Pies in Jars

I have mason jars gathering dust in the cupboard for quite some time now.  What better way to start using them by making jar pies?

The basic recipe for key lime pie was used but instead of key limes for the filling and crushed grahams for the crust, I used Thai limes and made my own pastry crust.

For the meringue topping, I used brown sugar.  Brown sugar meringue has a lot more texture and is more than just marshmallow-sweet like regular white meringues.  

Thai Lime Meringue Pie recipe (makes 6 240ml jar pies, or one 8-inch pie):

for the flaky butter crust:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 - 5 Tbsp. ice water

Cut the butter into small cubes, and freeze them while you measure and mix the dry ingredients.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times to mix.  Retrieve the butter cubes from the freezer, scatter them over the flour mixture, and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size clumps.  Add the ice water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and pulse to mix, adding just enough water for the dough to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured work surface.  Gather the dough together in a mound, then knead it a few times to smooth it out.  Gently pat and press into a rough rectangle about 1 inch thick.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready, roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thick, then cut into squares or circles big enough to cover each mason jar (or pie dish).  Place the lined jars in the fridge for about half an hour before pre-baking.

Preheat oven to 350F and bake the crust for 15 minutes or until light brown.  Remove from oven to cool completely.

for the filling:
1/4 cup lime juice
1 small can of sweetened condensed milk (260g)
1 tsp. lime zest
2 egg yolks, at room temperature

Whisk all ingredients together and pour over cooled pied crust.

for the meringue:
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. lime zest

Start whisking the egg whites at medium speed.  When foamy, gradually add the sugar, then the lime zest.  When all of the sugar is added, increase mixer speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form.

Spoon the meringue on top of the pie filling to seal it.  Return to the oven (350F) and bake the pies until the meringue is just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on baking rack until cool to the touch, then serve.


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