classic key lime pie

A few weeks back, nudged and prodded by John, I bought a bag of key limes and turned them into pie.

I admit, I felt a tinge of irony serving up a whipped cream fluffed, graham cracker cradled dessert straight from the refrigerator (or “ice box” as it should be known in reference to today’s pie.)

…Kind of like those few times I’ve tried to pull off wearing my mom’s pearls and wound up looking more urban hipster than Jackie-O.

Definitely a Brady Bunch style dessert, key lime pie always seemed like the kind of thing that requires a frilly apron, a picket fence, and a dog that retrieves your paper in the morning, and hence the kind of thing I should avoid with vengeance.

This, along with that distinctive been in the fridge too long taste that seemed to linger over those key lime pies that did cross my lips.

Turns out though, I might have been a wee bit too quick to judge.  Picket fence irony aside, this was one terrific pie.  Zesty and not too sweet, with a heavy dose of fresh key lime juice [be warned, they are a royal pain to juice], the custard here is feather light.  Best of all, besides the crust, there’s no precooking needed – the custard is whipped together and then baked right in the crust.

Yields one 9 inch pie and serves 8-10, frilly apron optional.

{{ Quick aside: Simmer was recently featured on Eat Boutique as part of a What We’re Loving for Mom article.  Check it out HERE, and happy Mother’s Day! }}

One Year Ago: Alice Medrich’s Torta Cioccolata.

Two Years Ago: Lemon, Lime & Lemongrass Roast Chicken.

Classic Key Lime Pie

Adapted from Joy of Baking

For the Crust

  • ¼ cups, 125g graham crackers, well crushed
  • 2 tbsp, 30g granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp, 70g unsalted butter, melted

For the Lime Filling

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 14 ounce, 390g can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup, 120g freshly squeezed key lime juice (from about 12-15 key limes)
  • 2 tsp finely grated key lime zest

For the Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup, 240g chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp, 30g granulated sugar
  • Key lime zest or slices for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the crushed graham crackers, 2 tbsp sugar, and melted butter.  Press into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie tin.  Bake 10 minutes until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or handheld electric beaters, whip the egg yolks until light and fluffy – 3 to 4 minutes.  Depending on the size of your mixer, you may have to carefully hold the bowl up so the whisk is in contact with the yolks.  Slowly add the condensed milk, and whip until fluffy – another 2-3 minutes.  Whisk in the lime juice and zest.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake 10-15 minutes until set – when you shake the pie slightly, the filling should appear fairly solid; it may jiggle slightly, but shouldn’t slosh around.  Remove and cool on a wire rack 30 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator until cold.

Just before serving, whip the heavy cream until slightly thickened.  Add the sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.  Spread the cream over the pie and garnish with lime slices or zest.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  1. I love key lime pie. In fact, I just bought a small bottle of key lime juice from Florida, as it’s so hard to find key limes these days. We love your recipes — that Cava Sangria looked beautiful. Have a good week! xox – Maggie

    • Thanks Maggie – Eat Boutique is gorgeous! I was totally flattered to be included in your article. Have a great week,

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