Key Lime Pie is one of those desserts that screams "SUMMER"! It’s cold & creamy, yet tart & sweet at the same time. I can’t get enough of it, and I have to say, that it disappeared in record time!
As Key Limes are native to the Florida Keys and not readily available elsewhere, you can absolutely use regular limes, or combine equal parts lime and lemon juice. I made this one using just the ‘standard’ lime, but one thing is certain - always use freshly squeezed juice, and always zest the limes before juicing. It would be a crime not to use the zest for those additional floral notes in the pie!
I’ve used vanilla wafers in this pie. Is it considered classic? No, but it was not disappointing in the least. There are many schools of thought on what ingredients are in a true Key Lime Pie and I'm here to listen to your opinions. Whether it must be a flaky pie crust, or a graham cracker crust, or even don’t-call-it-a-key-lime-pie-if-it-doesn’t-have-key-limes-in-it…. I hear you and I used none of the above (mainly because I didn’t have graham crackers and I had to scour the pantry in search of a substitute). No matter, it was delicious! For our friends outside of the US, we suggest Digestives (UK) or Leibnitz Kekse (Germany) for a similar result. Either way, it’ll be a winner! xoxo Kirsty
For an entertaining and enlightening read about the origins of the Key Lime Pie and what constitutes a classic, read this article, 'The Curious Case of Key Lime Pie' by Molly O’Neill @epicurious.
Ingredients for a 9-inch pie (serves 8)
For the graham cracker crust:
1-1/2 cups (150g) vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
For the filling:
2 egg whites
4 egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice. Regular limes can be used or equal parts lemon and lime juice
zest of one lime
1 lime, thinly sliced
For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Blitz the vanilla wafers in a food processor until they are all ground up. In a bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle with the melted butter and stir until well combined. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom, and up the sides, of a 9-inch (23cm) pie plate. Bake until set and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl with a whisk or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Add the lime juice and whisk until combined. Gently fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten the mixture, then add the remaining egg whites and half the lime zest, fold until just evenly combined. Gently spread the mixture in the pre-baked crust and bake until just set in the center, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
The pie can be baked and stored, covered, in the refrigerator, up to 3 days.
To serve, arrange the thinly sliced lime slices on top, and give the pie another sprinkle of lime zest.
This recipe is an adaptation of the @epicurious Pepe’s Cafe Lime Pie