Key Lime Pie Recipe an fashioned pie made with Florida key limes, sweetened condensed milk, topped with meringue and coconut.
The first recipe was recorded in 1930. It originated in Key West, a seaport in Florida and named for the small key limes growing in the Florida Keys. July 1, 2006, legislation was passed making it the "Official Pie of the State of Florida".
The original pie contained sweetened condensed milk because fresh milk was hard to get and hard to keep fresh due to the lack of refrigeration in those days.
Because this is an uncooked pie that contains eggs, it is important to bake the
meringue and not substitute whipped cream for the topping , in order to
cook the eggs properly, for safety reasons.
I received the following recipe from a friend in the early 1960s.
Pour milk into a mixing bowl. Stir in egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in lime juice, lime zest, and food coloring. When thickened, pour into prepared and chilled graham cracker crust.
Beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Add sugar a little at a time and continue beating until well mixed. Fold in lime zest.
Spread on pie. Be sure to completely cover pie around edges. Sprinkle with coconut and bake in preheated oven 425F. about 10 minutes until meringue and coconut are lightly browned.
Remove from oven and cool. Chill several hours or overnight before serving.
Crush crackers and mix in butter well. Press in bottom and on sides of 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Chill at least l hour before using.
*Lime zest is the green, grated outer part of the lime peeling. That is where the lime oil and flavoring resides.