Okay... it was supposed to be a welcome home yummy for the family when they returned from their 12 day trip to Arizona. I was super excited to see my kids and husband and I wanted everything to be perfect. So, of course - it wasn't.
The first pie was PERFECT! I made a graham cracker crust, mixed the fresh squeezed lime filling, and the meringue topping was gorgeous. I popped the pie in the oven to brown the meringue and at that moment was filled with admiration that I had done such a fabulous job. However, as I removed my masterpiece, the lip of the pie plate caught onto the rack and my beautiful pie did a triple somersault before it committed suicide inside the over and all oven the floor. (There is no photograph of the disaster because as I was having a nervous breakdown, Bailey the helper cleaned up the mess. I know I should be grateful.)
Key Lime Pie #2: In case you're wondering, it is really important to keep the bowl of egg whites FAR AWAY from the bowl of pie filling. That way, you are less likely to put the right ingredients into the wrong bowl. Another batch of key lime pie was ruined. Bailey was disappointed there wasn't anything to clean up.
#3 may be a charm for some... not for me. My last pie took twice as long to make because I was taking every step very slowly, talking out loud to myself, and measuring four or five times to make sure I was concentrating. I was so happy with the final product, although my meringue was a bit flat and the center of the pie belly danced when I wiggled it. At least it looked edible.
The family was thrilled - until I cut into the pie and it caved in. I grabbed a large serving spoon and ladled the runny mess into bowls. I offered up soup spoons and called it Key Lime Soup. It was tasty. The recipe below is fail-proof (unless you're me). If you do it right the first time, you won't have to use 12 eggs.
KEY LIME PIE - (makes one 9" pie)
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
2 Tablespoons sugar
9 Tablespoons melted butter
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1/2 cup sugar
Green food coloring (optional and I opted not to use)
Combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 Tablespoons sugar and butter in a small bowl. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan. Bake in preheated over at 350* for 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly.
Beat egg yolks lightly in a bowl. Blend in condensed milk. Fold in lime juice and peel. Tint filling with green food coloring if you desire. Pour into cooled crust.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tarter and continue beating until white peaks form. gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over top of pie Bake in preheated oven at 450* for 5-8 minutes until the meringue begins to brown.
Chill pie completely before cutting.