Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Key Lime Pie

For Mr. Heart and mine's one month anniversary of dating, I decided to make him a homemade meal, despite the lack of resources available to us in the college dorms. In fact, the dorm room I had at the time did contain a kitchen. However, I had moved into it halfway through the school year and the previous tenants (and my new slob of a roommate) had never once cleaned the kitchen and instead, every surface was covered with pots, pans, boxed food stuffs, and layers of grime.

So to prepare this meal, I hijacked the communal kitchen in a friend's dorm and used their room as a preparation area. The piéce de resistance was to be a scrumptious key lime pie. The recipe I was using was not the one that is below. Instead it was one that required beaten egg whites and 6 hours chilling. That's right folks, I sat on my friends dorm room floor the day before our one-month anniversary, beating egg whites to stiff peaks, with a fork. Do you know how long that takes? That is how much I love my now-husband.

So after a million years of beating eggs and juicing limes and the whole hullabaloo, I put the pie in the communal dorm oven. I let it bake the alotted ten minutes. I go to remove the pie only to discover there are no dishtowels/oven mitts/pot holders anywhere in the vicinity. There are only paper towels. So I wrap my hands in paper towels and hope for the best. I try to quickly grab the pie and transfer it to the stove top. This fails. I drop the pie. Half of it remains in the pie tin. The other half splatters all over the communal kitchen wall. I, who rarely curses, let out a very nasty curse/howl of frustration. And this was just supposed to be dessert!

However, I loved Mr. Heart very much. This is how much I loved him. I went out, bought all new ingredients, and made a second pie. It only got 4 hours to chill and was, hence, like key lime soup, but still. Love folks. The guy still married me. Oh, and the friends who lent me their dorm room and mini-fridge said that the half decimated pie, which had had a full 24 hours to chill, was divine.

When I explained all this to Mr. Heart tearfully over the key lime pudding disaster that was pie #2 he sighed, smiled, and told me he had a much simpler recipe that required no beating, only three ingredients (plus a crust) and hardly any chill time. Actually he said "My mom's recipe doesn't require egg whites." But lets pretend he hadn't just compared my puppy-love attempt at pie to his mother's.

So here is Mr. Heart's super-easy, always reliable, very tasty recipe. It may look similar to the recipe for key lime pie found on the back of various jars and bottles for this very reason. If you can get your hands on some key lime juice, trust me, it makes all the difference. The key limes add an extra zingy sweetness. Heck, if I was hanging out in the warm sun of the Florida keys all the time, I'd be extra zingy and sweet too.

Key Lime Pie
Serves 6

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup key lime or regular lime juice
1 pre-packaged graham cracker crust

1) Pre-heat oven to 350ºF
2) Combine the first three ingredients until smooth. The filling will be a pale yellow (No, key lime pie isn't actually green).
3) Pour filling into pie crust. Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes or until set.
4) Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
5) Chill for at least 1 hour (warm key lime pie is no fun). Serve with whipped cream!

Ps. Mr. Heart now wears the pie-making-pants in our household. Mmm.

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