Sunday, August 26, 2012

Key Lime Pie with an "Almond-Spiked" Crust

Wow. It has been a LONG time since I've posted. So long that as I perused the pictures that have been piling up on Picasa, I couldn't remember what half of them were!  Clearly, I have not stopped cooking or baking in the months that Chez Smokey has been dormant -- I have just been lazy about posting!

As a "welcome back," I present to you a recipe for key lime pie that I baked back in May, but remember like it was yesterday. This was such an incredible pie, the pictures simply do not do it justice. The filling-to-crust ratio is beautifully high, and it is just a tart and creamy as you can imagine. The almonds in the crust, while not overpowering, certainly "take it up a notch," and set this creation apart from any I have made in the past. (I have this vivid memory of using a pre-packaged graham cracker crust for my first key lime pie however many years ago. It's hard to believe that I ever thought such a short-cut was necessary!)

Just remembering this pie is making my mouth water -- and making me slap myself (metaphorically) for not making it again this summer! Of course, summer isn't over yet, so there is still time to whip out another one. Anyone want to come over for pie???

Key Lime Pie with an "Almond-Spiked" Crust
(from Gourmet via Epicurious; adapted from Town Hall Restaurant in San Francisco)

yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
active time: 25 min
total time: 10 hr (includes chilling)

For crust:
  • 7 (5-by 2 1/2-inch) graham crackers, broken into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
For filling:
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • Grated zest of 2 Key limes (I used regular limes, and it worked out fine)
  • 1 cup Key lime juice (the recipe calls for you to make it fresh, from about 2 pounds fresh Key limes, but I think bottled is just as good)
  • 4 large egg yolks

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.
Pulse together graham crackers, almonds, and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until lightly.

Make filling and bake pie:
Gently whisk together filling ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and pour into crust. Bake until just set in center, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool completely (filling will set as it cools). Chill pie, loosely covered, at least 8 hours.
Top with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

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