Just as the name suggests, Key Lime Pie is from Key West, Florida, first mentioned in 1855 in a home belonging to William “Bill Money” Curry. The recipe was called “Aunt Sally’s Key Lime Pie”, Aunt Sally being the chef in the Hardware magnate’s Mansion. Key lime pie is the perfect pick me up on hot summer days with a rich, sweet and tart flavour garnished with slouchy, velvety whipped cream.
“Bill Money” Brought the first condensed milk to the Florida Keys on ships and since there was no refrigeration at the time, canned milk like this was the perfect non-perishable ingredient and it was in high demand. A true key lime pie will always contain a base of condensed milk, no custard, no cream, no gelatin.. you get the drift. Oh, and absolutely no food colouring as the filling should be a soft yellow colour, like a hazy afternoon sky in the Keys.
Now for the great debate as to what should adorn this silky, custardy, tangy, irresistible pie. Soft, decadent whipped cream or pillowy meringue? Whipped cream. Always. The dense, creamy, tart filling basically demands the softness of the whipped cream and the resulting textural masterpiece is worth every effort.
You will notice that my recipe does not call for the traditional graham cracker crust, rather a crust made from Maria Cookies instead, this was a pure accident that turned out really well and is now my absolute best choice. Interestingly enough, the original Key Lime Pie did not have a crust at all and addition of one came much later on. The flavour of the Maria cookies are much more delicate than graham crackers and have an almost creamy texture to the crust. Try it out!