Lessons from “Dexter” on key lime pie

In season 3, a longtime family friend from the police department, Camilla, lies on her deathbed. One of her last requests is for Dexter to find her the perfect key lime pie.

Lately, I’ve learned many lessons about  key lime pie–not just from this season of Dexter, but also from my major key lime pie failure late last year, when I liberally added more key lime juice than the recipe called for. I’d forgotten the cardinal rule of baking: FOLLOW THE RECIPE. I wanted the filling to be more tart, but the acidity of the lime juice meant that the pie filling never set in the oven!

A few other things to note about key lime pie:

  • An”authentic” key lime pie uses condensed milk, not fresh, due to lack of refrigeration in the Keys way back when.
  • Key lime pie filling should look yellow, like real key lime juice plus the egg yolks. Some key lime pies add green food coloring.
  • It should be topped with meringue made from the leftover egg whites, but more often these days it’s topped with whipped cream.

Click on the photo for a cream-topped recipe. (Not sure if Camilla would have griped about lime zest in hers.)

There are tons of no-cook key lime pie recipes out there, but I might get too distracted by the thought of eating frozen egg yolks to enjoy it as much.

One final note: if you’re a big key lime pie fan, Pie V. Cake highly recommends the one from Ray’s the Steaks near Court House metro.

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