Love a key lime pie? How about one decorated with fresh strawberries? This tart or pie is straightforward and you won't believe how easy the strawberry detailing is!
Key lime pie is like lemon meringue pie. It induces raptures and those that love it, absolutely adore it. There's something about the tartness of limes and sweet that makes it so moreish (and hard to stop eating). I was making this for Ivy's birthday picnic. Ryan wanted to watch Mr NQN windsurfing so they lured me with the idea of food and a picnic.
I messaged Ryan a few days earlier asking what Ivy's favouite cakes were and he told me that they were: key lime pie, Italian ice box pie and wedding cake with buttercream. I wasn't sure if wedding cake was a different thing in America (like a white cake or funfetti) because wedding cake here takes on all sorts of flavours so I decided on a lime pie. Is birthday pie a thing? Well it is in our little universe.
Key limes are hard to find here. A Canadian friend sent me some after she visited Florida and I keep forgetting to buy it when I travel to the states. Key limes are prized because they are tarter than the sweeter Persian lime. But fear not Dear Reader, if you add a bit of lemon juice to your lime juice then you will have a gorgeous puckeriffic tart.
One reason I like American sweet recipes is that they're often quite simple. Sort of like the opposite of French dessert recipes that often seem to me like an elaborate prank. The crust is dead easy and the filling is a cinch. I did this after I had a long lunch one Friday afternoon and was convinced that it was TOO easy.
So I strawberried it.
Specifically I added a layer of strawberries. All this requires is a bit of patience and an unhurried attitude. I did this on the morning of our picnic where I had put aside 30 minutes to decorate the pie. Mr NQN had already left for the sailing club earlier and they were picking me up with my pie and stromboli.
I wrapped up the pie snugly but in my haste transporting it and shoving it into the back of a convertible it rested vertically on its side. Gulp! I wasn't too sure how it would look once I unwrapped it. We laid out the food on a picnic table, let the dogs enjoy a companionable silence together and watched Mr NQN windsurf (or windsail as I accidentally called it) while sipping cocktails and grazing on dips, cheese, crudites and fat slices of stromboli. There was a welcome breeze where we were sitting and not a cloud in the sky.
It came time for dessert and I held my breath as I removed the crisp paper wrapping and to me enormous relief it looked as good as new!
So tell me Dear Reader, what are your three favourite cakes or pies? Have you ever had a birthday pie or tart?
Key Lime Pie With Strawberries
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 250g/8.8ozs graham crackers (plain digestive biscuits or biscoff cookies also work well)
- 100g/3.5ozs butter, melted
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 400g/14flozs tin sweetened condensed milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup key lime juice (or use 7/8th of it Persian limes with 1/8th lemon juice)
- Finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 750g/26.5ozs. strawberries
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon hot water
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Blitz the cookies until they resemble fine crumbs. Mix with the butter and sugar and press into a 23cm/9.2inch loose bottomed tart case pressing down on the base and sides. Bake for 15 minutes and then cool.
Step 2 - Whisk the condensed milk with the yolks, lime juice and zest. It will start to set while you are mixing it. Spoon it into the tin and spread the top until smooth. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Step 3 - Wash the strawberries and slice off the hull. Cut the strawberry in half lengthways and then slice each half thinly - you can discard the smaller end pieces. Using your fingers, press on the side of the strawberries to make a line of fanned pieces. Place around the outer edge of the tart. Repeat with the remaining strawberries until you completely cover the top.
Step 4 - Mix the apricot jam with the water and then brush over the top of the berries.