A star is born ... well, accessories aside. I need to either practice putting what's in my head onto the plate, or learn to leave well enough alone. Maybe both. This would have turned out prettier if I had stuck to plain citrus zest on the top, or toasted some regular sweetened coconut, but I had it in my head to candy some key lime slices and lightly toast fresh coconut curls. By the way, how does one get fresh coconut to curl? Or is that a byproduct of drying process - which I obviously skipped. Leave it to me to manage to get something that is simultaneously undercooked and scorched. I was making dinner at the time, so while mashing potatoes with one hand and making gravy with the other, I took my eyes off the oven for a minute and charred it. Oops. Better the coconut than my dinner.
Ever since I first had the lemon version of this pie, it has been my absolute favorite. My brother-in-law, who detests pie crust, also loves that pie and is a key lime fan, so I have had it in my head for a while now to try a key lime version. The problem has been the apparent conspiracy by the local markets against me to never have the ingredients I need when I want to make something. I swear, they have weekly meetings and everything! The only reason I was able to try this is that my sister went to the store and found the limes. See, if I was with her, they wouldn't have had any!
You can find the recipe over on my post about the lemon version. As I noted there, I usually double the filling. This time around, I doubled the citrus/egg part (added a bout a half drop of green food coloring for contrast against the yolks) and folded it into one and a half times the whipped cream to get more bang for the buck out of the limes.
Yesterday was one of those days when I was thankful for double ovens. It was so rainy and humid out, I was afraid my meringue shell wouldn't turn out right. It came out beautiful, nice and deep, so while I was making dinner in the top oven, I threw it in the bottom to cool so it would be in a semi air-tight environment until I was ready to fill it.
I reserved three of the limes to attempt to candy the slices. I boiled them in a half cup of sugar mixed with a half cup of water for about 5", then let them drain/cool and sprinkled with sugar.
My intention was not to sweeten the coconut since I was just using a little for garnish, so I followed the instructions that came with it - poke holes through the eyes, empty the liquid, then bake at 375 for 10", cover with a towel and hammer to crack the shell open. I used a veggie peeler to get the slices. Being in a rush at that point, I just sprayed a small foil-lined tray with PAM and threw it in the oven at 275 --- then forgot about it.
Not wanting to waste the coconut juice, and already having that lime syrup handy, I poured both into a pitcher and added a bottle of Poland Spring water and some crushed ice to make a refreshing beverage to go with dinner. How's that for recycling?
I'm still partial to the lemon, but the key lime got a big thumbs up! I think next time, I'll make sure I have extra zest for the top and add some (correctly) toasted sweetened coconut flakes in the filling and on top. Raspberries would be good too with the lime. I usually use kiwi slices and/or strawberries and/or blueberries on the lemon.
This pie is great any time, but it's definitely light and refreshing for a summertime treat.