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for the past eight years the saturday before halloween has meant one thing and one thing only: the park slope ward chili/pie cook off. four times i have entered my favorite key lime pie and four times i've walked away empty-handed. but not this year, this year it finally happened. i took in my pie and walked away from the evening and the church with this:


it's a little embarrassing and a lot ridiculous, but it feels really good to have this apron. clearly, winning is fun and feeds my carefully repressed competitiveness, but the best part is that now i can move on. i can let go of the crazy compulsion i felt to keep shoving this pie in the judges' faces year after year after year. it has gotten it's shout-out and now i am free to make a different pie, or no pie at all. maybe i can figure out a good chili recipe, or maybe not and instead spend all my energy in the always last-minute costume making of the day. (bats this year, and they're so cute).

i am kicking myself for not getting a picture of the pies before they were consumed. sitting among the twenty-two other entries, my pie was simple and lovely, but the pie that really needed documenting was an apple pie, the upper crust of which was decorated with a pie-crust silhouette of joseph smith. oh, i loved it. . .

even though i am picture-less know that this has always been a delicious and easy pie, and now it's a prize-winner. so, make it and be happy. 


Key Lime Pie

6 large egg yolks

6 tsp grated lime zest

whisk yolks and zest until greenish. then add:

1.5 can sweetened condensed milk

mix. then add:

3/4 c fresh lime juice, strained

mix and let stand at room temperature to thicken, usually just a few minutes. 

pour into 9" graham cracker crust (you can buy to make it easier on yourself, but homemade is always better)

bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes, until center is set.

cool completely and top with fresh, homemade whipped cream. garnish with lime zest or sugared, super thin lime slices. 

Reader Comments (17)

you so deserved this. it was a dang good pie - last year anyway.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

congratulations katie!! i always wanted one of those aprons too. i'm glad that you finally got yours.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterErin

I don't know that I ever had the chance to tell you CONGRATULATIONS!! I've always loved this pie-- key lime is my favorite and when I was a judge a few years back I voted for it.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterscout

I just screamed when I saw the photo.. I can't believe you finally won. If there's one thing I regret about staying in Brooklyn one more year.. it would have been just to win that damn chili contest.

Congratulations.. it couldn't have happened to a nicer pie.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterinchmark

that is hiliarious! congrats. sounds like it was a tough competition with the Joseph Smith Silhouette and all....

really, too funny!

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

You are such a champion. Way to go with your pie skillz.

Also this reminds me, a guy from the park slope ward recently moved into our ward here in downtown SLC. We talked about you.

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen

congratulations katie. i really wanted to enter a pie this year but Pete is taking all available energy out of me. i really wanted to make a blushing peach pie, but i probably wouldn't have won (i heard your pie was delicious). maybe next year, or maybe i will just make it for Andy and I and we will consume it in its entirety. I guess in that respect, I did win.

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentershiloh donkin

Way to go Katie!!!! I am so happy for you. And I am so thankful that you gave us the recipe. I am definitely going to try it.
(We have family that has discovered that they have severe reactions to artificial colors and flavors (msg) so we have tried to be all natural around here. There is no such thing as Key Lime filling in the store without color in it, so my poor Travis has had to live without for a long time. He will be so excited when I make this.)

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherann

Score on the apron, wear it with pride. It is hilarious that you kept bringing the same pie year after year!! Does Sarah have this recipe, cause I think she has made it before, and if it is the same one it is really good. I love a good key lime pie...
Can't wait to see the bat costumes!

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJeanie

Congrats Katie! I always wanted one of those too. I entered both chili and pie and never got a nod. Oh well...I'm so sad we missed it this year. Jake won our chili cook-off in our ward. I guess that's where I messed up...not letting him cook more often! :)

October 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen S

Hip Hip Hooray Katie! This is like the be all of all competitions. The coveted prize everyone wants but very few can attain, but not our little Katie Rich, she's a winner winner winner! --- Finally. Ha. I am only joking. Kind of. Because really park slop chili/pie cook off is that important.

Ah, now I'm sad because last year when you didn't win, but someone with a pie I didn't taste, but I know wasn't as good as Alysha's nor yours did (although right now I can't remember if you made one, but I'm sure if you did it wasn't as good) and may in fact have been a ice cream pie which is like totally not a pie, but maybe that wasn't what won I can't really remember), I was there. And it was so fun. The 'band' played and I got really full because I ate more than my one helping Sara said we could have. How great would it have been to be there when you won, for me (for you it would've pretty much felt the same as it did). I would've cheered and maybe given you a high five. And then Alysha would've begged me to not act like an idiot. It would've be so awesome. Sad. I miss visiting NY.

October 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertara

...and I would like to give a little shout out to my dear sister Sarah for giving me this recipe, without whom this victory would have proven utterly impossible, in fact I don't know where I would be without her constant support, and recipes.....(or was it you who gave me the recipe?....hmmm)

October 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Well I am happy for you and jealous. I left new york never winning that apron despite my 6 entries year after year. But if anyone should win it next to me it should be you, so congrats! that pie is the best and maybe I will have to enter it in some pie contest here, although it won't be quite the same without that sweet apron.

November 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteralyshabean

Kudos to endurance! Loved this post...lots of laughter on this end. Love ya.

November 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermom

I never won at that contest (in the two times we went). Mike and I made your pie for my family Thanksgiving and it is definately a winner recipe! It is the perfect mix of sweet and tart. Thank you for sharing it! Congratulations. You deserve that awesome apron!

November 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

I just was viewing past entries I had not read and found this! How exciting. I'm sad I moved before the whole apron thing started and only a certificate to show. I still remember the year that the cook-off got pushed back so many times that it ended up as our Christmas dinner....I was the activities char that year so I'll never forget. :-) Hope you are all doing great up there in the cold and snow.

March 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

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