Always Time For Pie!

For Mother’s Day a few weeks ago, I continued my tradition of making gifts for those close to me. This year, I decided to make my mother’s favorite pie- key lime pie. I also decided to experiment and make a pineapple crumble pie using the pie crust recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. I chose this recipe because it claims to be the flakiest pie crust, and it didn’t disappoint. I don’t have a food processor, so I strayed a little from the directions. It still turned out well, but you should try following the directions as closely as possible. While cooking is experimental where you can taste and adjust, baking is a science.

Key Lime Pie with Graham Cracker Crust:


For the Crust:


  • 1 1/2 cup Graham crackers crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons Butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 1/2 cup Sugar

For the Pie filling:


  • 1 cup Key Lime or regular Lime Juice (whichever is available)
  • 1/4 cup Key Lime or regular Lime zest
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands (hopefully they are clean…). Press the mixture firmly into a greased 9-inch pie pan, and bake until golden brown, about 20 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.                 image
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest and eggs. Whisk until well blended and pour the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for a least 2 hours.

Super simple recipe, but it is always a crowd favorite. When zesting the limes, be careful not zest the white pith; it will make the pie too bitter. Here is an example of a lime compared to a key lime:



Pineapple Crumble Pie:


For the pie crust (makes one 9 inch pie crust):


  • 1 1/4 cup unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 6 tablespoon cold unsalted Butter (3/4 stick), cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chilled solid Vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold Vodka
  • 2 tablespoons cold Water

For the pie filling:


  • 3 1/4 pounds Pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 2/3 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted

For the streusel topping:


  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubed

For the crust:

  1. Process 3/4 cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. I did not have a food processor for making this pie dough, so I used an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment. This worked for the most part, except it made the dough very moist, especially when I added the liquid in step two. My solution was to add more flour as I kneaded the dough, until it stopped sticking to my hands.                                    image
  2. Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes. image
  3. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around clockwise, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute dough (see picture)                                                               pie_crust_flute_310          or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes. image

For the pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree
  2. Mix together all filling ingredients and put into the pie crust. image
  3. Mix together all of the streusel topping and sprinkle over the top of the pie.image
  4. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and the apples are fully cooked. Cover with foil if browning too fast.
  5. Let cool and enjoy it on its own or with ice cream (a coconut milk ice cream would go perfectly with this pie).