Sunday, February 13, 2011

Limelight


Now, not only do I want the car, I want a piece of key lime pie.

Next time you are at the grocers, look in the aisle that has lemon juice and try and spot a bottle of Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice . If they have it, grab a bottle. It's a great addition to the kitchen. I use it for all sorts of things, marinades, stir fry, and a HOTR favorite, lime jalapeno chip dip . If you didn't manage to shoot cupid out of the sky, it makes a nice appetizer. :-)

3 cups ranch dressing
¼ cup green chilies, roasted
¼ cup jalapeño, pickled, marinated, (or my preference) roasted
a pinch of Penzey's ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice
1/3 bunch fresh cilantro
1 Roma tomato, diced

Place all ingredients except cilantro and tomato in blender and blend until smooth. Add tomatoes and cilantro and just pulse until chopped fine but not pureed.

Serve as a salad dressing or as a dip for chips.

But the real classic when it comes to key limes is key lime pie. The recipe is on the back of the bottle, and in the comments here. I just make a simple graham cracker, butter and sugar crust and there you have it.

Prior to the 30's when the Overseas Highway opened, the Keys had no fresh milk, no refrigeration, and no ice. Because of this lack of milk, local cooks used canned sweetened condensed milk which had been around since 1856. Good cooks still use it as it's the secret to a creamy Key Lime Pie. There are differing opinions on the making. Some use whipped cream, some meringue. Some use a pastry shell, some graham crackers. I prefer Graham Cracker, but a homemade one, not the pre-made ones which are made out of ground presto logs. The consistency should be more custard than pudding and have a light yellow color. You do not put green food coloring in a Key Lime Pie though I've seen some that look like Marvin the Martian made them.


The original key limes themselves looked like little confused lemons, and were native to Malaysia, likely arriving in the 1500's with the Spanish. When a hurricane in 1926 wiped out the large key lime plantations in South Florida, growers replanted with Persian limes which are easier to pick and ship. The key lime, however is is smaller, seedier, has a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind than the Persian lime. Today, the original key lime is almost a ghost, and any remaining trees are found with small growers and in backyards, their fruit seldom leaving the Keys. Their unique taste is what makes a true key lime pie a rare treat. Forget the big Persian limes, heaven forbid you use that stuff that comes out of a bright green plastic lime, for an authentic taste use the real thing.

Some things are classic and should not be messed with.

21 comments:

  1. Best Key Lime Pie

    1 9" Graham Cracker Pie Shell
    1 14oz can of sweetened low fat condensed milk
    3 egg yolks
    1/2 cup Key Lime Juice(Nellie & Joe's )

    Directions
    -Preheat oven to 350F
    -Combine milk, egg yolk, and key lime juice.
    -Blend until smooth.
    -Pour filling into pie shell and bake @350F for 15 minutes

    Home Made Graham Pie Crust

    * 1 1/2 cups ground graham cracker crumbs. (I smash with a meat mallet)
    * 1/4 cup white sugar
    * 6 tablespoons melted butter

    Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter until well blended . Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate. Save a single square or two of the cracker to crumble over the top of your pie for decoration if you like.

    Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. (no more than that even if you don't think it looks "done". Let it cool before you fill. If you are making a recipe that calls for baking the pie, then just press the crumb mixture in the pan, add filling and bake as directed.


    14 graham crackers = about 1 Cup crumbs

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  2. note to self. Clean Kitchen and have preparations ready before reading Brigid.

    She'll incite the appetite.

    Her food is pretty darned enticing too...

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  3. in the forth coming mail will be a bill for cleaning the drool of my keyboard.... please pay promptly with one piece of pie.

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  4. A friend of mine had parents who lived in Florida. They had a couple of *real* Key Lime trees in their yard, and we always looked forward to the FedEx boxes from his Mom.
    Yummy!

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  5. I used to work with a woman who could eat her fair share of groceries in a sitting. Our employer provided lunch for us one day complete with pie as dessert. She and I finished lunch at the same time and made a dash for the pie. I cut myself a modest slice of pie and put it in my plate and she ended up with over half the pie! As she was shoveling that pie down, she said to me; “I’m just like my daddy, I only like two kinds of pie … hot and cold!” That woman really liked pie.

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  6. I will eat Key Lime pie 'til I get sick.

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  7. Wow. A little history with the key lime pie recipe. Wish I'd had that for dessert tonight.

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  8. Alright! Cut and pasted I'm going to try this. A couple retailers are listed on the Nellie & Joe site. I'm going to give it a try with my Cabo Wabo and see what kind of maragita it makes. Are those small 1" dia Mexican limes anything like key limes?

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  9. I concure with tango juliet.
    My hunting partner has one of these cars sitting in the hangar.
    With a blown 426 hemi. Can't wait to drive that monster.

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  10. The Overseas Highway is actually built on the bones of the Florida East Coast Railroad's Key West Extension, opening in 1912 (destroyed in a hurricane in 1935). Bogie talked a bit about it in the movie "Key West." Interesting bit of history, the railroad that went to sea.
    And real key lime pies are well worth the drive from Homestead to Key West, just don't hit any of the Key Deer. I'll have to look for Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice.

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  11. Oh dear.....

    more diet porn.

    Am DEFINITELY going to make Key Lime Pie when this diet is over!!:)

    Bob
    III

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  12. I was digging the "lime jalapeno chip dip" up until 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro.. eewwwwww.. bitter.

    I'll prabable sub a whole avocado and call it a day.

    On that note, I wonder what Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice would belike in standard Guacamole.

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  13. Are you sure you're not from Florida? I grew up on real, honest to god Key Lime Pie.

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  14. BTW, anyone who puts meringue on a Key Lime Pie should be hung by thier toes and pelted with key limes until they are dead.

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  15. Mexican Lime is another common name for the Key Lime.

    Commercial production of the fruit isn't practical in Florida anymore due to labor rates, real estate costs, and a subtle southward drift of the freeze line since the 70s. I'd be surprised if Nellie and Joe's wasn't "Hencho en Mexico".

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  16. Ah, Key Lime Pie. The very name makes my hands ache in every tendon, remembering just how very many limes have to be squeezed to get that much juice.

    Once, my roommate and I made two pies - one with Key Limes, the other with the green bottle. While the second was far faster to make, it fell flat in the eating compared to the real thing. Clearly, I need to find children or friends to, ah, press into service for squeezing. Because the end result it so very worth it.

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  17. "little confused lemons"! :-D

    Love the car.

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  18. Made this with key limes from my senior partner's tree - turned out great, as always. Thanks, Brigid!

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