They say key lime pie originated in Key West some time toward the end of the 1800s. As the story goes, one William Curry, a prominent Key West resident and Bahamian-born immigrant who became Florida's first millionaire, had a cook called "Aunt Sally" who concocted the first pie from key limes. I don't know if this story is true, but it is widely repeated. Regardless, it is an icon since. This recipe is from Jim Brush, owner of Key West Key Lime Pie Co.
8 ounces graham crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
16 ounces heavy whipping cream, very cold
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh diced pineapple (about the size of a pea), juice drained
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
4 ounces Key lime juice (not Persian lime or lemon)
1/4 cup coconut chips, toasted, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust:
Combine the graham crumbs, butter, honey, and brown sugar in a bowl. Do not over mix as it will make the crust tough.
Evenly spread the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie tin or glass pie dish. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and let rest.
For the filling:
Combine the cold whipping cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla and whip, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, until peaks form.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, diced pineapple, shredded coconut, and 4 ounces of the whipped cream mixture in a 6-quart mixing bowl and whisk well. (Place the balance of the whipped cream mixture in the fridge to keep it stiff.) Once well incorporated, slowly add the Key lime juice in intervals, do not add all at once. The juice will have a chemical reaction with the cream, causing it to thicken. Do not over mix as it will break down the mixture, causing it to become runny. The mixture will begin to thicken (you want it thick).
Once the crust has cooled, spoon the pie filling into the center of the crust and spread evenly towards the edges with a pastry knife or the spoon. Place into the fridge for 2 hours to completely set up.
Fill a pastry bag 1/2 way and squeeze dollops of the remaining whipped cream around the border of the cooled pie. Sprinkle coconut chips on top of the whipped cream border. Make a pot of coffee, cut the pie into your desired portion size, and sit down and enjoy!