Saturday, March 1, 2014

Coconut-Key Lime Pie

Since I don’t do this very often, just sit back and enjoy this ride because we are going on a trip. A trip in our minds.  I’m going to tell you a story about Key Lime Pie, and I will even let you sit in my big green reading chair in the corner.  Now, not everyone can sit in the chair at once. I would hate to break something so ugly, yet so comfortable.
Here we go!

 *Cue dream harp music*

Given the fact that the first Key Lime Pie I ever tasted was made by my mother would make one wonder why I ever tried another one. J  Now, if you know my mother, you are probably re-reading that first sentence, but let me assure you, you did read it correctly. My mother made a pie!  It was her first and last.  Now, if you are from somewhere in Latvia, Japan, or Sweden, you might not find this funny, but don’t worry. Just laugh and keep reading.  Hey Latvia!  Still wondering why I have such a big following in your country? Whatever…back to my story about my mother’s pie. It is almost too hard to type since it is such a foreign concept. Anyhoo…it was green!  Yes, green!  Let me stop my story again for a second and create a short list of random things I know in no particular order: 
  1. Potty-training a child should come with a Congressional Medal of Honor upon completion.  If you train more than one child in your lifetime you should have a party thrown in also.
  2. Spraying Pam Cooking Spray on wet fingernails after they have just been freshly polished really does make them dry instantly.  However, I will caution you not to use butter flavored because it will make you oddly hungry and weirdly nauseous the rest of the day.
  3. Key Lime Pies should NEVER be GREEN! Like ever! It is just wrong. Feel free to use the comments section below if you would like to debate me on the issue. Another caution, I will win.  I have the ultimate “delete comment” button.  J
So, off we go again. It is a good thing that I don’t do road trips like I tell stories because we would never reach our destination at this rate. 
Aside from the pie being terribly green and having an Oreo crust…get this…wait for it, wait for it... it was Low-FAT!!!  What?!?!  Why would someone do that to one of the best pies EVER! Therefore, it goes without saying, or in my case, saying way too long, that I have been on a quest for a good Key Lime Pie ever since.  I have tried many kinds, but this one stood out for its creative use of flavors. 
I was looking one day on Martha’s website around *clears throat* Easter 2013.  I know that was months ago, but my pictures have been held hostage on Husband’s camera and the ransom was too large for my budget.  I wondered what could be better than coconut married with lime.   
*Put the Lime in Coconut ….. Everyone sing with me now….*

As I was gathering the ingredients at the big box store down the road I found myself wandering around for one can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk.  Hey kids this is NOT Coco Lopez!!! Go about nine aisles over to the Asian Food section and grab a can of coconut milk.  It will be on the top shelf in the back and you will have to find someone with long monkey arms to reach it or do like me and climb onto the bottom shelf and get dirty looks from the senior citizens.  Now, if you have never used coconut milk from a can you will be amazed when you open the lid.  It is the consistency of Crisco or jarred hand cream sitting on top of a half of a can of cloudy water.  They will warn you on the label that separation can occur.  No worries, heat will fix this problem. Bake the pie as directed because we all know that Martha’s recipes are thoroughly tested and accurate or someone will lose their head.

Are you enjoying this little journey?  I know I am, however, we are now at our final stop.  Taste.  Sometimes when you marry two flavors you find that they become one.  Not in this case.  It is like a husband and wife with two checking accounts, both too strong and independent to merge completely.  First, you get the coconut flavor without the bothersome hairy texture.  Then the lime comes in on the tail end right when you think the flavor experience is coming to a close and the lime has been all but forgotten.   Kinda like this blog post because it is finally coming to a close.  Good day!

Coconut-Key Lime Pie
from Martha Stewart

Ingredients for crust:
6 ounces cookies (about 12 graham crackers, or 46 vanilla wafers)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for filling:
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice
7 large egg yolks
Whipped Cream for topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg yolks until smooth. Pour into crust and bake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, then refrigerate 3 hours (or up to 1 day).  Top with whipped cream.

Directions for homemade crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack before filling. Use a dry, flat-bottomed glass or your fingers to press crumbs into the pie plate, forming a firm layer.

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