LIME PIE IS SO GOOD

14 Mar

Pi day is almost over and I almost didn’t post!  Nothing exciting mathematically for this quick post; just a RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS AND EASY LIME PIE.  If you buy a graham cracker crust, it has THREE INGREDIENTS.  If you don’t, it has five!

Fun and cutely embarrassing fact: when I was in high school, my best friend and I would come up with codenames for our crushes- hers were a series of colors, and mine was a series of fruits.  Also, how we became best friends is I “stole” her “boyfriend” (we were 14), whom we later dubbed “orange” because it’s the only color which is also a fruit.  Anyways, I saved lime for a really serious one, because it was at the time my favorite flavor.  In fact I think “lime” never got assigned to anyone.  I wish I could go back to my teenage self and ask her if this guy I married is worthy of the “lime” title (hopefully she’d say yes!  I’d say I think he is, but it’s now unclear to me how good the title is.  In any case I like my husband a lot, but maybe not as much as I loved small green fruits when I was 15).

How pi-tiful would it be if I missed a pi(e) day post?

How pi-tiful would it be if I missed a pi(e) day post?

The not-secret ingredient behind lime pie is a can of sweetened condensed milk- this is also the not-secret ingredient behind Vietnamese iced coffee.  You too can make ca phe sua da or ca phe sua nong at home: pour some sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a glass, add some espresso/very strong coffee, then add ice cubes or some hot water.  Stir.  I used to squeeze sweetened condensed milk over bread pudding as a sort of creme anglaise substitute.  Also, shaved ice + freshly cut chilled fruit + pour over some sweetened condensed milk = DELICIOUS.  And of course you need sweetened condensed milk for magic bars, which I will make and blog someday.  Just thinking about sweetened condensed milk is making me happy right now.

You may notice that this is not a key lime pie.  Key limes are small.  This pie would require juicing 20 or so key limes.  There are four limes in the picture above.  I am fairly lazy. You do the math.  (This is funny because there’s no math to be done here, besides maybe realizing the inequality 4<20.  However, in my meeting with my advisor a few weeks ago he told me that the key point that I had missed somewhere was the fact that 4/3 of three is less than five.  So there is math!  Or something something about me.)

This was my first graham cracker crust, and my friend actually made it (this may be the second time I’ve made a pie with someone.  First time was also in high school, with a friend who coincidentally shared my last name– we made a beautiful apple pie.  She showed me her secret of leaving the apple slices in a bowl of water to keep them from turning brown.)  We microwaved a stick of butter, crushed a bunch of graham crackers in a plastic bag, and mixed the two with a pinch of salt right in the pan.

I feel like graham crackers look much better than they taste- a fool's gold of cookies.  Just like pie, right?  (according to this slate article: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2011/06/pie.html)  [This is a pun on pyrite]

I feel like graham crackers look much better than they taste- a fool’s gold of cookies. Just like pie, right? (according to this slate article: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2011/06/pie.html) [This is a pun on pyrite]

I didn’t realize graham cracker crusts were so easy!  To make it a bit prettier you can tamp it down with a measuring cup or anything flat.  Then bake it while you make the filling.

If you code in Pi-thon instead of Python, what comPiler should you use? (consultant on this pun: husband)

If you code in Pi-thon instead of Python, what comPiler should you use? (consultant on this pun: husband, programmer extraordinaire)

Step one of filling is zesting the lemons.  If you don’t have a microplane grater yet, I highly highly recommend buying one.  This is one of very few kitchen tools I’ve bought (rolling pin?  Why not a wine bottle? Any other gadget?  Why not a knife?).  Also, think about how long this would take if you used 20 key limes instead of four normal limes.

I wonder if anyone has analyzed the horoscope data of people who are really good at memorizing digits of pi.  Are there more Pisces and ScorPios?  Are Capricorns pretty good, but more likely to accidentally throw in some other digit?

I wonder if anyone has analyzed the horoscope data of people who are really good at memorizing digits of pi. Are there more Pisces and ScorPios? Are Capricorns pretty good, but more likely to accidentally throw in some other digit?

Next, toss in some egg yolks.  You could of course use the whole eggs, but yolks make things more custardy/rich and they’re what I used.  Then I had egg whites for breakfast (you could also use the opportunity to make pavlova, the best thing I’ve ever made).  I used my stand mixer and mixed that up really well, til pretty light.  You could also just use a fork/whisk and a bowl for this recipe, but I do think that using a beater makes the texture super smooth.

I wonder if I can make it through this whole post only doing Pi jokes.  No reason in pi-ticular.  Just kidding, it's Pi Day!

I wonder if I can make it through this whole post only doing Pi jokes. No reason in pi-ticular. Just kidding, it’s Pi Day!

Now add in your can of sweetened condensed milk and beat that too.

Speaking of memorizing digits of pi, I'm horrible at it.  I was pretty bad at P.E. as a kid, but I'm even worse at Pi E.

Speaking of memorizing digits of pi, I’m horrible at it. I was pretty bad at P.E. as a kid, but I’m even worse at Pi E.

I guess I should add "memorizing digits of pi" to the big Pi-le of things I'm bad at (also, editing out weak puns is in this pi-le)

I guess I should add “memorizing digits of pi” to the big Pi-le of things I’m bad at (also, editing out weak puns is in this pi-le)

Ugh I’m using my husband’s stupid little computer and I accidentally published this post here.  Sorry!  Updating as fast as I can to finish it.

