You may recall that I make the best lime pie in Texas. That’s still true, but it turns out that there was ever so little room for improvement. You see, there are graham crackers and there are graham crackers, and short of making your own nothing beats these gluten-free graham crackers. I swear, I’m never buying the regular ones again. These taste rich and nutty (despite being nut free) and when made into a crust the crumbs actually form a pliable dough instead of a thick sandy mess. They’re delightful. The only fault I can find with them is that they come in small crackers instead of large sheets, which might make them more difficult to use for s’mores.
But I digress. We were talking about pie. About tweaking my favorite lime pie for the summery taste of cherry limeade. About adding cherry limeade to the whipped cream for a double dose of sour flavor. And most of all about ignoring the whole idea of bikini season. Thank goodness Mr. B and I are almost always the only ones using the apartment pool!
Ingredients (makes 1 pie, or 8-12 servings depending on how gluttonous your friends are.)
For the crust:
1 package S’moreables or 9 regular graham crackers
5 T butter, melted
3 T granulated sugar (or brown sugar. That’s even better.)
For the filling:
6 egg yolks
1 14-oz can of condensed milk
zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup lime juice (from about 5-6 limes)*
1/2 cup sour cherry juice**
For the topping:
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 T sour cherry juice
1 T lime juice
3-4 T granulated sugar
slice of lime, for garnish
*I’d like to make a brief note on shopping for limes. The yellower they are, the more flavorful the zest will be. Most people try to buy the most uniformly green limes. Not me! I go for yellow, mottled, and preferably not rock-hard. These will yield more juice.
**Even though sour cherries are in season right now, I could not find them at either of the farmer’s markets or any of the four grocery store chains I looked in. So I bought a can of sour cherries and used the liquid from the can. If you go this route, it’s important to look carefully at the ingredients of the canned fruit. You want to see cherries and water. Any sweetener will translate to an overly sweet pie filling. We want sour here, folks. Use your own discretion when it comes to preservatives. Some of them affect taste, others don’t.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Add the sugar and salt.
Stir the dry ingredients together.
Add melted butter and stir with a fork until combined. Press the crust into a pie tin and bake for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk together yolks, zest, and condensed milk. Remember, order of operations does matter here! Add the citrus to eggs without the condensed milk, and you will chemically cook the eggs. It’s not so good.
Now you can safely add the lime and cherry juice. I won’t begrudge you a bit of red food coloring or grenadine here, but I get a little weirded out by artificially colored foods. But then, I eat Cheetos, so maybe I’m just a hypocrite.
Pour the filling into the crust.
Set aside some extra cherry-lime juice and a slice of lime for later and put the pie back in the 350°F oven for 20-ish minutes.
The pie is done when the center jiggles a bit when shaken but no longer sloshes.
Chill the pie at least two hours or overnight. Shortly before serving, make the cherry-lime whipped cream. Just whip all the ingredients at high speed until it’s thick and fluffy.
Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie, daubing with the back of a spoon for a mottled effect. To make a lime flourish, slice from the center to the edge of a slice of lime, and pull the wings in opposite directions. It looks a just a little fancy, but isn’t any extra effort.
Enjoy with a cold glass of cherry limeade. Embrace the sour!