Welcome Home: Key Lime Pie

Today is Pi Day, March 14, 3.14, and it seems like as good a day as any to re-launch my semi-defunct blog! I celebrated the occasion with one of mine and my Dad’s favorites – key lime pie.

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 5 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 and oil a 9 inch pie plate.

Pulse the graham crackers in a blender (I used one sleeve of crackers to get 1 1/2 cups crushed) until no big chunks remain. Stream in the butter and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to the pie plate and spread evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Press firmly. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown, set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350.

Whisk the egg yolks with a pinch of salt until they reach the “ribbon stage” where they leave a trail that hangs around for a few beats when you lift out the whisk. The eggs will be very pale by this point. I used my KitchenAid with the whisk attachment and it took 6 or 7 minutes to get to the right consistency. Don’t panic, just keep whipping.

Add the evaporated milk and continue whisking (on high if using an electric mixer) until the mixture is well combined and thickened – another 4 or 5 minutes. Add the lime zest and juice and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the cooled pie crust and bake for about 10 minutes. It should be just set and not brown at all. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

When the pie is cool, make the whipped cream. I highly recommend chilling your mixing bowl first, though you don’t have to if you don’t have time. Add the whipping cream, sugar and stabilizer to the chilled bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Pipe (or heap) the whipped cream onto the pie and serve very cold.

I made this pie once before – years ago, when my kitchen tool list did not extend very far at all. The experience of squeezing an entire sack of key limes (which are teeny-tiny) by hand put me off of making key lime pie for… 8, 9, 10 years? Something like that. However… a citrus juicer made all the difference for me, and this pie turned out to be easier to make than I remembered.

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