I love lemons and limes. They smell so wonderful and fresh, and they make pretty much every food better! I’m partial to any dessert that’s dedicated specifically to highlighting lime! I especially love key lime pie, and the lime-ier, the better. This recipe hits the spot!
Key Lime Pie
Let’s start by talking about key limes. They’re much smaller than common (Persian) limes. They’re more acidic and citrus-y than the larger, Persian variety, and the experts say not to substitute the two. I’ll confess that I’ve done it, with this very recipe. Key limes are better, but I can’t always get them. Use the key limes, if you can. You can see the key limes on the left, and the one larger Persian lime on the right.
So, here’s the thing about this recipe. … It’s delicious, but that’s not the thing that I meant. This recipe makes a very shallow pie. I like a little more lime filling in my crust, so what I do is TRIPLE the recipe and divide the filling into TWO pies. Then each pie gets one and half times the filling, and I think that’s the perfect ratio. The picture above is one and half size. However, if you don’t want two pies, you have a dilemma. Do you make a shallow pie? Do you open another can of sweetened condensed milk, but only use half? (Having to eat some leftover sweetened condensed milk might not seem like a dilemma!) What to do?
I came up with another solution. I doubled the recipe, and used 3/4 of that filling in my pie, and the other 1/4 to make two miniature pies. They were pretty and fun. I hope my math isn’t getting too crazy for you!
Anyway, here’s the original recipe, before I doubled or tripled it. You can get creative with your own solutions.
Key Lime Pie
- KEY LIME PIE
- ½ cup fresh key lime juice (approximately 18 key limes) or juice from common limes
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated lime zest (optional)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs (12 graham crackers)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Crush the graham crackers, and mix with sugar
- Melt the butter in your pie plate
- Pour crumbs on top of melted butter and incorporate.
- Press the mixture up the sides and into the bottom of your pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to set crust.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- With a zester, remove 1 tablespoon zest from the lime rinds.
- Squeeze juice from limes, and combine with zest.
- Whisk sweetened condensed milk with yolks. Add juice and zest, and let sit until thickened. (about 5 minutes)
- Pour lime filling into the cool crust, and spread evenly.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes until the center sets, but still wiggles when shaken.
- Cool completely, then refrigerate overnight.
- Serve with whipped cream.
- Just before serving, set the pie in a sink with 1 centimeter of hot water for a few minutes. This melts the butter in the crust enough to allow the pie to come out, easily.
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First, make a graham cracker crust. Here’s my favorite recipe.
It’s the best, but you can also buy a pre-made one.
I got creative and made some individual pies, using custard cups.
I made a half size recipe of the crust. I stirred the butter, sugar, and crumbs together in a bowl.
I lined the bottom of 4 custard cups as follows. I cut a large piece of parchment and folded it in half and then thirds. I stapled it to keep it together. I traced a circle the same size as the bottom of my custard cups, and cut it out. This allowed me to cut out 6 circles at once. Since I had two extras, I didn’t use the one with the pencil mark on it.
I sprayed the parchment and sides of the cups with non-stick baking spray.
I divided the half-sized recipe for crust into fourths, and put it into the four cups on top of the parchment. Then I pressed it down. NOTE: I was guessing how many little pies I could make with the leftover filling. I only had enough for two. So to be exact, I should have divided the crust recipe in fourths, using 3 graham crackers, and it would have turned out perfectly.
I baked them at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Then I let them cool.
While your crust is cooling, Make the filling.
Wash and dry about 25 key limes. Then remove
1 tablespoon zest (optional)
The zest gives your filling more tart lime flavor. I really like it!
Cut the limes in half, and squeeze out 1/2 cup of juice.
I like to squeeze my juice into a strainer to remove small seeds and extra pulp.
Depending upon how juicy the limes are, you can get 1/2 cup of juice from 15-25 limes. I always buy 25 to be safe. I use any leftovers for garnish.
Add the grated zest (if you’re using it) to the juice and set aside for a few minutes.
Now separate your eggs. Just in case you were wondering how to do this, Here’s a quick tutorial.
In a mixing bowl, start with
4 egg yolks
You won’t be using the whites in this recipe.
1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
Whisk together until smooth.
Add the lime juice and zest, and whisk again.
When it’s all incorporated, let it sit for about 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
Pour filling into the crust.
Smooth the top, then bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. The top will still be a little jiggly, but will set as it cools.
Transfer to a wire rack. When completely cool, refrigerate several hours or overnight.
To make serving the pie easier, set it in a centimeter of hot water for about 5 minutes. This will soften the butter, and make the pie slide right out.
To remove the individual pies from the custard cups, run a butter knife around the edge, then use it to pry out the pie. Remove the parchment from the bottom, and serve with whipped cream.
Serve with lots of fresh whipped cream,
Key Lime Pie