Hasty, tasty results for Kate's key lime pie

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½ cup lime juice squeezed from 1 pound (about 25) Key limes or 3-4 standard (Persian) limes

Topping:

1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake:
To make shell, stir together crushed graham crackers, melted butter and sugar with a fork. Press firmly along the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees until crisp and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Cool a little.

Mix:
To make filling, whisk together all filling ingredients. Pour into shell. Bake at 325 degrees until just set, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Whip:
Whip cream, sugar and vanilla to sturdy peaks. Spread over the chilled pie. Enjoy.

Provenance:
The classic, after much trial and error.

*If you're feeling terribly Little-House-on-the-Prairie you can make your own sweetened condensed milk, also known as dulce de leche, by pouring 1 quart whole milk and 1 cup sugar into a large, wide pot. Heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring now and then, until thick, sweet and tan-colored, about 11/2 hours.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at leahreskin@aol.com

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