Key Lime, Florida’s State Pie

So, what is your State Pie? Does your state have an official pie? Do you know how a Bill becomes a State Pie? If you care, click here for the legislative details.

Key Lime Pie became Florida’s Official State Pie in 2006. I have no idea how we managed without a State Pie for so many years. And thank goodness we get to worship the Key Lime and not the Mincemeat pie. Ack! (More fun Florida facts can be found here, kids!)

After my nearly fortnight-long love affair with the berries and cheese pie, I had to give it up. The Perfect Blueberry Cheese Pie was the best; the blueberry-raspberry cheese pie I made for the first tailgate of the season was divine and the garnet hue was a huge hit with the Seminole fans; but the raspberry cheese pie was just OK.

Raspberry Cheese Pie has zing but doesn't sing like the Blueberry

The sparkle has dulled. It’s time to move on to other pies. At least until next summer’s blueberry crop.

It was pie time I tackled the Key Lime pie. But what about those pesky little Key Limes? They aren’t in season right now, so it gave me the perfect excuse to use a bottle of Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice and not spend an hour zesting and squeezing all of those tiny Key Limes. Seriously. I know I will eventually have to do it to make My Piary complete, but I’m not looking forward to it. I know how hard it is to zest and juice lemons and regular-size limes. But those Key Limes are tiny buggers and I’m a klutz. I can feel the knuckle-scraping now. Eww. Anyway, I will not feel guilty for using juice from concentrate. I will not. There, I’ve made my peace. Let’s get on with the pie.

This pie is so darn easy. The recipe I used is the same as the one on the bottle with the addition of my homemade graham cracker crust and one teaspoon of vanilla, because I think vanilla makes everything better. I like vanilla. I also topped my pie with meringue since I prefer meringue to whipped cream. I don’t like whipped cream on my pie. I know. I’m an enigma. I do not like egg white omelets, either. Bleh. Of course you can do whatever you want to do with the three leftover egg whites. I won’t ask, nor will I tell. I won’t judge.

The best piece of Key Lime Pie I have ever eaten was from the Blond Giraffe in Key West. It was my first time in Key West. My only visit to the Keys. I was living in Miami Beach at the time and I decided that I would get up early and take a day trip. Just go to Key West for the day. It was during the week and it was the first day of August, so I pretty much had the long road to myself. It was HOT, but amazing. Sunroof open on my Beetle Bug, riding along the very bottom of Florida, surrounded by water. It is the only way to roll to Key West. The view is truly breathtaking.

I stopped at every public library in the Keys along the way, too. Funny. That’s what crazy librarians do. So, did I mention it was HOT? The heat! MYGAWD the HEAT! I was closer to Cuba than I was to my house at that point. It was hot. No clouds, no ozone, just broiling sun and lots of water to throw it right back up in yo’ face. Good times. I tell you this because these environmental factors may have played into the intensity of my love for the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie. I don’t know. They are out of business now, so take that however you want.

Maybe I just don’t love Key Lime Pie as much as everyone else does. Will I lose my Native Floridian status? Gosh, I hope not. I plan on playing that card when I’m 80 and yelling at those drunken, Spring-Breakin’ whippersnappers to get off of my beach. Don’t get me wrong, my pie was good. In fact, it was better the second night. I guess I’m just having a hard time recovering from the mouthgasm of the Perfect Blueberry Cheese Pie. *sigh*

Maybe it’s time to bust out the pecans. I like nuts. Mmm…. Pecan Pie.

Back to the Key Lime. Here is the Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Pie recipe with my addition of vanilla. Pretty darn easy. (Be sure to check out their cocktail recipes. Yum!)

Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Pie

9″ graham cracker pie crust
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks (whites not used)
½ cup Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350º for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating.

Don't judge my meringue; I only used three whites

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