Archive for the ‘Pies’ Category

So many people love key lime pie. I mean, you have sweet, tart, creamy, crunchy. What’s not to love? 

Just as many people love cheesecake. Baked cheesecake, refrigerator cheese cake, chocolate, pumpkin, New York Style. Rich, creamy, slightly tart, slightly sweet. What’s not to love?

I’ve had key lime pie hundreds of times as well as key lime cheesecake and key lime bars. All of them have been delicious. But I found the creme de la creme, the most exalted, the mightiest of the mighty. The Gold Medal winner in the Olympics of lime desserts.  It ‘s a Double Layer Key Lime Pie, two layers of tart, citrusy goodness  – one a layer of lime cheesecake. It will double your pleasure for sure.

Now to be fair, I must admit that I use the term “key lime” loosely. I don’t use key limes in the preparation of any dessert. I use regular old green, grocery store limes. I did buy a bag of key limes once and got about 1 tablespoon of juice from each. Also, in my part of Ohio, key limes can be hard to find. I never use the jars of juice or the little plastic fake limes or lemons which have to be “enhanced” with preservatives. 

So without further ado, here is the recipe. By the way, it’s from Bon Appetit, March, 2004, issue.



(May make one day ahead, if desired. Also, no need to use “key limes”; regular ones will do just fine.

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter, melted

3 T. sugar

18 oz. canned sweetened condensed milk (divided, 14 oz. and 4 oz.)

3/4 c. lime juice (divided, 1/2 c. and 1/4 cup)

3 large egg yolks

2 T. sugar

1 t. vanilla

8 oz. cream cheese (may use 1/3 less fat variety), room temperature

cool whip or whipped cream for garnish, optional



1. Preheat oven to 350 degree. Mix crumbs, butter and sugar, and press into bottome and up sides of a deep-dish glass pie pan.

2. Bake 8 minutes. Cool completely. Lower heat to 300 degrees.

Baked Layer:

1. Whisk 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 c. lime juice and the 3 egg yolks. Pour into cooled pie shell.

2. Bake 300 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Chilled Layer:

1. Beat the cream cheese, 1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 c. lime juice, 2 T. sugar and 1 t. vanilla together.

2. Pour over the cooled baked layer. Smooth top.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours.

4. Garnish with whipped cream or cool whip before serving. Store in the frig.

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I have said before that I am not a great fan of cakes. I seldom make cakes; when I do, it is usually for a special occasion. I am, however, a great fan of pies. If they weren’t so fattening, I would make a pie a week. Mac likes pie as much, maybe more, than I do.

Many years ago, he mentioned that he wished I would make pies more often. With two little kids, I had enough to do around the house without making pies every week. I told him that if he wanted more pies, I would teach him to make them. He said, “Great!”and, lo and behold, my little pie maker was born. He took to it like a duck to water and has been the family pie maker for twenty-odd years, and some of those years were really odd! Mind you, this was before Pillsbury’s All Ready Pie Crusts were available and pronounced “Good enough” by my mother who was the original pie expert in the family. As a professional cook, she had plenty of experience making pies. For the last ten years or so we have used, nearly exclusively, the refrigerated prepared Pillsbury pie dough from the grocery.

The pie most often repared in our house would be butterscotch pie, the recipe for which I published a few weeks ago. After that would be a chocolate cream pie or vanilla cream pie.

Naturally, we make apple pies when we can get great Jonathan apples, the apple of our eye for pie baking. Last year, we had a little production line going with my daughter and Mac and I peeling about 10 pounds of apples and baking as many pies as we had pie pans. I think we managed to make about 5 pies. The apple peeling machine we bought makes peeling and slicing a ton of apples a real snap. It was easy to make so many. We gave some to neighbors and pigged out on the rest. Can’t beat warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream atop.

One of my favorite pies is a Chess Pie. Sweet, creamy and delicious, it is a southern delicacy. There are many variation on the Chess Pie theme but the following is our favorite.


Prepare pastry for 2 single crust pies; don’t bake

1 stick soft butter
3 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 can evaporated milk (14 oz)
1 T. flour
1/2 t. vanilla
pinch salt
Beat well.

Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Store in refrigerator.


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