Transform Key Lime Pie With Tart Cherries

Cherry key lime pie
Cherry key lime pie - Imperial Sugar/YouTube

Who doesn't love a luscious key lime pie, especially when it conjures images of balmy tropical days in the Florida Keys? Chefs take a few twists and turns when creating their own versions of this classic sweet and tangy dessert, but the basic ingredients remain unsurprisingly similar. In the usual straightforward island mindset: Why mess with a good thing? To earn the name, a basic key lime pie really only needs key lime juice, lime zest, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, along with a graham cracker crust and a meringue or whipped cream topping. But "basic" isn't a requirement, and adventurous home chefs do mix outside the lines, including those embracing extra pizazz with tart cherries.

Everything starts with a good key lime pie recipe, but now you can add this clandestine cherry trick. You already have the sweet part of a key lime pie, as well as a good bit of tart flavor from the lime juice. Now you'll ramp that up with an infusion of freeze-dried tart cherries. The technique is crucial here, as the process is different than you may think.

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Tart Cherry Powder Does The Trick

Holding tart cherries
Holding tart cherries - Handout/Getty Images

When blending freeze-dried tart cherries into a key lime pie, they won't be merely sprinkled on top, or even mixed into the pie, as that would impede the uninterrupted flow of the creamy pie filling in your mouth. There's a way to turn the concentrated flavor burst of dried fruit into a velvet-textured additive, and it's quite easy. Instead of incorporating freeze-dried cherries in their solid-dried form, you'll be using a powdered version.

You can freeze and then powder dried cherries using a high-strength food processor or even a spice grinder -- or just go the labor-free way by purchasing a tart version of ground cherry powder. The premade powders may use fruit that's been freeze-dried or dried with other high-tech or low-tech processes. When making the key lime pie, it's as easy as folding the powder into the pie filling.

However, depending on personal taste preference, you may not want to totally overpower the flavor of the classic beloved pie. In that scenario, you'd make the key lime pie as usual, but set aside a portion of the filling for the tart cherry magic. In a roughly 2:1 ratio, respectively, the original filling goes first, followed by the cherry powder-infused portion. There you have it: A tart-cherry key lime pie that's pretty pink on top and a go-to classic in the center. Enhance the picture-perfect pie with a topping of fresh cherries, lime slices, or a small sprinkle of the powder.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.