Key lime pie is one of America's most popular classic sweet pies. As its name suggests, one of the main flavours and key ingredients in this dessert, is the lime, in particular those that grow abundantly in the Florida Keys region.
Key lime pie, which can be made with either a shortcrust
pastry shell or a crushed biscuit base, was invented just before the turn of the 20th century. However, the first recorded recipe for the pie was in 1930.
During this time, fresh milk was not readily available and modern refrigerated delivery transport was not yet in use either, and so to make the filling, sweet canned milk was employed, another of the pie's main ingredients.
The Key lime is smaller in size than the common Persian lime that we usually use in our cooking, and its juice is more of a pale yellow colour than green. It is however, slightly more acidic than the Persian lime, which is mild and slightly sweet in flavour.
If you are unable to obtain fresh Key limes for your recipe, try using bottled Key lime juice instead. This can be found in many supermarkets in the US and it is a more than adequate substitute for the fresh fruit.