Since You Asked: Key lime juice fine for pies

Can you use Key lime juice for Key lime pie instead of having to juice those tiny limes? Besides size, what's the difference between Key limes and regular limes?

— Mary S., Talent

Yes, you can use bottled Key lime juice for pie. Look for it in stores' juice or alcoholic-beverage aisles.

Key limes, also known as Mexican limes, are a bit more tart than regular limes (called Persian limes) About the size of a golf ball, the Key lime has a smooth, thin skin. Limes are available year-round, but stores don't always stock Key limes. It takes about a half-pound of them to get enough juice for one pie.

Get more juice from limes and lemons by microwaving them for 20 seconds or by rolling them under your palm on the countertop. As you press down, the segments break down, releasing more juice. Or poke the segments with a fork.

With the recent death of author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron have come tributes to the Key lime pie, highlighted in her best-selling novel "Heartburn." Here's her recipe.


Nora Ephron's Key Lime Pie

Have ready a prebaked, cooled, 9-inch graham-cracker crust.

In a medium, heatproof bowl, whisk six large egg yolks and 1 cup freshly squeezed Key lime juice. Set bowl over simmering water and cook, whisking continuously until mixture is foamy and registers 160 F on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes.

Remove bowl from heat, and whisk in two (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon grated Key lime zest until well-combined. Pour into pie shell, smooth top and freeze until firm, about 3 hours.

Remove pie from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream.


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