25 – Key Lime Pie à la Joe’s Stone Crab

******************Post was updated 03/05/2015*******************

My Mouth Went to Miami; My Soul Soared to the Heavens. That’s my alternate – though less descriptive – title that I considered at first. Being the technical sort of person that I am – you know, math teacher and all – I needed to stay true to the form of my other titles. I mean, if I weren’t always searching for the best, most technical ways to do things, I probably wouldn’t have ended up with a pie as amazing as the one that just found its way into my stomach.

Chilliwack to Miami
To get my full body to Miami by car, it would take 51 hours of driving (possibly more if that accident on the I-75 outside of Gainesville doesn’t clear up soon). Taking my taste buds to Miami is much faster, and requires a heck of a lot less gas money. (Image via Google Maps)

That pie, or rather, the recipe for it, came from the ultimate source: Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, Florida. I personally knew nothing about this restaurant (yes, it’s a restaurant, not a crab owned by a guy named Joe) until I began searching for Key Lime Pie (KLP) recipes, but apparently it’s quite popular. Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement. According to Wikipedia (a questionable source for a teacher to reference, but okay when they have their blogger hat on), the restaurant pulled in $35.5 million USD in revenue in 2013. In the US, that landed it as second only to Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas. I figured you can’t make that kind of money while serving mediocre KLP so close to its birthplace of Key West, so I settled on their KLP recipe, which they so graciously posted online after having kept it a secret for decades.

Actually, to be honest, I made the pie before knowing just how successful the restaurant actually is. But still, while searching for KLP recipes, the name Joe’s Stone Crab kept popping up all over the place, which was good enough for me.

As always, I’ve blogged too much already without getting to the pictures and actual process, so maybe I should hurry up and get to that. So…

Key Lime Pie 006
Graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. If only every crust were this easy.

Key Lime Pie 008The entire process, this being my first time attempting this recipe, took way longer than it should have – embarrassingly long, in fact. Honestly, it took probably three hours when it should’ve taken one. Triple checking everything – EVERYTHING – definitely didn’t help; attempting flawless presentation also took up more time than it was worth. In the end, though, I was massively pleased with the result. It appears as though my wife, a few of my fortunate coworkers (and actually, two of Mateja’s coworkers as well) were also content with the portions they received.

Key Lime Pie 009
Key Lime Carnage! Working with these guys is the main reason I was so slow. Juicing these things made me think of that scene from Meet the Fockers where Ben Stiller talks about milking a cat – I think the connection I made was between the high amount of time and effort for such little output. If you want lots of lime juice, don’t work with key limes. If you want lots of milk, don’t use a cat.
Key Lime Pie 012
—This misconception that KLP has a naturally-occurring green filling is one that I held until very recently. As you can see, my KitchenAid mixer and my filling are very much different colours.

As for the recipe, the only adaptation that I made was with final presentation. Instead of serving the KLP with dollops of sweetened whipped cream, I applied a thin layer to the entire pie, then garnished with limes, key limes and crumbled graham crackers. This was done partially for presentation sake, and mostly because it would be more convenient for serving at work the next day.

Key Lime Pie 018
Fresh out of the oven. Just in need of a good cool-down and some added touches.
Key Lime Pie 025
Et voila! The finished product, topped with the aforementioned toppings (sweetened whipped cream, slices of lime and key lime, and crumbled graham crackers.
Key Lime Pie 027
I’ve vowed to take more glamour shots of the final product, so here’s hoping I hit that right number between insufficient and excessive…

Key Lime Pie 038

Key Lime Pie 035

Key Lime Pie 044
Last shot. I could have taken more time to dress it up a bit, but I was quickly portioning out slices for initial taste tests for Mateja and I, before quickly packing up what’s left to take to our respective colleagues.

Anyways, thanks for checking out the blog. I’m submitting this as my entry for Fiesta Friday #57 over at The Novice Gardener’s blog, so “Happy Fiesta Friday” to all my fellow bloggers (and readers) taking part, and to all those far and wide who are fortunate enough to be off the next two days, I hope you enjoy a blessed and relaxing weekend.

*****************Update (03/05/2015)**********************************

Due to two different reasons, I’ve decided to add a little update to this post. The first reason being that my wife has a potluck at work tomorrow, and she asked me to make something for her to bring in. Seeing as though mere months ago I would have never imagined her asking me (vice versa, yes, but not this way around), I leapt at the chance to impress her colleagues once again (the first being when a couple of them tried my original KLP).

The second reason being that, thanks to support from friends and family, I feel like I may get a chance to be featured on the upcoming Fiesta Friday over at The Novice Gardener (linked to above). It may be wishful thinking, but just in case it happens, I’ve decided to include a few more pictures for the gardener to choose from.

As you can see from the pictures below, I attempted cupcake key lime pies this time around. I’m sure the ratio of crust to filling to whipped cream varies quite wildly among the two batches I made, but I think they turned out to be quite a success overall. I’m bringing my batch into work unannounced, so I’m sure there won’t be any complaints (who says, “Hey, that free pie you gave me sucked big time, James”?), but I’m hoping their a big hit like the KLP last week.

Now, without further ado, here are my added KLP pics:

Key Lime Cupcakes and Stir Fry 030

Key Lime Cupcakes and Stir Fry 031

Key Lime Cupcakes and Stir Fry 032

Key Lime Cupcakes and Stir Fry 035

Key Lime Cupcakes and Stir Fry 038

 

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17 thoughts on “25 – Key Lime Pie à la Joe’s Stone Crab

  1. My all time favorite summer time dessert and you’ve presented it so beautifully here. Welcome to Fiesta Friday if you are new around these parts? You have a great blog 🙂

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      1. Double welcome then :). I’m fairly new to the blogging scene too. It will be a year in April 🙂 I found that by taking the Blogging 101 that Word Press offer, helped me a great deal. I’ve just signed up for their Photography 101 course too, both absolutely free. I am following you now, so will know what you will be posting. 🙂

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    1. Haha – that’s so nice of you to say. I just popped over to your blog, and I honestly don’t think I’ve found another blog which such interesting writing – loved it.

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