The Florida experience would not be complete without a Key Lime Pie for dessert at least once in our winter stay.
Actually, the first year we spent the winter here we sampled that confection more like once a week. We felt compelled to try every bakery and determine the best available.
Key limes are not something you generally see in the typical grocery store, although I have seen bottled Key lime juice. They are very small and yellow when ripe. A real Key Lime Pie is also a pale yellow. It is horrible to add green food coloring to make it look like the typical green limes that we cut into wedges to drop into a gin and tonic.
I have read recipes that call for the ingredients to be mixed and then just left to thicken, letting the acid in the limes "cook" the eggs. I guess that is the original and most authentic way.
I also guess that lemon juice "cooks" the egg in Caesar salad dressing, and fresh made is absolutely delicious.
However, when you start to think about eating raw egg, some of the fun goes out of it. So I don't think that anything major is lost by baking a Key Lime pie for a bit...and peace of mind is gained.
Some times you see an egg white meringue on top of the Key Lime Pie. That's almost as bad as green food coloring. Obviously, some cooks are confused and seem to think Key Lime should resemble a Lemon Meringue Pie. Maybe a small dab of whipped cream to cut the sweet-tart.
If you can't stand to waste egg whites, use them to make a Baked Alaska or a yummy Pavlova.
Beat together until smooth: 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 Oz.), 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup fresh squeezed Key lime juice, 1 teaspoon grated lime zest. Pour into prepared graham cracker pie crust. Bake in a 350 oven for 15-17 minutes. Cool for several hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream, is desired.