Even though my recipe geek record is pretty dismal when it comes to pies, I was not to be deterred. In honor of the fact that I'm going to Sacramento tomorrow, I made a key lime pie to bring with me.
Key lime pie is pretty simple. You beat some egg yolks, add a can of condensed milk and some lime juice and mix. The acid from the limes causes the milk proteins to crosslink and the filling gels. You then put it in the a prebaked graham cracker crust and chill it, then top with whipped cream. Although I've made key lime cheesecake, and key lime bars, I've never made the pie.
I used a recipe from "Cook's Illustrated." They're pretty obsessive, which is fine with me since pies are not my strongest point They messed around with the recipe a bit and made some changes. First, they add lime zest to the filling, and once the filling has been put into the crust, they bake the pie for 15 minutes. Supposedly it was too gloppy when it wasn't baked. I prepared the graham cracker crust and baked it for about 15 minutes, then let it cool while I made the filling. Once all the ingredients are mixed, you're supposed to let it set for half an hour. I distracted myself with an episode of "The Tudors" so that I wouldn't be tempted to play with it or sample it. It worked pretty much as described. I filled the crust and baked it, and now it's in the fridge. I'll pack it in a cooler for the drive and top it with whipped cream once we're ready to eat it. I'll put the taste test results in the comments section once we've tasted it.