Finally, juice those four limes (or 20 key limes) and toss that in to the filling, and mix.  I have some asides about recipes here: generally, key lime pie recipes I found listed graham crackers and lime juice using cups as units of measure: so 1 1/2 c of crushed graham crackers and 2/3 c of lime juice.  The lime juice I understand, because limes come in different sizes/might be juicier or less juicy, and you want recipes to be repeatable.  But aren’t all graham crackers the same size?  Every time you crush X number of graham crackers, you should get 1.5 c of crumbs.  I’m just saying as an amateur graham cracker crust maker, I did not know how many graham crackers to use.

Pour your filling into your parbaked crust (it’s been in the oven for about ten minutes by the way, unless you’re really slow at juicing limes in which case maybe you took it out after ten minutes), and bake for another ten minutes until it looks not jiggly.

I've gotten myself into quite a mess.  I should've brainstormed pi puns ahead of time, then selectively chosen from the list.  Then I'd be out of this pickle by my pi-culling.

I’ve gotten myself into quite a mess. I should’ve brainstormed pi puns ahead of time, then selectively chosen from the list. Then I’d be out of this pickle by my pi-culling.

I want Weird Al to make a parody of that N Sync song, from the point of view of the White and Nerdy.  ("Yo I know Pi to a thousand places") It'd clearly be called "Pi Pi Pi"

I want Weird Al to make a parody of that N Sync song, from the point of view of the White and Nerdy. (“Yo I know Pi to a thousand places”) It’d clearly be called “Pi Pi Pi”

We let this cool for a little bit, then stuck it in the freezer because we wanted to eat it.  You could also put freshly whipped cream on top if you wanted.  But it’s great on its own, and is SO EASY.  We literally went from “hey, do you want to make a pie?” to eating a pie in one hour, which includes the 15-20 minutes of freezer time.

If the singer of "Party in the USA" had been really into saying digits of the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle as a kid, would she be called Piley Cyrus?  (instead of Miley, which is short of Smiley, rather than her given name.  Thank you wikipedia)

If the singer of “Party in the USA” had been really into saying digits of the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle as a kid, would she be called Piley Cyrus? (instead of Miley, which is short of Smiley, rather than her given name. Thank you wikipedia)

SO GOOD.  SO EASY.  SO GLAD THIS POST IS DONE SO I DON’T HAVE TO KEEP COMING UP WITH PI PUNS.

IMG_20150309_204445224IMG_20150309_204432563

Lime pie (adapted from the ever-amazing smitten kitchen)

1 sleeve of graham crackers

1 stick of butter (1/2 c)

Pinch salt

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

4 limes or 20 key limes

3 egg yolks (or eggs)

Crush the graham crackers (we stuck them in a plastic bag then pulverized with a bottle, but a rolling pin or something would work well too).  Melt the butter.  Mix the graham crackers and salt in a pie pan, then pour over the melted butter and mix.  Tamp down into a crust.  Bake at 350 while you make filling (set timer to ten minutes to be safe).

Beat the egg yolks with the zest of the limes for several (5 per SK) minutes.  Meanwhile, juice the limes.  Then add sweetened condensed milk and beat more (3 minutes per SK).  Stir in lime juice.  Pour into parbaked pie crust.  Bake for another ten minutes.

Let cool completely, then chill.  Then eat.

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8 Responses to “LIME PIE IS SO GOOD”

  1. bf March 15, 2015 at 5:39 am #

    There are no Graham crackers where I live, so I thought I’d substitute shortcrust pastry (crunchy) or Tortenboden (soft). Maybe the first?

    • yenergy March 15, 2015 at 7:32 am #

      Do you have anything like nilla wafers? Something crunchy and not too sweet. Nut cookies or even just nuts should work too

      • bf March 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

        Thank you! I think the lack of crackers is a cultural divide problem. I’m not sure there’s any kind of nuts that all my family members eat, plus I’m lazy and shortcrust is available ready for baking at less than 2$. I think I’ll use that and call it a fusion recipe :).

      • yenergy March 16, 2015 at 10:30 am #

        Let me know how it turns out! I went the opposite way the other day and used a Graham cracker crust instead of pastry for a pudding pie, and it was okay but not great

  2. bf March 16, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    In the end it was even *more* fusion than expected because they didn’t have any lime at the greengrocer’s, so I used lemon (three small ones). The instructions for the shortcrust were “bake 15 minutes if empty, 25 if filled” so I figured out 10 minutes empty and 10 minutes filled would be all right, and it was, if maybe a bit underwhelming.

    But it didn’t really matter, because the top was So. Very. Good. It’s going to be a repeat recipe, and I’m definitely going to make the lime version as well. Thanks and greetings from Italy!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Denis Osin and Mladen Bestvina.  Also, I really need to bake something new.  I’ve made that super easy lime pie a bunch by now; I even made it at this conference with ingredients from a mini-mart.  The limes […]

  2. Cool earrings and the Pythagorean Theorem | Baking and Math - June 4, 2015

    […] note, I need to bake something.  Unfortunately those lime pies from a few months ago were so delicious that every time I feel like baking, I make those pies. […]

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