Initially, it was the title that grabbed me.
“The Lime Pie That Saved Us”
Sounds like something I could use right now …
This is how Nicole Rucker, founder and owner of Fiona and Rucker’s Pie in Los Angeles explains the name in her cookbook “Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers” (Penguin Random House, $32)
“I opened my restaurant Fiona the week of Thanksgiving 2018,” she wrote in her book. “We became a destination for pie immediately, which was wonderful for us. But after the holiday was behind us things began to slow down a lot.
We put this lime pie on the menu out of desperation – we needed an easy pie that held well in the fridge …”
Yes, it is easy to make. And yes, it holds up in the fridge – great when you want a delicious dessert that you can prepare in advance!
The filling is vibrant, those frisky fresh limes shine through. The filling is made with just 4 ingredients, and it goes together very quickly. Easy, right?
The topping pairs heavy cream whipped with sour cream. It is a topic for dinner table debate. My daughter Alexis, raised to voice food opinions from an early age, prefers a topping made with heavy cream whipped with powdered sugar; she likes the contrast between sweet and sour that the sweetened cream creates.
My garnish? Well, my kumquat tree is full of fruit. So I sliced them, plucking out any seeds, and used them to form a left hand arch atop the pie, along with some fresh mint leaves, thin slices of fresh lime and strawberry blossoms.
THE LIME PIE THAT SAVED US
Yield: one 9-inch pie
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt (if you use salted butter, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly grated lime zest (colored portion only)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 4 to 6 limes
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chilled sour cream
Cook’s notes: I’ve always designated pie pans as either 9-inch or 10-inch. In her cookbook, Rucker calls for a 9 1/2-inch pie pan. I used a 9-inch pie pan and it worked beautifully.
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter in a mixing bowl and mix until moist crumbs form. Transfer to 9-inch pie pan and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow the crust to cool completely. Leave oven on.
2. Combine condensed milk, yolks, zest and juice in large mixing bowl (or bowl of an electric mixer). Whisk (or mix) until egg yolks are incorporated and zest is speckled throughout the mixture. Place filling in pie shell. Bake until the filling is set at the edges and the center wobbles slightly when touched, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 2 hours.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine heavy cream and sour cream. Beat on medium speed until soft but defined peaks form, about 3 minutes.
4. Pile the cream on top of the pie and swirl and swoosh it to your liking. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving OR refrigerate up to 3 days.
Source: adapted from “Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers” by Nicole Rucker (Penguin Random House, $32)