This pie started on September 8, 1995. That’s the night I opened my eyes to see an engagement ring, in one of those little boxes, held out over a Key Lime Pie. Here’s a photo of us taken earlier that day, before the engagement, by Joseph’s Dad from the kitchen window. We’re sitting by the pool, and my face says it all. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. It’s the same today–16 years and 43 days later. He asked me that evening at his parents’ dinner table. He polished silver serving dishes and sent his family to the high school football game. He made chicken. I was wearing navy blue. He played our song on the CD player. But I especially remember the Key Lime Pie. It came from Publix (the grocery store–for you Yankees), and it looked beautiful with that ring over it. I said yes. Without hesitation. Yes.
We called everyone we knew. We planned an August wedding. My mom began testing out Key Lime recipes for the wedding reception, which we decided would be all desserts. We like desserts, and I didn’t anyone at my wedding having to ask, “Is this shellfish?” or “Do you think they have more meatballs in the back?”
My mom made so many Key Lime pies that my family grew weary of them, but we definitely had delicious Key Lime Pie at our wedding reception!
There were a couple of new experiences for me with this pie, but the main one was ZESTING.
Last year, my mom gave us all these cool grater sets for Christmas.
Mine stayed in the package until today. Hey, don’t judge! They sell grated cheese in the store…but NOT lime zest. So I zested. I think. I just really tried not to put finger zest in that pie. The recipe (from Joe’s Crab Shack in Miami Beach) called for the zest of two limes. I zested. It smelled good. I worked hard. There were tiny green shards in the bowl. Seemed like lots of work for tiny, tiny, amounts of lime zest. Anyway, I did my best.
Next, you had to whip in 3 egg yolks for 5 minutes. That’s a long time to hold a mixer if you haven’t gotten your other ingredients ready. Enter 7-year-old helper. Max did a great job holding on to the mixer while I hunted down Key Lime juice. The brand is called Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice and it smells fantastic! I also added sweetened condensed milk and blended for almost 10 minutes.
Then you just pour it into a pre-baked graham cracker crust and bake it for only 10 minutes. Seems hard to believe that something so good could happen so fast, but it happens all the time…
My husband and I had only known each other for 2 and a half months when he proposed. Something so good happened so fast!
Right now, the pie is cooling. There’s a homemade whipped cream topping, but I’m not supposed to make that until right before I serve the pie. I think the pie looked pretty without it, but you KNOW I’m gonna add whipped cream. After it cools a bit, it’ll stay in the fridge for several hours or overnight, depending on how long we can stand to wait. Happy Pie, my dear!
13 days to go–38 pies made as of today.