Key lime pie, one of America’s most loved regional dishes, has its roots in the sunny Key West, Florida. This slice of sunshine’s owes its distinct tart and tangy flavour to the aromatic key limes that flourish abundantly in the region.
The classic pie filling is a simple concoction of lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Back in the days, the pie was traditionally a no-bake wonder, made by mixing ingredients and letting it stand. For culinary whizzes, here a chemical reaction occurs between the egg yolk protein, condensed milk, and lime juice, where they curdle and thicken. Fast-forward to today, due to food safety, pies are usually baked for a short time.
Be careful with assumptions – under no, and I mean no, circumstances should green food colouring be added to the mix. The authentic hue of this pie is a light, dreamy yellow—the natural colour of key lime juice.
My slice of key lime pie was from a traditional pie shop in California (Florida one day!). Sweet, tangy and utterly delicious.