Various versions of key lime pie have been found to be exceptionally good while others should be classified as lemons.
For years, key lime pie aficionados have hunted for the best version of this dessert. If a trip to the source (Key West) was not on the travel horizon, any restaurant and bake shop across the country that featured key lime pie became a target as a test case.
For this article, slices of key lime pie were tested in New York City and surrounding suburbs, the New England states, Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, California and elsewhere. Pies were tried even in Florida’s major cities, including Tampa, Orlando and Miami after the dessert was designated the official pie of Florida.
The conclusion of the employed taste buds was that authentic key lime pie cannot be found outside of Key West unless the ingredients include authentic key lime juice. Regular limes just don’t work as a substitute.
The closest version to the original, which, for research purposes only, was sampled in abundance in Key West, can be found on the dessert menu at the many locations of Morton’s The Steakhouse. Morton’s has published its recipe, but the inclusion of authentic key limes could not be verified by taste testers or pie researchers.
Kermit’s Of Key West
The gold star for best authentic key lime pie is awarded to Kermit’s in Key West. Not only does Kermit’s provide pies a’plenty at the main store at 200 Elizabeth Street, but the staff answers any and every possible question about enjoying and creating a key lime pie. They ensure that anyone can prepare the pie the same delicious way as Kermit’s by using Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Juice.
Bottles of the juice can be purchased in the shop or ordered over the internet. Each 16- fluid-ounce bottle has enough juice for four pies. If the pies are made intermittently rather than all at once, any remaining key lime juice can be frozen for later use.
Kermit’s even publishes its prized key lime pie recipe right on the bottle.
- One nine-inch graham cracker pie crust
- Two 14 ounces of canned sweetened condensed milk
- Six egg yolks (whites can be saved to make optional meringue, but this is not the traditional way to make Kermit’s pie)
- One-half cup Kermit’s key lime juice
Directions: Blend milk and egg yolks at low speed until smooth. Add key lime juice and finish blending. Pour into pie crust and bake in preheated 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before refrigerating. Serve cold and topped with fresh whipped cream.
To key lime pie devotees, a bottle of Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Juice is classified as nectar of the gods. The label also provides all the necessary endorsements needed by any key lime pie lover: “For pie that dances on your tongue” and “It doesn’t get anymore authentic.”
Enough talk! Now, please pass a slice of Kermit’s key lime pie!