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Key Limes are a bit smaller, on average, than your standard lime, and contribute a rather unique flavor to this pie. If you can't find key limes, you may substitute regular limes, but there's a good reason you always hear about "Key Lime Pie" and never hear about regular "Lime Pie".

Key Lime Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie


First, the pie crust. In a bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Then press the mixture into a lightly buttered, 9-inch pie pan. Toss the crust in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for eight to ten minutes, so that the crust is very lightly browned and crisp. Take it out of the oven to cool, then toss it in the fridge.

Now for the filling. In the top of a double-boiler, mix the egg yolks, ½ cup of sugar, and milk. Place over simmering hot water, being sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the boiler-pan. Stir contantly for about ten to fifteen minutes until a loose, frothy custard sauce is formed. It should be able to coat a spoon. Take it off the heat.

In a separate bowl, mix together the gelatin, lime juice, and lime rind. Let it sit for one or two minutes so that it can "soften", then add it to the warm custard. Put it back on the heat, and stir it constantly for about a minute. Take the custard off the heat and let it cool.

While it's cooling, grab another bowl whip up the cream into soft but firm peaks, until it about doubles in volume. Set it aside.

In a stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Continue beating, and add ½ cup of sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Stop beating when firm, satin-y peaks are formed, and if you have any left over sugar, lightly fold it in.

By this time, the custard should have cooled nicely and reached the consistency of loosely whipped cream. If not, put the custard bowl in a bath of ice water, stirring it until it's evenly thickened. Be careful not to get it too thick, or you'll have to re-warm it again.

Fold the two cups of whipped cream, about ¼ of the amount at a time. Do the same with the egg whites. Pour the filling into the chilled pie crust, then put it back in the refrigerator until firm.

Once it's done chilling, whip up the remaining cream and sugar with the vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread the vanilla cream over the pie, making a sort of mound in the middle for aesthetic's sake. Garnish with lime twists, and serve.