In the Northeast we finally have spring weather and my thoughts are turning to warm-weather desserts. (Of course I’m always yearning for dessert- the only question is which one.)
With a graham cracker crust filled with a mixture of fresh squeezed Key Lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, Key Lime Pie heralds the arrival of lazy spring and summer days.
But while Key Lime Pie is a warm weather treat, as you”ll see below, its popularity is turning it into a year-round dessert.
Erin Blakely, one of the three owners (who are sisters) of Washington DC.-based Pie Sisters said “Key Lime is an extremely popular flavor. We keep it on our menu year-round because it is one of our top sellers. It’s especially popular in the spring and summer because it is citrus, cool and refreshing.”
Since this is a Key Lime posting, I wanted information from a bakery in the Florida Keys. Karen Puglisi, the Sales and Marketing Director for Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe, said “Key Lime is a very popular flavor that we have woven into our entire product line, which includes jellies, marmalades, cookies, candies, cakes, barbeque sauces, dressings, and more.” While Kermit’s offers Key Lime Pies and Strawberry Key Lime Pies, Karen noted that the most popular item is (frozen) Key Lime Pie on a Stick – it’s enrobed in dark chocolate, or for us white chocolate fans, white chocolate.
San Jose-based Charlie’s Cheesecake Works creates Cheesecake in a number of different flavors, including, you guessed it, Key Lime. Charlie Major, President of Charlie’s Cheesecake Works said “We used to make Key Lime Cheesecake primarily in the summer months, with the Strawberry, Mango, and other summer fruits, but over the past several years we found that people want Key Lime all year round.” He thinks people are branching out to more exotic fruits and Key Lime fits the bill.
And to illustrate that Key Lime Pie is becoming mainstream: Krispy Kreme offered a Key Lime Pie Doughnut during the early spring. And there was a rumor that Google was naming a new Android operating system, Key Lime Pie.
We shouldn’t take our Key Limes for granted, though. Currently, we’re experiencing a Lime shortage. In the U.S. today, most of our Limes (Key Limes and regular Limes, known as Persian Limes) come from Mexico. And according to The New York Times, severe rains, a bacterial disease killing citrus trees, and criminals stealing fruit from the groves are decreasing our Mexican Lime imports. However, this crisis is thought to be temporary; new crops are maturing.
I already celebrated the arrival of spring – with an individual Key Lime Tart!