1/23/12

Celebrate National Pie Day: Quick Homemade Key Lime Pie



Today is National Pie Day! Making pies is as easy as 1-2-3, which is why The American Pie Council chose January 23rd as the day to honor this age-old dessert. (Get it? 1-2-3 and 1-23.)

If you want to impress your coworkers, friends or even hold your family captive (as in hostage?) with some "pie" trivia today, here are a few key points regarding the history of this favorite food.
  • Pie has been around since the ancient Egyptians. The first pies were made by early Romans who may have learned about it through the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in "reeds" which were used for the sole purpose of holding the filling and not for eating with the filling.
  • The Romans must have spread the word about pies around Europe as the Oxford English Dictionary notes that the word pie was a popular word in the 14th century. The first pie recipe was published by the Romans and was for a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie.
  • The early pies were predominately meat pies. Pyes (pies) originally appeared in England as early as the twelfth century. The crust of the pie was referred to as "coffyn". There was actually more crust than filling. Often these pies were made using fowl and the legs were left to hang over the side of the dish and used as handles. Fruit pies or tarts (pasties) were probably first made in the 1500s. English tradition credits making the first cherry pie to Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Pie came to America with the first English settlers. The early colonists cooked their pies in long narrow pans calling them "coffins" like the crust in England. As in the Roman times, the early American pie crusts often were not eaten, but simply designed to hold the filling during baking. It was during the American Revolution that the term crust was used instead of coffyn.

I just made Key Lime Pie a few days ago, but chose to make it into tarts instead.  (See photo below) but I have a post I published last March, showing you my more typical Key Lime Pie in 'pie' form.  How about making a pie for tonight?   Easy as.....  pie!


I made them into individual pie tarts

Key Lime Pie

1 bag of Key Limes (the very small limes!)
4 egg yolks
1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 pre-made graham crust ready for filling

Zest about 4 of the limes.
Slice and juice all the limes save one. That one will be for garnish.
Strain the juice and reserve. You should have about 2/3 cup of liquid.
In an electric mixer bowl whip the egg yolks and lime zest 5 minutes.
Add the condensed sweetened milk and whip 3-4 minutes more.
Add the lime juice and mix until blended.
Pour into the graham crust. Bake 15 minutes at 325 degrees until filling is set.
Cool 20 minutes on counter. Chill 2 hours in the refrigerator.

A Topping Option

1 c heavy or whipping cream
1 -2 T confectionery sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 t vanilla extract
*optional - 3-6 oz. cream cheese, softened
Mix and use to decorate dollops on your pie if you desire a topping.

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