was determined to make a summer pie, hoping that it would encourage the sun to come out, and when I asked Nicole what kind of pie she wanted me to make, she didn’t pause or skip a beat: “Key Lime Pie!” she shouted.
Lucky for me, there really isn’t an easier pie to make than Key Lime, and using a store-bought crust made it even easier. Simply combine condensed milk, lime juice and eggs, pour into the crust, bake for 15 minutes, and chill until you’re ready to serve. Voila! Key Lime Pie. If you can’t find key limes, regular limes are a fine substitute. And on a hot summer day, no one will notice the difference anyway.
Key Lime Pie
This recipe is adapted from one by Emeril Lagasse. You can substitute a store-bought graham cracker crust to make this pie even easier. Just make sure and bake the store-bought crust until it reaches a golden color, according to the package directions. Click here for a printable copy of this recipe.
1½ cups crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
4 Tbs. (½ stick butter) melted
2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
2 whole eggs
8 oz. whipping cream
1 Tbs. lime zest
Make crust. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
Make filling. Lower the oven temperature to 325˚F. In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell—there may be extra filling Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Whip cream and decorate. In a medium bowl or stand mixer, whip the cream with the lime zest until it reaches hard peaks. Dollop the cream on the chilled pie, or load it into a pastry bag and pipe it on the pie in whatever decoration you choose.