Recipe: Key lime cream pie with billowy meringue
- 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 6 egg yolks
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
- 2/3 cup Key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (see NOTE)
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and lime zest with a fork in a medium bowl until blended. Pour in butter and stir until all of the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch glass or metal pie plate with your fingers. Use a small measuring cup to press the crumb mixture evenly against the bottom and sides of the dish to firm the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until set and slightly deeper brown in colour. Cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
2 To make the filling: Beat the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in the condensed milk and the lime zest until blended. Slowly whisk in the lime juice. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust.
3 Bake the pie for 15 minutes, or until the filling is set but still quivers when gently shaken. Leave the oven on.
4 The make the meringue: While the filling is baking, dissolve the cornstarch in the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 30 seconds or until very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in an large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until the whites are frothy. Increase the speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, slowly beat in the granulated sugar. Continue beating while slowly adding the warm cornstarch mixture, one spoonful at a time. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the egg whites are glossy and will hold a stiff peak.
5 As soon as you remove the baked pie from the oven, immediately spoon half of the meringue over the hot filling, carefully and gently spread the meringue so it touches the crust all around (this will keep it from shrinking). Pile the remaining meringue on top and swirl decoratively.
6 Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the meringue is dry to the touch and light brown. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until cold before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
NOTE: The addition of the cornstarch mixture to the meringue is a food styling technique that helps stabilize the egg whites. It produces a tender meringue that is less likely to shrink from the edges, bead up, or weep on a humid day.
Makes 8 servings.
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Excerpted from Chicken and Egg. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2011 by Janice Cole. Photo Copyright © 2011 by Alex Farnum. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.