Monday, May 3, 2010

Week 2: Key Lime Pie

This week's pie was Key Lime. I've always wanted to make real Key Lime Pie. I soon found out there were so many recipes and variations out there. Some baked, some not. I had a hard time deciding, and finally settled on a Paula Deen version because, you know, what could go wrong with a Paula Deen recipe besides having a heart attack after you eat it?

The recipe called for a lot of cream, half and half, and key lime juice. I was successful in following the directions, up to a point...then it kinda went pear-shaped toward the end.

The cream whipped up just fine. Then I added sugar, and that went well too. But when it came time to add the lime juice and half and half, it seemed that it was just too much liquid for the whipped cream to handle. It was a semi-runny mess for quite a while. Finally I thought to myself, I wonder if there are any hints on the Food Network page for this recipe. Reading through everyone's comments, I soon realized that almost everyone had had trouble with this recipe.

After letting it mix for a little while longer, I finally in desperation added some lime jell-o powder, and then proceeded to pour it into the graham cracker crusts I'd purchased. At this point I also discovered that the recipe made way more than the 1 pie that it had stated. I'd doubled the recipe, of course, since I was planning to make 3 pies total. But I filled the 3 pie shells, plus a couple of tiny shells (at my daughter's request), and still had enough left in the bowl to fill one more shell (that I didn't have).

Paula's instructions stated that they were to be frozen for 4-6 hours, and that successfully firmed them up. But whenever they are out of the freezer they turn runny again.

I took one of my tiny pies to my friend Emily who is in the hospital for some rehab. Then I gave a large pie to my friend Sharon, who came by with some camp stuff she was cleaning out of her house and said was mine. The last pie is still waiting, and will probably be delivered next week when I make more pies.

I think I will try a key lime pie again some other time, but this time I will make sure to read reviews of the recipe before I get started. Lesson learned!

Key Lime Pie
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen,

Prep Time:20 minInactive
Prep Time:6 hr 0 min
Cook Time:8 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 10 to 12 servings.

•2 cups graham cracker crumbs
•1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
•1/2 cup butter, melted
•1 cup heavy whipping cream
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 (12-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
•3/4 cups key lime juice
•1 tablespoon key lime zest
•1 pint half-and-half
•Fresh lime slices. for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press the mixture firmly into bottom and up sides of a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake for 8 minutes and let the crust cool completely before spreading the pie filling over it.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream until slightly thickened. Gradually add the sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Add condensed milk and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in lime juice, lime zest, and half-and-half. Once the mixture as reached desired flavor and consistency, gently spread pie filling over cooled crust. Cover and freeze for 4 to 6 hours or until firm. Cut into wedges and garnish with fresh lime slices, serve cold.


  1. Very true about Paula's recipes. Why the woman isn't the size of a house is beyond me! And she always says (voice dripping honey) "Of course, ya'll can't eat like this all the time!" but that is all she ever cooks!

  2. Okay, I could never have the imagination to do a blog of my own, but I'm REALLY good at responding. While I was watching Kathryn today, I was leafing through a magazine and found what looks like a really good key lime pie recipe:

    1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
    2 Tb. granulated sugar
    4 Tb. butter, melted

    Preheat oven to 325, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and press firmly into 10" pie plate. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes until lightly browned, then remove and let stand at least 15 minutes before filling.

    2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
    1 1/4 cups key lime juice
    2 large eggs, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup either creme fraiche or sour cream
    2 Tb. powdered sugar

    Whisk together the condensed milk, lime juice and eggs until well blended. Pour into crust and bake at 325 for 20 minutes until set. Chill 4 or more hours.

    Combine creme fraiche or sour cream and powdered sugar and spread evenly over pie before serving.

  3. That does look good, LuAnn! Diane my boss at work and I were just talking about Paula Deen's dietary habits the other day. We recently got some Paula Deen spice grinders (things like cinnamon and sugar, onion and sea salt, etc.), and then some Paula Deen baking mixes like muffins, brownies, cake. I saw her magazine on our magazine rack and I told my boss, "She's taking over the world!" He laughed and said he wonders why she doesn't come out with her own butter since she uses that in every single recipe. LOL