Cooking Challenge #1: Is this THE real lime pie? Is this just fantasy?

Lime Pie #2

A couple of days ago, I had a dream and in this dream I was eating my aunt’s lime pie…

Ooooh, I wish I could write a post like this, sharing that I came to my aunt’s lime pie recipe by a dream. But, there’s nothing glamorous in creating a recipe. Maybe, it may be a playful task.

I spent the last days thinking of this recipe. I read many recipes and looked many pictures just to see anything that could remind me of my aunt’s lime pie. During this process, I made up my mind: I didn’t want the exactly recipe from my aunt, otherwise I would call her and ask for it. I want my own version of it, but, as you’ve already known, I didn’t know how to begin.

Again, I wrote down another checklist. This time, I put together the subjective and the objective matters. Doing this, I was able to find out it was not whipped cream atop the pie. It was a meringue, because I remembered that it was not a white top, but a golden top with lime zest. The second thing was to look for a recipe for the crust. Since the crust is very basic, I had to look for a tested recipe to prepare. My only concern was the lime cream filling that I had no idea how I could prepare it.

{Again: There is nothing glamorous in developing a recipe…}

Now, I had some math to do. To know the exactly amount of what and when to use is quite difficult. At this point, I just copied the steps found in similar recipes. I mean the right moment to add yolks or to combine butter and all-purpose flour, for example.

For the crust, I went to a common pie crust recipe: all-purpose flour, butter, eggs and salt. I found this recipe at Larousse Gastronomique.

 

Basic Pie Crust Recipe {From Larousse Gastronomique}

{Printable recipe | Prep. time: 1h15 | Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 4}

{{Ingredients}}

5.5 oz. weight Butter {at room temperature}

1 Whole Egg, slightly beaten {at room temperature}

2 and 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour, sifted {plus more for the working surface}

4 tablespoon Cold Water

1 pinch of Salt

{{How to Prepare}}

 

Lime Pie #2

 

Dice butter and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour to salt and make a hole on the middle of it. Drop diced butter and pour the beaten egg and the cold water. Stir until all is combined. Knead the dough for 1 minute until form a ball. Wrap the dough with tin foil or parchment paper. Take to the fridge and let rest for 1 hour.

 

Lime Pie #2

 

After this time, on a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness. You must roll out the dough accordingly to the shape of your baking pan. You may use  a baking pan {13″ x 9″} or a round springform pan {8″ diameter}. Gently remove the rolled out dough from the working surface and center in the baking pan. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes. Using a fork, stick the dough.

 

Lime Pie #2

 

Then, heat the oven to 325 F and bake for 15 minutes. {PS: if you are preparing the whole lime pie recipe, do not turn off the oven heat.}

 

{What about the filling?}

This was the hardest part of developing this recipe. I must say I was obsessed with my aunt’s recipe, so I HAD to come to a filling cream which was similar to my aunt’s. However, I was obsessed also with making a recipe of my own. It is pretty much a messy situation, isn’t it?

I wanted a custard as a filling. I guess this decision made things easier. So, I just added some egg yolks, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.

Lime custard filling

{Printable recipe | Prep. time: 10 min | Cooking time: 35 min. | Serves: 4}

{{Ingredients}}

14 oz. weight Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/4 cup Lime Juice

4 Egg Yolks {Slightly Beaten, at room temperature}

{{How to prepare}}

 

Lime Pie #2

 

In a medium bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and the lime juice until all is combined. Then, drop the egg yolks and stir until all is incorporated.

Once the pie crust is baked, pour this cream over it.

 

{Meringue, yeah yeah yeah!}

My mom once taught me to make a Brazilian sweet called suspiro. Its foundation is a meringue which is baked for more than 1 hour until harden. In this case, I must only to bake until the pie was cooked and the meringue was golden. It is a very easy recipe and my mom used to bake this almost every weekend.

Meringue

{Printable recipe | Prep. time: 20 min. | Cooking time: 45 min.}

{{Ingredients – For the Syrup}}

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

{{Ingredients – For the Meringue}} 

4 Egg Whites {at room temperature}

1/3 cup of sugar

{{How to prepare}}

 

Lime Pie #2

 

In a medium pot, combine 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water. Over a medium heat, bring to boil {approximately 3-5 minutes}. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/3 cup of sugar gradually, while continuing to whip. Whip until the sugar is dissolved. With the stand mixer still on, pour gradually the sugar syrup into it. Whip until the cream is cold.

 

Lime Pie #2

 

Spread the meringue over the filling cream.

With the oven already preheated {325 F}, bake the lime pie for 35 minutes or until the meringue golden.

 

The amount of meringue was too much {my bad}. But, do not throw it away! Let’s make suspiros! Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease with butter. Preheat oven to 32o F. Using a spoon, take an amount of meringue and drop onto the baking sheet, spacing them an inch or so apart. Bake for 1h20 or until golden.

 

{Rate this! Rate this! Rate this!}

This recipe was easy to reach. I mean I rapidly came to a desired recipe by the second time of testing it. Honestly, it was not a full development, since I went to as many as references I could.

To develop a recipe requires to test every step from the scratch, I guess. I must say I cheated and I got my mom’s meringue recipe and the Larousse Gastronomique pie crust. The only thing I tested and re-tested was the lime filling, which I made four versions and this was the best one! The two other versions varied the amount of eggs, using or not using butter… In one of these versions I used cheese! Yeah, it didn’t work for the flavor I was looking for.

I’m pretty satisfied with this recipe! I haven’t thought how much points this lime pie should receive. I loved the lime custard as filling! I think this custard could be prepared separated from the pie and it would be delicious!

My only concern, holding my perfectionist reputation, was the pie crust. Well, it tastes delicious but something was not ok. Perhaps, I must test it again. This time with a pie crust recipe of my own! :D

 

Lime Pie #2