Sunday, August 15, 2010

Key Limes Rule

It happened suddenly. I have spent my entire life running from key lime pie. I am not a picky eater. I like to try new things and always look for a way to enjoy foods. This happened with yogurt too. I never enjoyed yogurt until I made a very concerted effort to enjoy yogurt. I just picked myself up by the ears and said to myself, "You will eat this and learn to like it because it is good for you." Of course, yogurt is good for you, in it's low-fat or non-fat healthy versions. This is not the case with key lime pie, so I simply avoided this dessert. I couldn't put my finger on it but it just didn't taste right to me. I thoroughly enjoy citrus in everything I can think of and how can you go wrong with sweetened condensed milk? These two ingredients are the bulk of this simple pie. Getting your hands on key limes can be tricky if you don't live in South Florida. These little cuties grow in someone's backyard and are easily accessible for us in supermarkets here so I have always enjoyed them in any recipe where you use the large green Persian limes. So what was the problem with me and the key lime pie?

Well folks, I went to the keys last week to mind my friend's house and dogs where she has about 4 carambola (star fruit) trees, 1 Japanese plumb tree, and key limes. (don't be too jealous it's August). In addition to the fantastic seafood, key limes (in season) and key lime pie are all over the place. I don't know if it was the oppressive heat every time I walked outside or I just got caught up in the drama of key limes. I sauntered over to a small place and purchased a slice of frozen key lime pie. Why frozen? Didn't I just mention it s August?? I was desperate for relief from the heat and didn't feel like eating ice cream or swilling any more diet soda, so I just went for it. I was flabbergasted. Key lime pie is the best! I had 2! As I devoured this beautiful thing I couldn't believe myself. Why am I doing this? Is the heat really getting to me? Is my brain fried? Is it the coating of chocolate? NO! A loud, resounding NO! This is key lime pie made with real, honest to goodness key limes! NOT Persian limes! And what a difference this makes friends. You MUST have key lime pie made with key limes and not Persian limes! The delicate, flowery, and softly tart flavor of key limes makes all the difference. Key limes are small, see above for scale against your average Chinese restaurant fortune cookie, but juicy as hell. I went nuts and made key lime ade, squeezed it in my Diet Coke and almost ate them with nothing else. I urge you to try to get your hands on this little miracle citrus and make your own key lime pie. It is very simple and for that very reason your ingredients must be perfect and the little key lime is perfect.

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