I've spent every summer of my life (except one in Utah and half of one in Paris) in Arizona. Let me tell you, summer here isn't about running around enjoying the weather and all the beautiful outdoor furniture Pottery Barn keeps emailing me. It's about surviving. And swimming. This is the first Arizona summer I've enjoyed "pregnant" (29 weeks today!) so I've really been trying to avoid the heat as much as possible.
This month's Pies with That challenge is to create a pie that means summer to you. While it is blistering hot and I'm aching for a nice February day, I've always loved living here and I'm more than willing to put up with the heat. I've been thinking a lot lately, too, that since I love my September birthday, I have to pay for it for my own daughter. So there you have it. I'm resorting to turning on every fan in the house, drinking tons of ice cold water, and eating lots of frozen dessert to get through these last seventy something days. I thought Dorie's Florida Pie was the perfect rendition of summer for me because it's refreshingly light and cool, only takes a couple of minutes in the oven (10 for the crust, which you could buy theoretically but I wouldn't recommend, especially since you can pile the crumbs high for a beautiful crust no problem, and 12 for the filling), and it includes coconut, which has always reminded me of sunblock. I know it's supposed to be the other way around, but I can't hardly smell coconut flavoring without picturing a public pool. Between that and the texture issue, I left it out. I needed this cooling, summer refreshment sans banana boat. Top it with shredded coconut if you're feeling daring. Keep this pie in the freezer for an extra refreshing treat, or let it soften for a few minutes if you're enjoying one of those Pottery Barn type summers I've read about.
In my anticipation of this pie, I couldn't wait to eat it. I took two quick pictures and served up a piece for my son and I to share. We were almost done when he said, "Wait Mommy!" He ran to the other room and found his toy camera and when he returned he said, "Take a picture Mommy!" After he did his thing, he figured we could finish off our slice. Wow, my poor kid. He is only two...
Summer Key Lime Pie
Adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
For the crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about one sleeve)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
4 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. Fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1 teaspoon Lime Zest
To make the crust:
Butter a 9-inch springform pan (or pie plate or tart pan). Stir the crumbs and sugar together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don't worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn't have to be a precision job. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the filling.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the remaining juice, again mixing until it is blended. Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream and garnish with lime zest or lime wedges.