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RECIPES: Happy Anniversary Key Lime Pie (so freakin’ easy!)

We got married 15 years ago down in Key West, Florida. It was October 6th, 2000 and two hurricanes converged on South Florida that very week. The streets were flooded when we drove from the airport to our hotel and the power went out when we met with our photographer. The skies miraculously cleared the day we said “I do” though, in a tiny garden next to Ernest Hemingway’s house. It was a brisk 98 degrees with approximately 400% humidity and we glowed with joy and perspiration. The ceremony was quiet and happy, and we could hear the free-roaming roosters Key West is famous for cockle-dooing the whole time. It was sweaty, strange perfection and I wouldn’t change a moment of that day.

One year I will attempt Coq Au Vin as an anniversary treat but for Magic Number 15, I went with Key Lime Pie. This recipe comes from my Aunt Betty…I think. My Stepfather gave it to me, but I’m pretty sure he got it from my Aunt and she will be none-too-pleased if I don’t give credit where it is due. Plus, this pie is so simple and delicious that SOMEONE deserves props for it. This is what you’ll need and get ready because you’re making a homemade crust too. Don’t freak out because it is also super easy.

CRUST:
1 bag Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux Cookies
¾ Stick of Butter (melted)
¼ C of Sugar

Put the whole bag of cookies into a food processor and pulse until it’s reduced to small crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar and stir well. Press it into a 9-inch pie plate and don’t worry. It will seem thin but the crust holds up pretty well. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-8 minutes, and then cool. My Aunt also recommends sprinkling a little cinnamon and sugar on the pie before baking it.

FILLING:
1 8oz. Package of Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 5oz. Can Evaporated Milk (Minus 1T!)
½ C Key Lime Juice

Beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy, then add the sweetened condensed milk. Beat in the evaporated milk and don’t forget to take out 1 tablespoon first! Then add the key lime juice but this is where it gets a little tricky. My Stepdad says that you HAVE to use “Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Key Lime Juice” but I couldn’t find it in Dallas. I used “Mrs. Biddle’s Key West Key Lime Juice” which I thought was just fine. You could probably just use fresh squeezed key lime juice in a pinch too but definitely look for the others first. Once all of it is properly incorporated, pour it into your prepared pie shell and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. Then cut a big piece, dump some whipped cream on top and you’re good to go! It’s way easier than cooking a rooster in red-wine all day, plus it’d be a pain to chase that thing around the Hemingway House.
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