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No-Bake Keylime Pie: Easy Summer Recipe
Cool and refreshing
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It's hot in the Renaissance City.
It's probably hot where you are, too.
Many homes in Florence, Italy (and all over the EU for that matter) lack air conditioning. In the intense heat, people eat salads (like panzanella), cold cuts, sauteed vegetables and they tend to skip dessert or serve fruit (the popular cocomero- watermelon). If fruit alone does not satisfy your sweet tooth, what then?
The last thing anyone wants to do in this kind of heat is turn on an oven to bake pies, cakes, or cookies for dessert. This no bake recipe is not only fast, it allows you to serve something cold from the fridge, which is refreshing.
Traditional Key Lime pie originated around the late 19th or early 20th century in Key West, Florida where key limes grow in abundance. Sponge fishermen commonly spent many days at sea and stored non-perishable foodstuffs on board.
Canned milk, eggs, and limes would be among these supplies. When combined together (and sweetened with a bit of sugar) the citric acid would cause the "custard" to thicken naturally without baking since the fisherman did not have access to ovens on their boats.
In addition to this, it's doubtful that the fishermen would want to bake anything in the merciless Florida heat and humidity.
The recipe was later adapted for the oven, and became like the well-known lemon meringue pie with pastry crust, custard, and baked meringue.
No Bake Key Lime Pie
1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 8 oz. (225 grams) Philadelphia cream cheese (Neufchatel cheese), softened
1 pck (180 grams) creme fraiche (or panna di cucina)
juice of 3 freshly squeezed key limes
*Pie crust: you can follow your favorite recipe or purchase a ready made crust. Graham cracker, chocolate, or traditional pastry works well with this recipe.
In large bowl, cream together cheese, condensed milk, and creme fraiche. Blend very well. Add the lime juice and pour into the ready crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or you can leave it overnight).
Top with fruit or serve plain.
Thanks for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist