After a traditionally decadent feast of stone crabs, grilled tomatoes and hash browns at Joe’s Stone Crab (est. 1913,) my brother Kevin asked if I was the one who had mentioned that the apple pie there was amazing. I was pretty sure I had only tasted the perfected key lime of my childhood, from when the late Paul Wilson Sr.* had wielded the spatula, so I could not take credit for the delicious frenzy that followed. Who knew? Crunchy brown sugar-toasted pecans, warm baked sliced apples and vanilla ice cream melting into moist, crumbly cake with just enough chewy bite. We ordered slices of both for Mom, the evening’s birthday girl, and even she, for whom key lime was also a longtime favorite, came over to the dark side. If only for just one night. So I wonder, which pie will hold this Miami Beach institution’s 100 candles in 2013? It seems the 21st century at Joe’s may belong to the apple. Eat this scrumptious mound on-site, carry it out with Joe’s Take Away or make it yourself at home with the official recipe.
*When Paul Wilson Sr. passed, he happily took his key lime pie recipe with him, having kept it secret over the years, not even telling his oldest son. The recipe you will find online is the original, which Proprietor Jo Ann Bass taught him in 1955 when he first came to work at Joe’s, that he adapted over the years.