California Farmers Market Lime Pie

I went to the Torrance Certified California Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  The colors of California’s Spring bounty were breathtaking.  The sweet carrots were in a rainbow of colors: purple, orange, yellow and white.  The daikon radishes were bursting out of their opalescent skins just ready to be sliced up, salted and accompanied by an ice cold artisan-brewed Firestone Beer. The market’s horticulturalist was busy assisting his patrons to pick out their seedlings.  It seems as though everyone was motivated to begin their vegetable gardens in anticipation of warmer days to come. Another great thing to see was how many shoppers rode their bikes to the market.  It was a cheerful sight seeing their bicycle baskets overflowing with carrot tops and fresh lilacs. This mode of transportation seems to be a growing healthy trend.

Mr. Ha was there with his crispy apples from Hong’s Organic Apple Farm in Tehachapi. He still has some of his most flavorful varietals available.  It’s almost heartbreaking to know that soon these apples will be sold out — but comforting to know that we can then embark on enjoying California stone fruit such as cherries, nectarines, plums, apricots and peaches.

The crucifers are still in color, flavor and form as well as the citrus in it’s glory.  I bought twelve limes for my California Lime Pie which is very similar to a Key Lime Pie.  You could actually use this recipe with any citrus to make a California Citrus Pie too. This recipe makes 2 – 9 inch pies.  I top one with the Sour Creme Topping and one with meringue. :

My California Lime Pie Recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Basic Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

Prepare the basic graham cracker crust by using a fork to blend together the crumbs, sugar and softened butter and press into pie pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes to lightly toast so crust does not become soggy from filling. Let cool to room temperature before putting in pie filling.

Lime Pie filling:

1 cup lime juice

Zest of 6 limes

2 – 14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk

5 eggs

Whisk the following ingredients together and pour into prepared pie crust. Lower heat in oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15 minutes. Thoroughly chill pies before topping with sour creme or meringue topping.

Sour Creme Topping: Combine the following ingredients and chill to firm before topping, firmly chilled pie.

16 ounces Sour Creme

4 Tablespoons Confectioners Sugar

Zest of 3 limes

Meringue Topping:

6 egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer on the stovetop.  Place egg whites, granulated sugar, and salt in a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and whisk briskly until the mixture is barely warm; this takes about 1 minute.  Remove from heat use your stand mixer with whisk attachment on high or your hand mixer with whisk attachment and beat until stiff peaks form; this takes about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Peaks should be glossy.  Spread over pie from center to the edges of crust and make it as high and dramatic as you like.  Turn on broiler and place the pie under broiler and don’t leave it for a second!  Carefully rotate pie to create golden peaks. Chill about 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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