Mangrove Mama’s Original Key Lime Pie

National Key Lime Pie Day is Sept. 26th
Key Lime Pie steps

It seems every Floridian has a recipe for Key Lime Pie, so The Miami Herald combed the Keys in a 2-week taste test of restaurants serving Key Lime Pie. They reported that 674 restaurants they visited in the keys served it. Their No.1 pie came from Mangrove Mama’s on Sugarloaf Key, from proprietor Rose Orzo. Note that Key Lime Pie is supposed to be yellow, not green as some Yankees might have thought.

Here is the winning recipe:

Two crusts:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine, melted
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients and pat into two 9-inch pie shells, making sure to cover sides of pan.

Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 10 minutes. Watch closely. "If you can smell it, it's too far gone, and you have to start all over," said Kelly. In other words, do not burn. Set aside and allow to cool.

Filling for two pies:

  • 8 egg yolks, large-size eggs, separated
  • 3 10-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated milk)
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh Key lime juice
  • Unsweetened whipped cream (for garnish)

Separate eggs and beat yolks in a food processor or hand mixer. Kelly estimates you'll beat about 2 minutes, but says to stop if yolks are becoming whipped. Blend condensed milk into egg yolks, then add juice to egg-and-milk mixture, mix well for about a minute and a half and pour into prepared pie shells. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving to set and for "cutability." Top with fresh whipped cream. Serves 16.

Nutritional information per serving: 323 calories; 7 grams protein; 44 grams carbohydrate; 14 grams fat; 38 percent of calories as fat; no fiber; 125 milligrams cholesterol; 228 milligrams sodium.

Note: In Tokyo, a bottle of key lime juice can be bought at Miuraya for ¥1200, and sweetened condensed milk and ready-made pie crusts can be bought at Kinokuniya grocery.