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I love making key lime pie. I've made it a few times this summer with this very simple and delicious recipe:

  • 1 Container Cool Whip
  • 1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 (or 1/3) C. Lime Juice
  • 1 Graham Cracker Crust

Mix first 3 ingredients, pour into crust and refrigerate at least a few hours before eating.

The first time I made it, I used 1/2 C. lime juice (following the original recipe). I found it a bit too acidic, so I lowered the amount to 1/3 C. the next time and I enjoyed it much better. The first pie's crust got a little too wet after a few days of being refrigerated, but the second pie's crust didn't really get moist at all. I would like the crust to be somewhere in between, but I would like to maintain the amount of lime juice at 1/3 C.

Is there someway I can control how moist the crust gets over a few days of being in the fridge without changing the ingredient amounts/proportions or the fridge's temperature? For instance, something I can do before I pour the mixture into the crust or the temperature of the ingredients?

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Nice simple recipe. I'd call that just a lime pie though. :) –  hobodave Aug 12 '10 at 3:55
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Lol, true true. How many people - at home - get key limes to make "Key Lime Pie", though? –  Chad Aug 12 '10 at 4:16
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I certainly do, whenever I see them on sale at the store! –  Jefromi Aug 12 '10 at 13:27
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can add some baking soda to the original recipe (1/2 c. juice or slightly less). Baking soda is alkaline (or a base if you're a chemist). It will neutralize the acid (source of tartness sensation). THOROUGHLY stir in less than 1/8 teaspoon at a time until the tartness is reduced to the level you wish. Be careful as too much will remove all the tartness and therefore the taste sensation the lime juice adds.

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That sounds like a great idea! I would probably use some amount of lime juice between 1/3 C. and 1/2 C. Will the baking soda affect the texture of the filling or it's ability to gel as it cools? –  Chad Aug 12 '10 at 4:41
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I've found by asking that most people don't bake the graham cracker crust before filling it. This is especially true if we're talking about a pre-made grocery store graham cracker crust.

It needs to be baked and "sealed" in the process and it will stay much firmer and hold up against the moisture longer.

I brush graham cracker crusts with an egg wash and bake for a few minutes until it toasts up a darker brown. The egg wash, when baked on, helps form a decent barrier against the moisture of the pie contents. This has the added benefit of a much better tasting graham cracker crust.

If you aren't used to doing this baking step, you'll probably be surprised how much better the pie turns out. You'll also start noticing how many unbaked graham cracker crusts show up at gatherings as it's immediately obvious the difference once you've seen both.

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I love this idea too and I'll give it a try! –  Chad Aug 12 '10 at 17:11
    
forget texture - baking makes them taste better! FWIW: if you're making the crust from scratch, don't skimp on the butter - not only will it improve the flavor, make it easier to work, and brown nicely while baking, but the sogginess will decrease as well... –  Shog9 Aug 13 '10 at 0:40
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Here's a thought. What about brushing the crust with melted, clarified butter and chilling it for a few minutes first? That might provide a moisture barrier that would prevent it from absorbing so much water from the filling.

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Can I ask why the need for clarified butter? In any case, I like your idea as well! Thanks. –  Chad Aug 12 '10 at 17:13
    
Ah, good question. I suggested clarifying the butter because it will drive the water out of the butter itself, which might otherwise might contribute to sogging the crust. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 13 '10 at 3:56
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