Key Lime Pie is on almost every menu in Florida. The original version with meringue is more difficult to find. The more available version uses whipped cream, which is easier to serve. My husband and I found the meringue key lime pie at the Key Lime Pie Factory on Tavernier Island just west of Key Largo. It was delicious! You can buy slices and whole pies, as well as a wide range of key lime flavored treats, including frozen key lime pie dipped in chocolate on a stick
Key Lime Pie is thought to have been invented in Key West by “Aunt Sally,” the talented cook of William Curry, a prominent Key West resident and Bahamian-born immigrant who became Florida’s first millionaire. In the late 1800s, Aunt Sally used ingredients available on the island, which is at the end of the Florida Keys archipelago — easy to store sweetened condensed milk in a can (no cows anywhere near the island), local eggs (there are chickens everywhere on Key West) and the locally grown key limes. Key limes are yellowish when ripe and are smaller and have more seeds than the bright green limes you commonly find in the grocery store throughout the United States. In the original recipe, egg yolks go into the filling, and the egg whites are whipped into a meringue topping. More commonly now, restaurants and bakeries skip the meringue and use whipped cream, but the Key Lime Pie Factory in Tavernier Island in the Florida Keys still creates its pies with meringue.
History of Key Lime Pie.
Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe.
What Makes a Key Lime So Special.
Freshly squeezed key limes in limeade dispel the wintry gloom.
It’s always cold every winter in Kansas, but we usually get a lot of sunshine, which is cheerful even when you’re freezing. This year it’s been cloudy almost every day. I was hoping for a break from gloom when I went to southern California in mid-January, but it rained there, too. I did get some sunny days, too, so I’ll stop whining. While there, my daughter and I visited long-time friends Jan and Richard. Their yard is a small orchard of citrus trees — Meyer lemon, key lime and blood orange. Some years their harvest is so huge they don’t know what to do with it all, partly because everyone with tree is experiencing a boon year, too.
I was happy to take a few pounds of their key limes off their hands, which I hauled home to snow-covered Kansas.
Key limes ready for squeezing.
When I visited them in January, we squeezed a lot of key limes to make this refreshing limeade. They use a sugar syrup to sweeten it. The recipe for that syrup is in the link below to Richard’s sangria. They have a handy citrus squeezer, which made the job go quickly. I bought one when I got home, although I don’t know when I’ll use it again. Click for the sugar syrup recipe, as well as a tasty Sangria Recipe.
This key lime tree is loaded with fruit.
All photographs are of Jan and Richard’s key limes.