Serrano chile key lime pie. I like key lime pie, especially on a hot summer day, but it’s not a dessert I often order at restaurants or go to the trouble of making. A while ago, I did enjoy the Serrano chile key lime pie at Suenos, and I’ve been working on a home version. The chile flavor and little bit of heat makes for a really interesting dessert. I’m not exactly sure how mine compares, but it’s pretty good.
The problem I was having at first with this recipe was that the pie was getting too spicy but didn’t have enough Serrano flavor; it was basically just hot key lime pie. Good, but not great. The trick was getting lots of Serrano flavor while controlling the heat. Here’s what I came up with:
Start with a traditional key lime pie recipe. Mine comes from Cooks Illustrated, and is a basic 3-ingredient mix (lime juice and zest, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks) on a buttery graham cracker crust. Along with the lime zest, add the zest of 4-5 Serranos. This seems weird, but it’s a great way to get plenty of Serrano flavor while managing the heat. It’s OK if you get more than just the skins, just try not to go all the way through to the hulls and seeds. You can then control the heat exactly to your liking by including some finely chopped hull and seeds. I also like to leave the hulls in the mix while it sets at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before cooking (don’t forget to remove them!).