Coconut Key Lime Pies…and a Trip to The Keys
Coconut Key Lime Pie? Oh, yesss.
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I spent a week last month tooling around the Florida Keys. Poor ME. Woe is ME. Forced to travel to some amazing hotels, incredible restaurants, and eat 9 different Key Lime Pies.
Yes, I did. I tasted NINE different Key Lime Pies.
Before the trip, I had always been a fan of the meringue topped pie. So I had it in mind that after my thorough research, a Key Lime Pie piled high with meringue would be a clear winner.
I was surprised.
While yes, a meringue topped specimen did knock my socks off in Key West, it was the coconut spiked Key Lime Tart from the Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada that stole my heart. One bite and I knew…I had to have the recipe. Luckily for me, I was able to get my hands on it.
Of course, I can’t leave things alone, so I had to change it up just a smidge. You see, I am not a big fan of pie crust, or graham cracker crusts, or making crusts, so…I tend to omit them. I couldn’t here, though, as I really wanted that added flavor. So I turned the original recipe into a trifle of sorts, served in a cute martini glass (but you could use any clear glass, I’m not the boss of you) and the result was stellar. Quick, too! You should definitely give it a try.
Coconut Key Lime Pies
- 7 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 5 ounces Coconut Milk
- 7 ounces Lime Juice (Key Lime preferred)
- Zest of 1/2 lime
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Coconut whipped cream (recipe to follow)
- Combine condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, zest, and salt in a medium sized pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.
- While mixture is heating, mix yolks and vanilla in a separate bowl. When milk mixture reaches a boil, slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the eggs, whisking constantly so as not to cook the eggs. Add egg mixture to the milk mixture and return to a boil.
- Mixture will thicken as it cooks. After 5 minutes of additional cooking, add cornstarch and whisk to combine. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and starts to stick to sides of the pan. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350. In a shallow pan, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter using your fingers, and spread into a thin layer. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
- To assemble, press the baked graham crumbs into the bottom of your serving dish, followed by a sprinkling of toasted coconut. Pour in slightly cooled pie filling, and top with more graham and coconut. Place assembled desserts in the refrigerator to cool and set, 2-4 hours. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator and top with dollop of coconut whipped cream. Garnish with toasted coconut and lime zest if desired.
Coconut Whipped Cream
Combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup coconut milk with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whip until peaks form. Keep refrigerated.
The Florida Keys & Cheeca Lodge
Now…the Keys. What a trip! I was invited to tour the islands, courtesy of the Keys Tourism Board, like a little dream come true. My bestie, Paula was on the trip as well, and the two of us made some wonderful new friends! If we could have, we would have pocketed cute little Renee who writes for Celebrity Café. And let’s not even talk about Jordan…the only man on our trip. Such a fun guy…always up for ANYTHING!
Lunch at Robbie’s & The Hungry Tarpon
After being picked up at the Miami airport by our cheeky little host Briana, we made our way south through the Keys. Our first stop was Robbie’s and The Hungry Tarpon, a seaside watering hole, full of people. A great lunch (I had incredible shrimp tacos), some roadside shopping, and feeding the tarpon! Those fish are huge, and jump up out of the water when you feed them out of your hand! Nuts!
From there we made our way to Cheeca Lodge, where we would spend two fantastic nights. An award winning hotel, steeped in history and a true traveler’s favorite, we were soon to realize what all of the fuss was about.
Stunning views on a white sandy stretch of beach, a dock that went seemingly forever into the sea, crystal blue swimming pools, a spa, shopping, and so much class.
My room was one of the best hotel rooms I have ever had the privilege of staying in: A large living area with comfy sofa and TV, coffee table, and wet bar opened up into my sleeping area with desk/table and king bed. This area led onto a huge deck through sliding glass doors…and on the other side of my balcony? An outdoor TUB. Giant, round, and wide open to the elements unless I closed a curtain. The water fell into the tub through a faucet in the ceiling…just…yeah. Wow. I could re-enter my room from the balcony through the shower- yes- the shower, which was entirely made of glass and had every imaginable sprayer. Two glass bowl sinks, all of the upscale amenities, and comfy robes rounded out the suite.
As I mentioned, Cheeca is where I discovered that incredible Key Lime Tart, and I am so thankful they shared the recipe. Our lunch on site was delectable, right down to the chips and salsa (which was out of this world, and yes, I scored THAT recipe as well – stay tuned!)
I’ll be sharing more of my trip to the Keys over the next few weeks, but I HAD to get this recipe out to you before the sun sets on what’s left of the summer. Give it a try (so, so good, I promise!) and also consider Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada if you are entertaining some warm weather destinations. I absolutely adored it there.
For more information on places listed in this post:
Robbie’s Marina and The Hungry Tarpon
- 77500 Overseas Highway, mile marker (MM) 77.5
- Islamorada FL 33036
This Islamorada landmark has been operating for 18 years on Lowe Matecumbe Key. The marina has everything from fishing charters to snorkel trips, kayak rentals, shops and their famed restaurant, The Hungry Tarpon.
Cheeca Lodge & Spa
- 81801 Overseas Highway, MM 82
- Islamorada FL 33036
Named one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 Greatest Hotels in the world, Cheeca Lodge & Spa is a 27-acre property known for its accommodations, tradition of “barefoot elegance,” wide Atlantic Ocean beach, fine dining and spa. In addition, Cheeca Lodge is home to some of the top fishing tournaments in the county.
- Florida Keys Visitor Website – www.fla-keys.com
- Florida Keys Facebook – www.facebook.com/floridakeysandkeywest
Disclaimer: I was hosted by the Florida Keys Tourism Board, though received no compensation for my post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Christine at Cook the Story
August 20, 2014 @ 10:01 am
Every single photo in this post is stunning… and especially that gorgeous dessert!