After living in Florida for nearly twenty years, one becomes a Key Lime Pie connoisseur. It is after all, the official state dessert.
You wouldn’t think that Key Lime Pie would be difficult to do right, but you would be surprised. It doesn’t help that I’m picky. I have had some REALLY awful attempts. You can nearly always tell if fresh lime juice was used as opposed to bottled and you can definitely tell when regular kaffir limes are used as opposed to key limes. I also prefer whipped topping to meringue everytime. But all those issues can be remedied with the right ingredients.
The HARDEST part of a Key Lime or any similar style pie is the texture. One end of the consistency spectrum is a dish of liquified goop with some graham cracker crumbs. The other is sour, opaque gelatin. The perfect Key Lime pie will hold it’s shape when cut while chilled but still be creamy and light when it blesses your tastebuds.
There are a few variations of Key Lime Pie these days, baked and chilled, icebox, or pudding. The classic recipe is little more than condensed milk, juice and eggs. And the BEST, tried-and-true version I have found is included below.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, the recipe says you will need to juice about 25-30 key limes. And YES after juicing about the 15th lime your arms will want to fall off and you will feel discouraged because honestly, you will be lucky if you get a tablespoon of juice from each lime. But DON’T GIVE UP and run to the store for that little green plastic lime-shaped juice container in the produce department. Trust me, IT WILL BE WORTH IT! Consider it a premptive workout for your impending caloric intake.
- 1 + 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 of a stick of butter, melted
In a bowl, mix ingredients well and then press into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie dish.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 min. or until golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before pouring in pie filling.
- 2 – 14oz cans of condensed milk
- 2 whole eggs
- 2/3 cup key lime juice (about 25-30 key limes)
- 1 tbs. key lime zest (reserve a pinch for garnish)
In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and then pour into cooled graham cracker crust.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
- 2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 tbs confectioner’s sugar
Beat cream and vanilla until mixture starts to thicken and holds loose peaks. Add powdered sugar and continue until cream is light, fluffy and holds its peaks.