Virtually every travel destination boasts a signature dish that shouldn't be missed by the curious traveler...
Virtually every travel destination boasts a signature dish that shouldn't be missed by the curious traveler. For example, there's New Orleans' jambalaya, Chicago's deep-dish pizza and Philadelphia' cheese steak sandwich. In the Florida Keys & Key West, that dish is Key lime pie.
Key lime pie is made from the Key lime, a fruit indigenous to the Florida Keys that's smaller and rounder than limes found in a grocery store. Key lime pie is the official pie of the State of Florida, and millions of slices are savored every year by visitors and locals.
While the pie's exact birthdate and creator are unknown, it was likely created in Key West in the late 19th century — predating refrigeration and the Overseas Railway that brought fresh ingredients like milk to the island at high speed.
Recipes for the original Key lime pie did not require refrigeration or baking. Instead, the acid in the Key lime juice reacts chemically with the other ingredients, a process called souring, and "cooks" the pie.
The typical ingredients of an authentic Key lime pie are sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, Key lime juice and a piecrust generally made from butter and graham crackers. The egg yolks give the pie a yellowish coloring; green pies are not authentic.
"I'm always amazed that these simple ingredients can make such a wonderful pie," said Kermit Carpenter, resident Key lime pie expert and the owner of Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe.
In this video, you can watch Kermit make the pie that made Key West famous!
200 g chocolate digestive biscuits
50 g butter, melted
1 x 325 g can condensed milk
Bottle of Key Lime juice
1- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. To make the pie base, pop the biscuits into a roomy plastic bag and secure at one end. Crush, with a rolling pin, until they resemble crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a mixing bowl and add the melted butter. Stir well to combine.
2. Tip the crumbs into the base of a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin, pressing down well with your hand.
3. To prepare the filling: Take the yokes from the 6 eggs and add the sweetened condensed milk.
4. Blend this together, and then add the a cup of key lime juice. Whisk for 1-2 minutes. Pour onto the prepared biscuit base.
5. Place into an oven for 20 minutes