Best Key Lime Pie - 2006
Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory
Readers' Choice: Joe's Stone Crab
Sweetened, condensed milk was introduced to the Florida Keys 150 years ago. Owing to the lack of cows around, the new canned product was taken to with gusto by the citizenry, who developed all sorts of new recipes in which to use it. Key lime pie was far away the most successful of these concoctions, and the ingredients have hardly changed since its inception: key lime juice, condensed milk, and crust (originally made from pastry dough, but nowadays from graham crackers crumbled with butter). The only variation comes via the topping: whipped cream or meringue -- that is, except at the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory. They base their pie on a flaky cornmeal crust, use Nellie & Joe's key lime juice in the delicate pale yellow custard, and top it off with -- nothing. That's the plain pie, which costs $3.95 per slice and $17.75 for the whole. A slice capped with a lofty cloud of meringue, or a frozen key lime wedge dipped in chocolate and served on a stick are also available at the same single-serving price (slightly more per pie). However you slice it, and however you top it, Blond Giraffe's key lime pie is the best thing anyone has created from a can of condensed milk.