I was experimenting with a key lime pie recipe when I came up with this Key Lime Pots de Creme recipe in July of 2010. These rich, tart little lime flavored custards are simply a variation on key lime pie. The pot de creme cups shown here were made by Fitz and Floyd back in the early 1970's. These sets are great with matching saucers and simple gold trip. They can be used in the freezer or oven. You can read more about pot de creme cups, history, and more.
You can buy pot de creme cups online at Gourmetsleuth.com
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Use an electric mixer and beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow. Turn the mixer off and add the sweetened condensed milk. Turn speed to low and mix in half of the lime juice. Once the juice is incorporated add the other half of the juice and continue to mix until blended (just a few seconds). Add the grated lime peel and stir in by hand. Pour the mixture into a large measuring cup with a pouring lip.
Put six 1/2-cup pots de creme or ramekins in a deep baking dish.
Pour the lime mixture evenly between the pots. Pour hot tap water into the baking dish so that it comes within 1/2 inch of the top of the pots. Do not get water in the pots de creme cups.
Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil. Put the baking dish in the oven and bake, until the custards are just set in the centers, approximately 15 minutes. Do not overbake.
Remove the dish from the oven and carefully remove pots from the water. If you are using pots de creme cups, put the lids on the pots. If you are using ramekins, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and set at least 3 to 4 hours, or overnight. Serving
If you are using the whipping cream garnish, prepare the cream. Use a pastry bag with a star tip and add a medium size star of whipping cream to each pot de creme and serve.
Lime Zest Knots
As an alternative (or in addition) to whipping cream; you can top each pots de creme with a knot of lime peel. Choose a lime with an unblemished skin. Use a lemon zesting tool (or a small sharp paring knife) and pare off a 2 to 3 inch strip of peel. Be careful to avoid cutting into the white bitter pith. Tie the strip into a simple knot. Place the knot on top of the pots de creme just prior to serving. Knots can be made ahead of time and stored refrigerated in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
If you happen to have a Mexican market in your area check out the fresh fruit isle for "Mexican Limes". Our "gourmet" grocery store charges $5.99 a pound and our local Mexican market sells them for 20 for $1.00...