Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Key Lime Meringue Pie

I was pleasantly surprised (and quite excited!) to find a bag of key limes at my local Val-Mont. While searching for a recipe for key lime pie, I came across this recipe. While not traditional, it is delicious. In a head-to-head comparison with a more traditional key lime pie, the vote seemed to be split. I preferred this one. I did have two problems with this recipe though. First, I was in a rush and managed to screw up the meringue. It was still tasty, just a bit runny ... and incredibly messy. I *think* my problem was adding the vanilla too soon, but if you want a tried and true meringue, try this one. Second, I didn't make this far enough in advance and the pie spilled everywhere when cut. It did firm up given the appropriate amount of time to chill.

Key Lime Meringue Pie (from gourmeted)

1 pie crust
Key Lime Curd
Finely grated zest from 4 Key limes
1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (from at least 6 Key limes)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
eggs whites from 4 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Pre-bake your pie crust according to your pie crust's instructions.
2. Boil 2-inch-deep water in a large saucepan over medium heat.
3. Whisk Key lime zest, Key lime juice, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, egg yoks, and salt in a large heatproof bowl.
4. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and heatproof bowl over the saucepan.
5. Whisk the juice and egg mixture constantly until it becomes thick, about 12 to 15 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and transfer on a kitchen towel to secure it on the counter.
7. Whisk in butter one piece at a time until it is well combined and smooth. Strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl.
8. Line the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
9. Whip cream to soft peaks in a medium bowl.
10. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled curd.
11. Pour into completely cooled piecrust.
12. Preheat oven to 375°F with the rack positioned about 8 inches from the top of the oven.
13. Whisk egg whites on low speed using an electric mixer until bubbles begin to form.
14. Increase speed to medium-low and beat for about 5 minutes until it begins to turn opaque and increase in volume.
15. Add granulated and confectioner’s sugar in a slow and steady stream. Add vanilla and salt. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about 10 minutes until meringue becomes very thick. [I think you'll be better off waiting to add the vanilla until after the stiff peaks have formed!]
16. Spread meringue over the curd and cover up to the edges of the curd. Swirl and create peaks using a spatula.
17. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating it halfway through the baking time. Peaks should be darker, and the “valley’s should still be white.
18. Completely cool pie on a wire rack before chilling in the fridge for an hour before serving.

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