Robin Draper grew up on Siesta Key back when there were fewer "snow birds" visiting the key.
Draper graduated from University of Florida and got a job as the Associate VP of Development at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, CA. She and her husband, Mike, lived in “wine country” for 20 years and during this time Draper developed her love for cooking and her appreciation for fresh cuisine.
After 20 years in California she was ready to come back to Florida. She and her husband and son, James, 16, moved back and found a home on the key not far from where she used to live as a child.
Once back in her hometown, she was able to see her mom and dad, who live in Sarasota, began working at the Gulfcoast Community Foundation and in March of this year started her own website, www.authenticflorida.com. Her blog is “devoted to the simple pleasures of Florida living,” and she posts her favorite recipes, dining places, adventures she has been on and fun things to do in Florida.
Her key lime pie article is by far one of the most popular articles on her site. She acquired the key lime pie recipe from Joe’s Stone Crab after deciding it was by far the best key lime pie she had ever tried. The only difference is she makes a meringue topping and they use whip cream.
Draper makes the pie a lot; especially during the peak key lime seasons (yes, there are two seasons for key limes!) and she even has her very own key lime tree in her backyard with tons of fresh key limes for the squeezing. The pie also happens to be her husband’s favorite dish.
Key Lime Pie
1/3 of a 1-pound box of graham crackers
5 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup of sugar
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons of lime zest - be sure to zest before you squeeze the juice!
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, or fresh limes
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon, cream of tartar
1/4 cup of sugar
Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
For the Crust
Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process the crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and crush the crackers with a rolling pin. Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and side of a pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge. Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.
For the filling
Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer. Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate. Freeze for 15-20 minutes before serving.
For the topping
With a mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff. Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.