Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie – Interesting facts and a recipe
Everywhere you go in Florida you will see Key Lime Pie on the menu. It is said to have originated in Key West in the late 1800’s. Legend says that millionaire William Curry had a cook named Aunt Sally and that Aunt Sally created the now famous pie!
Key Lime pie is made with canned sweetened condensed milk. This is because fresh milk was not easily obtained in the Keys in the days before refrigeration. Cooks had to rely on condensed milk before the railroad and Oversea Highway were built in the 1900’s.
Key Lime juice is pale yellow and the pie filling is also yellow. You might be offered a pie which is lime green – but traditional cooks would frown on adding food colour.
The original pies were never cooked and the filling thickened due to the chemical reaction between the condensed milk and the lime juice. This is called “souring”. The acid in the juice actually “cooks” the pie. However, today due to safety issues with the consumption of raw eggs the pies are now cooked for a short time.
Two Strange Facts
• In 1965, Florida State Representative Bernie Papy, Jr. , introduced legislation calling for a $100 fine to be levied against anyone advertising key lime pie that was not made with key limes. The bill was NOT passed.
• Key Lime Pie became the ' Official Pie of the State of Florida' as of 1st July 2006 when both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate passed legislation to that effect.
If you want to watch a Key Lime pie being made there are several good videos on You Tube.
Finally here is a recipe I have tried and while it’s not as good as the real thing (being in Florida) it’s a pretty good substitute!
For the Crust:
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon melted margarine
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
For the Filling:
Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
5 large egg yolks
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 cup fresh lime juice
For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat the inside of a 9” diameter deep pie dish with 1 teaspoon of the melted margarine.
In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and 1/3 cup of melted margarine. When the ingredients are fully combined, use the mixture to line the bottom and sides of the pie dish. Place the pie dish into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
For the Filling:
While the crust is baking, in a mixing bowl, make the filling by whisking together all the ingredients.
When the crust is baked, remove it from the oven and pour in the filling. Return the filled pie crust to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature.
Decorate the top with whipped cream and sprinkle on grated line zest.
Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Makes 8 servings
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