Inspired by her childhood in Florida, Yesenia Justiniano creates a pie that draws on that coastal upbringing. The Pastry Chef at Watchman's Seafood & Spirits puts an inspiring twist on a classic summertime dessert with her Key Lime Pie.

This tart, refreshing, sweet, and tangy pie is one of the most popular dishes at the Atlanta, Georgia seafood restaurant. Instead of a traditional graham cracker crumb crust, Justiniano uses a scratch-made graham cracker dough to ensure the dessert maintains its shape and its satisfying crunch-factor.  She crafts a filling of sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and lime zest, and finishes the pie by topping it with fresh and dehydrated meringue for extra texture. 

Curd

Ingredients

  • 35 fl oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½  cups key lime juice
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 4 limes just the zest
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk till fully homogenized.  
  2. Pour over par baked shells.
  3. Bake at 325, covered till set.
  4. Bake time varies with size of shell for 6 inch tarts about 12 minutes just till the curd has a tight short jiggle. The curd should not catch any color nor rise.
  5. Allow to cool.

Graham Cracker Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 lb, 4oz butter at room temperature
  • 10oz brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7oz honey
  • 1lb all-purpose flour
  • 14oz wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a kitchen aid bowl cream butter, sugar, salt, and honey with the paddle attachment till light and fluffy about 3 minutes.
  2. Stop the kitchen aid add cinnamon and baking soda and paddle for a minute.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the all purpose and wheat flour mix till just combined, once the dough comes together stop mixing, do not over mix.
  4. Allow to cool the roll out to fit shells.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit till toasty about 8 minutes.

Meringue

Ingredients

  • 4 oz egg whites
  • 6oz granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon juiced

Directions

  1. With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, add sugar with enough water to make it look like wet sand and lemon juice, clean the sides of the bowl with water so there is no sugar on the walls of your pot.
  3. Cook sugar over medium heat until the mixture reaches firm ball stage or 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. You can stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Once the sugar mixture has reached firm ball stage, turn the mixer onto medium and in a slow steady stream, pour the sugar mixture into the beaten egg whites.
  5. Once all of the sugar mixture has been added, beat on high for 5 minutes.
  6. Add vanilla extract and salt, beat on medium for 3 minutes.

 

Formula courtesy of Yesenia Justiniano, Watchman's Seafood & Spirits