I saw kids swimming in our pool today. In April.
Granted, I live in North Carolina. “The South.” And I’ve lived in “The South” for the past four years. Virginia. Florida. Texas. You’d think I’d be used to this by now.
What can I say? I’m still a Northern girl at heart. I mean, I can remember years when we hunted Easter eggs in the snow. And no one even thought of jumping in a pool when there was snow on the ground.
Now, being a good Northern girl, I know seasons. Spring. Summer. Winter. Fall. Every year. Like clockwork.
The South? Not so much.
Down here, they do things a little differently. Summer. Unbearably hot summer. Slightly cooler summer. Glimmer of spring….and right into summer again.
That glimmer of spring happened a week or two ago, and now we’re officially into summer. Hence the kids in the pool.
So, in an effort to mentally kick myself into summer, I made a key lime pie. Because nothing screams “sunshine and sandy beaches” more than key lime pie.
No summer lovin’ in your little part of the world yet? No worries. You can still enjoy a key lime pie. After all, there’s no rule against eating key lime pie in the spring. Or even in the winter, if you’re one of the unfortunate Northerners who have been blessed with particularly bleak weather.
So dig out your flip flops, swipe on some SPF 45, turn up the Beach Boys, and dig in.
If you need me, I’ll be working on my tan by the pool. Who says I can’t embrace summer in April?
Key Lime Pie
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Active time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour (plus chilling time)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter), melted
2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
2 whole eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan (or tart pan), and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Once chilled, whip cream in the bowl of your stand mixer until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat or cream will become lumpy. Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of the pie. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the pie. Serve chilled.