This is hands down the best key lime pie I have ever made. My favorite desserts are in the fruit family, and although I love sweet berries, there is something about citrus that has ahold of my heart. The tart and tangy zing perks me up like nothing else. Add that to a silky smooth whipped base, you’ve got yourself a sweet cloud-like confection that is like a little scoop of heaven.
One thing I’ve always wondered is, what is the difference between limes (typically Persian limes sold in local groceries) and key limes? The key lime is smaller and seedier, with a higher acidity, stronger aroma, juicier, and a thinner rind. It actually is yellow in color when ripe, but is picked green when commercially picked. It is known for its unique flavor, which is why it is highly sought after.
If you can find fresh key limes, I absolutely recommend getting some. Hands down, the fresher the better, always. I could only find Persian limes, so I grabbed a few of those for the zest, and some key lime concentrate for the juice.
On to the pie! First, making the graham cracker crust. This is composed of 4 ingredients: Graham Crackers, sugar, butter and salt.
Start by crushing up the crackers into crumbs. This can be done in a food processor, or (my favorite way) by placing them in a plastic bag and smashing them until they turn into crumbs. Just pretend your Bamm Bamm and go to town!
Next, melt the butter.
Add in the graham cracker crumbs, add sugar and salt, and mix together until combined. Then pour the mixture into a 9 inch pie dish and use your fingers to pat down and flatten crust out.
Make sure to bring the crust up around the edges as well.
Bake crust at 350ºF for 10 minutes (until very lightly browned). Then allow to cool while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, you will need key lime juice (fresh is best), sweetened condensed milk, 3 egg whites, and lime zest.
Side note: some people use egg yolks instead, which gives your pie a richer taste, but I prefer to use egg whites, which helps to give the pie a lift and alters the texture from a dense, thick custard, to a silky, cloud-like confection (mmm).
Start off by whipping your lime zest and egg whites together in an electric mixer for 2 minutes (or until it thickens). It will look nice and frothy.
Next, add in sweetened condensed milk and mix for 3 minutes (or until thick). Then add in lime juice, and mix again until combined.
Oh, and don’t forget to drink your key lime La Croix while you are making your key lime pie (seemed appropriate😉).
After you filling is all mixed, pour on top of the pie crust and bake in oven for 15 minutes. The pie should rise slightly, but retain the same color.
Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, the place the pie in your refrigerator for 2-3 hours to completely cool.
Tip: if you are in rush, place it in the freezer instead of the fridge for a quicker cool down, just don’t forget about it, or you’ll end up having key lime ice cream instead!
After the pie has completely cooled, top with homemade whipped cream, lime zest and fresh lime slices! Then take a picture so you can reminisce about your beautiful pie, because it won’t be around for long once you taste it.
KITCHEN UTENSILS NEEDED:
Key Lime Pie
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
- 15 full graham crackers (about 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 3/8 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ tablespoons lime zest (preferably from key limes, but I used Persian limes)
- 3 egg whites
- 1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened and Condensed Milk
- ½ cup Key Lime Juice from concentrate (or ¾ cup of fresh key lime juice)
- homemade whipped cream (my favorite way to make whipped cream!)
- lime zest & slices for decorating
Preheat the oven to 350ºF
For the Graham Cracker crust:
- Start off making the Graham Cracker crust by crushing up the crackers into crumbs. This can be done in a food processor, or (my favorite way) by placing them in a plastic bag and smashing them until they turn into crumbs.
- Melt butter in mixing bowl, and add in Graham Cracker crumbs, sugar and salt and mix until combined.
- Pour mixture into pie dish and bake in oven for 10 minutes, until very lightly browned.
- Set aside to cool while preparing the pie filling.
For Pie Filling:
- In an electric mixter, whip together lime zest and egg whites for 2 minutes, until frothy and thick.
- Add in sweetened condensed milk and mix for 3 minutes, until thickened.
- Add in lime juice and mix until combined.
- Pour mixture into pie crust and level out with flat spatula.
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Pie will slightly rise, but the filling color should stay the same.
- Allow the pie to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours to let the pie cool completely. Tip: if you are in rush, place it in the freezer instead of the fridge for a quicker cool down, just don’t forget about it, or you’ll end up having key lime ice cream instead!
- After the pie has completely cooled, top with homemade whipped cream, lime zest and fresh lime slices!
Definitely let me know if you make this pie and what you think. Or if you have a different method, let me know how you make yours! I love hearing new ideas.