Saturday Snacks: Let’s Make the Key Lime Pie from Olivia’s Cafe!


There are few desserts that tempt me after a good meal like Key lime pie. It's light and bright and packs a punch that I find very hard to say no to. Don't get me wrong; if I'm in the parks in the middle of the afternoon, I'm heading for a hot fudge sundae nine times out of ten. But, after a nice dinner, if someone suggests Key lime pie, I'm in.

On my family's very first Disney cruise, one of the ports that we were slated to visit was Key West. Now, as a family who loves a good snack, please understand that getting a slice of Key lime pie was very high on our list of things to do while in port. In fact, it was the only thing other than walking around and sightseeing that was on our list. We found a shop that sold slices of Key lime pie, and we enjoyed every morsel. And then we found out that frozen, chocolate covered Key lime pie on a stick WAS AN ACTUAL THING. Say what?! Needless to say, we made a beeline for The Blond Giraffe, had the heavenly pie on a stick covered in chocolate, and headed back to the Disney Magic knowing that we had done our due diligence. It was a very good day.

Today's Saturday Snacks recipe hails from Olivia's Cafe, the table service restaurant at Disney's Old Key West Resort. Olivia's is a lovely place that features a creative menu (try the pork chop if it's being offered while you're there), and it, back in the day, featured Key lime pie for dessert. These days, their Key lime dessert is a tart that comes with mango and raspberry sauces. The newer dessert is good, but it's not their classic, straight up Key lime pie.

So, indulge me just a bit as we turn back the clock and turn back to the original recipe for the cafe's Key West classic. It was so very good way back when, and I'm hoping today's results live up to the original. The recipe is found in Chef Mickey's Treasures from the Vault & Delicious New Favorites by Pam Brandon and the Disney Chefs.

The pie doesn't take much to whip up, and when you're needing something ultra-yummy at the beginning of the weekend, needing just a few ingredients is a great thing. If you're hunting down Key lime juice in the grocery store, it was found in the fruit juice aisle in my local store. My hubby did the shopping for it, bless his heart.

Let's jump in. You'll need 5 egg yolks for the pie, and now's the perfect time to go ahead and get the yolks separated from the egg whites. After you have the yolks in a large bowl, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Now gently whisk the egg yolks. I'm not sure that I've ever paid attention to how gently I've whisked something before, but I can definitely say that I have now. The recipe asks us to make sure that the yolks don't foam, so, once bubbles began to form, I backed off.

The next several steps need to be done while constantly stirring, so make sure that your can of sweetened condensed milk is ready to roll, and go ahead and measure out 2/3 of a cup of the Key lime juice.

Alrighty, go ahead and pour in that can of sweetened condensed milk. And keep stirring. I had never tasted condensed milk on its own before, so I stuck a finger in what was left in the can. I'm glad that I did, but I'm not sure I'll be doing that again anytime soon. {Insert unsure, wrinkled nose face here}.

And now, in goes the magic stuff: the Key lime juice. Just keep stirring. And, while you're stirring, dream up a few ways that you could use the half a bottle of Key lime juice that's left over. Hmmm...I might go with the "make another pie" option. It only makes sense.

Once everything's blended, carefully pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust. While we're here, can we all acknowledge how fantastic pre-made graham cracker crusts are? I've made them from scratch in the past, and while they're delicious, the pre-made variety is a-okay in my book.

Let everything settle, and place your pie in the oven. According to the recipe, it'll take 12-15 minutes or so. I pulled my pie out of the oven after 12 minutes since it was nice and set.

Place your pie on a rack so that it can cool down to room temperature, and just dream of that first slice for a moment. Your patience will pay off. Hang in there, my friend.

Once the pie reaches room temp, place it in the fridge to cool completely. Don't think that I didn't pull my pie out of the fridge before it cooled completely just to see if it would pass muster, because you know that I did. And, while I did manage to get a slice out of the pie pan, it wasn't fully chilled and congealed, so back in the pan and back in the fridge the whole thing went.

While I was waiting not-so-patiently for the pie to complete the cooling process, I decided to give making homemade whipped cream a try. While we were making Sanaa's Naan Bread a couple of Saturdays ago, I told you about how I like to make homemade butter using a mason jar, heavy whipping cream (liquid gold, in my opinion), and sea salt. Well, it turns out that before the butter is butter, it's whipping cream without the sugar and vanilla. And yes, while I could make whipped cream and butter in my stand mixer using the whisk attachment, my whisk attachment is likely hanging out in an unmarked box in my garage with my dough hook attachment. I haven't seen either in seven years. And I like my simple little mason jar technique, so we'll stick with the if it ain't broke, don't fix it way of doing things today. It's Saturday, and we're not looking to add one ounce of stress to our snack making process, right?

I grabbed my trusty mason jar out of the cabinet, along with some sugar and vanilla extract. I filled the jar about 1/3 full, and dropped in a bit of sugar and around a 1/2 teaspoon or so of vanilla. After 5 or 6 minutes of giving the mason jar (with lid tightly affixed) a shake, I had fresh whipped cream for my Key lime pie. Yummmm. The whipped cream was good, and I felt super accomplished that I actually did it, but I think I'll dial up the sweetness even more next time I make it by tossing in additional sugar.

Later that evening, just when I needed a little something dessert-ish, I returned to the fridge and pulled out the pie that, by that time, was completely cooled. Close your eyes for just a moment and picture what the first bite of a slice of Key lime pie tastes like. Uh huh, yep. You got it, and so does this pie. It has everything that you want from a piece of Key lime pie: the initial pucker caused by the tartness of the Key lime juice, the cold creaminess thanks to that can of sweetened condensed milk, and all served up on a thin layer of graham cracker crust. Y'all, this pie is perfect.

Of course, I grabbed my mason jar filled with homemade whipped cream out of the fridge, too. I chose a large spoon from the utensil drawer and placed a generous dollop oh so gently on top of my piece of pie.

This is a spot-on Key lime pie, and my thanks go out to the chefs at Olivia's Cafe. Because of them, my Thanksgiving table will have a new dessert. It's something that can be made ahead of time, and it's a great option for those who might not enjoy chocolate-based desserts.

This pie is the perfect storm: it requires few ingredients, it's easy to make, and the end result is something to be savored. Low on effort, big on pay off. I'll make it again and enjoy it again, and soon. In fact, it's 11am as I write this, and I'm enjoying a slice right now. Ahem.

I hope that your weekend is fantastic and filled with moments of wide-eyed wonder. And, perhaps, filled with something delicious, too.

Do you have a favorite Disney dessert? What are you whipping up these days?

Ready to grab your whisk and give the pie a try? The recipe is below:

Key Lime Pie from Olivia's Cafe

Makes 1 (9-inch) pie

5 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup key lime juice
1 ready-made 9-inch graham cracker pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Gently whisk the yolks together in a bowl; do not let them foam. Stirring constantly, slowly blend in the sweetened condensed milk and the key lime juice.
3. Pour mixture into the graham cracker pie crust and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until set.
4. Remove the pie from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Chill, covered, until very cold.
5. Serve chilled.

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