There is no clear winner.
I discovered that the piece of key lime pie directly in front of me is always the winner. I was going to take a picture of each and every key lime pie slice and rank them, but by the time I had it in my hand it was down the gullet too quickly to take a picture. I also forgot to take notes a couple of times. Just gimme that key lime pie.
I discovered I prefer the key lime pies with real whipped cream over the original meringue topped pies as there is more contrast between sweet and tart. There were some pretty amazing meringues though. I was always disappointed when imitation whipped cream was used instead of real whipped cream. I’m inclined to say skip the pie if they don’t use real whipped cream. There are plenty of other good ones out there that do.
I discovered I prefer the modern/gourmet versions of key lime pie (e.g. Matt’s Kitchen, El Meson De Pepe) over the traditional/authentic versions of key lime pie (e.g. Blue Heaven meringue, Kermit’s whipped cream).
I discovered it is better to buy pie slices directly from a shop or bakery that makes them rather than order the same item from one of the restaurants. Pie slices purchased directly from a shop or bakery that made them tended to be a little fresher/better than their counterparts in the restaurants.
Amigos Restaurant offered a taste of both the Key Lime Pie Co key lime pie and Kermit’s key lime pie on the same dessert plate. These are notably the two top contenders for the ‘Best of’ key lime pie competition. The Key Lime Pie Co pie was hands down better than the Kermit’s. I was so disappointed at Kermit’s pie I had to re-taste it another day, this time purchasing the slice directly from Kermit’s. I’m glad I re-tasted. It was much better than the slice I had at Amigos. This slice deserved to be in the ‘Best of’ key lime pie competition.
I wish I would have kept better notes on the pies and would love to re-taste them all and more in a more methodical manner. Unfortunately, I’m 10 pounds heavier today than when we came to the keys a month and a half ago.
Key Lime Pie tasting notes, in no specific order:
*Grimm’s Stone Crab, Everglade City, FL – Small key lime tart purchased in their freezer section. Good graham cracker crust as well as a very good pie. This pie triggered my decision to research key lime pie.
*Key West Key Lime Pie Company, Key West – Chocolate dipped on a stick. Good chocolate, but the chocolate put me off a bit as the key lime flavor didn’t come through until I’d eaten off all the chocolate.
*Key Lime Pie Bakery, Key West – Birthplace of Key Lime Pie (412 Greene cross Fitzpatrick)) – lighter a little more limey than the denser Kermit’s Key Lime Pie (similar to Blue Heaven but with whipped cream instead of meringue).
*Mrs. Macs Kitchen, Key Largo MM 99.4, Key Largo, FL – The woman is awesome.
*Hogfish, Stock Island, FL – Really good. Almost cheesecake like.
*El Meson De Pepe, Key West – really good key lime pie. This might be the best pie. But almost pie I say that. Whipped cream and meringue. Drizzled with lime. (crust was burnt)
*Pepe’s, Key West – real whipped cream and lots of it.
*Blue Heaven, Key West – Amazing mile high meringue, pie denser that most of the others. Similar to Kermits’s.
*Matt’s Kitchen, Perry Hotel, Stock Island – Hands down the best crust, almond. Creammmmmy dreammmy, but needs a touch more lime flavor or lime drizzle over the top.
*The Fish House, Key Largo – Shark fin mile high meringue. Pie was similar to Matt’s Kitchen but not as light
*and then there was that one key lime pie in the middle keys I forgot where I had eaten it, that was magnificent. Real whipped cream and drizzled with raspberry syrup. Ummmmmmmmm.
Eatable pies, but not at good as some of the others:
– Southernmost Key Lime Pie, Key West – crust was boring and the pie was mediocre
-Edwards Frozen Key Lime Pie – Too much crust and I didn’t like their fake whipped cream. The pie was a little bitter. In a pinch, if you are craving it will do.
– Publix Bakery – smooth but not enough lime taste. A truly a store bought crust.
This martini won the key lime pie contest!
Next time I come to the keys I’ll be taste testing these. But, I suspect I already found the winner here at Matt’s Kitchen.
Drolleries and Yuks
Where do you weigh a pie?
– Somewhere over the rainbow … weigh a pie