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Key Lime Pie

March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends!

I love this holiday. Everything about it is fun to me. It’s an excuse to gather with friends, to drink, eat, and socialize. It brings to mind rolling, green hills, hearty, steaming hot stews, chunky and earthy breads, and being inside on a rainy, almost spring day.

Having thrown a St. Patrick’s Day party every year for the past few years and being overwhelmed with the amount of food and drink to prepare, I decided to make this year’s party a more casual affair. No more countertops covered in 40 lbs. of potatoes. No more baskets overflowing with multiple loaves of home-made beer bread. No more slow-cooked, stove-top beef stew. No more rich and decadent avocado milkshakes (don’t knock it ’till you tried it–it’s super delicious, albeit artery clogging). No, this year, we’re keeping it low-key and easy peasy. I’m hosting a real Pot o’ Luck party.

One of my contributions to tonight’s party is key lime pie. I’m not really big on the tart or sour desserts, but Jeff loves this dessert. Plus, it’s green (side note: real key lime pie is not a bright green color; it’s rather pale in nature unless you use food coloring). So fitting, I had to make it.

Beware, this dessert is really, really sugary. Considering the amount of tartness to this pie, one would think it’s light on the sugar. Unfortunately, this is one dessert you want to indulge in on the rare occasion only. With that said, I hope you enjoy this super easy recipe that will impress your friends and family–sour lovers or not.

Ingredients:

Crust

-1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs

-1/3 cup white sugar

-1+ tbsp cinnamon

-6 tbsp melted butter

Filling

1/2 cup lowfat sour cream

-2 cans lowfat condensed milk (about 3 cups worth)

-3/4 cup lime juice

-1 tbsp lime zest

Equipment/Materials:

-food processor (or study ziplock bag + something large and heavy) to crumble the graham crackers

-large mixing bowl(s) + spoon

-hand whisk (burns more calories than an electric mixer)

-pie dish

-zester (or a veggie peeler, chef’s knife, and cutting board)

Directions:

1. Prepare the graham cracker crust. Make your graham cracker crumbs by placing the crackers in a food processor (or by placing them in a sturdy ziplock bag and pounding on it with something large and heavy; this burns more calories!). Place the crumbs in a mixing bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon and butter. With a spoon, make a thick paste. Pour the mixture into the pie dish and press into it with your hands/fingers until a nice pie crust is shaped.

2. Bake the pie crust for 5 minutes at 375 degrees. While the crust is baking, prepare your lime zest. You can use a zester to make your life easier. Or if you’re like me, peel the lime with a veggie peeler. Take the lime rind and finely mince with a chef’s knife on a cutting board until you have really, really, tiny specks of lime zest.

3. Make the pie filling. Pour the sour cream, condensed milk, lime juice, and zest into a clean mixing bowl. With a hand whisk, blend well until the ingredients are completely incorporated.

Pour into your pre-baked pie dish and bake for another 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees. The pie is done when you start seeing little pinholes on the top. Remove from the oven and let cool. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve with whipped cream or meringue. Yum!

P.S. Oftentimes when I have a little extra batter or pie filling, I pour it into a martini glass and serve as pudding. Garnished with some lime zest and a cinnamon graham cracker, this is a mini dessert on its own!

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