Citrus Salted Fresh Lime Pie

Ohhh...if I had a lime tree...or a lemon tree...I would be in heaven!  I love citrus and it is in season right now.  I crave it in the Winter.  Grapefruit, lemons, oranges, each is like a burst of sunshine when you break into it.  I love how the oil from the skin bursts into the air when you peel a citrus fruit.  It's smell lingers and permeates my memory, reminding me that there is light and joy even in the darkest Winter nights.

I ran across a recipe for citrus salts from 101cookbooks.  Basically it is any kind of citrus zest mixed with salt, dried and ground to use as a finishing salt.  I see things like this and my mind starts to wander.  I dream about flavor combinations and creative ways to use ingredients like this.  This time my mind settled on lime salt sprinkled over a fresh lime pie.  A little salty-sweet flavor combination to brighten up a snowy afternoon.  Sassy...the only word capable of describing this dessert!

The lime salt is very versatile, you can use it to finish chicken (it's really good over roasted chicken), over an avocado half drizzled with some olive oil, over broiled grapefruit, or in a salad highlighted with citrus fruit.  The ways to use it seem endless.  Orange salt would be fantastic over shortbread or caramels.  The salt seems to be a starting point, there are endless flavors to build around it...have fun with it!

The crust for this pie has ground almonds in it.  It adds some nutty background flavors and a little heftier texture and crunch to the crust.  It makes it extra special.  The filling is creamy and rich.  I used whole eggs, I know a lot of key lime pie recipes call for yolks only, but I like the richness that a whole egg adds.  Plus the girls have started laying again...I am celebrating by using eggs (I haven't had any for about a month).  Whipped cream cools the citrus and the salt makes it just a little like a margarita.  See, I told you...SASSY!

backyard farmgals

You will need to make the citrus salt first.  Visit 101cookbooks here for the recipe. 

5 tbsp butter, melted
1 paper package of graham crackers (to make 1 1/2 cups of crumbs)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (you can use whole, sliced just grind more evenly)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cream
1/8 cup confectioners' sugar (you can use more if you like, I am not a fan of really sweet cream)
1 1/2 - 2 tsp lime citrus salt


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  To make the crust, place the graham crackers and almonds in a food processor and pulse until the crackers and almonds are ground.  Add the butter to the mixture while pulsing continuing to pulse until the butter is incorporated.  

Press mixture down into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure to press up the sides.  Bake for 7 minutes in the oven, until just barely browned.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  

Reduce heat to 325ºF.  In a medium bowl, combine the milk, juice, zest and eggs.  Whisk to combine.  Pour into prepared pie crust and bake in oven for 25 minutes, until just set.  Remove from oven, allow to cool and then place in the refrigerator to chill for about 3 hours.  

When ready to serve, beat cream and sugar until soft peaks form.  Pipe onto edges of pie.  Sprinkle the lime citrus salt over the pie and serve.


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