Sunday, March 21, 2010

Joe's Stone Crabs... Key Lime Pie

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Joe's Stone Crabs is a Miami Beach institution and the biggest tourist trap I have ever eaten at.  Don't get me wrong, the stone crabs are delicious and so are the hash browns, cole slaw and their key lime pie.  Their rolls are to die for, particularly the black ones with onions, and their wine list pretty extensive.  What is terrible, is the service, the 2 hour wait if you are not willing to "grease" the maitre'd  so you can get ahead of those in line, the rush to get you out, and the loudness of the place.  By the time you are finished, not only are you boiling at the outrageous cost of the meal, you can't wait to get the hell out of the place, always swearing you'll never come back, not even on a bet.  What most tourists don't know is that Joe's has a takeout next door, where you can get the same crabs and everything else, including the rolls. Same price, but at least you avoid the wait and the frustration.

When I lived in Miami, this is what I did initially when I craved stone crabs: Have someone pick them up at Joe's takeout, come back to my place where the view was outstanding, open one of my bottles of Puligny Montrachet and enjoy them on my terrace without the hustle and bustle.  Believe me, there were a lot of takers for this proposition! As time passed, I discovered other places where you could buy the stone crabs much cheaper and sometimes even fresher.  The recipe for their pie I had and my hash browns would give Joe's a run for his money.  The black rolls with onions was something I could never duplicate and driving down to Joe's was not an option, definitely not for rolls!

As with everything in life, you never know what you have until you loose it and now I'm sitting here with a tremendous craving for stone crabs and key lime pie;.but I refuse to fork out the exorbitant price I will have to pay to have Joe's send them FedEx.  What I can do, though, is bake their key lime pie which, I'm sure, will only enhance my craving for stone crabs even more, but I'm looking for other suppliers and who knows, maybe an excuse to have them shipped and celebrate.  What, I have yet to determine...maybe the first day of Spring!

Don't worry if you can't find key limes, this pie is just as good with regular limes.  When you do find them later on in the year, at least try to mix some in. 

Key Lime Pie

Makes 1 9-inch pie


Graham Cracker Crust

1 wax paper-wrapped package graham crackers (1/3 of a pound box)
1 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp graham cracker crumbs
5 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar


3 Egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp Grated zest of 2 limes
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice


1 cup heavy or whipped cream, chilled
1 tbsp confectioners sugar


For the graham cracker crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process to crumbs. (If you don't have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and then crush the crackers with a rolling pin.) Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

For the filing:

Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

For the topping:

Whip the cream and the confectioners' sugar until nearly stiff. Cut the pie in wedges and serve very cold, topping each wedge with a large dollop of whipped cream.

1 comment:

  1. I love key lime pie! And it seems the perfect dessert for spring!


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