A Tangy Tropical Dessert That's Simple to Make
Key lime pie is a delicious dessert, reminiscent of lazy days in the Florida Keys. In fact, it's the official pie of Florida. This pie is rich in tangy, tart flavor but making it from scratch isn't the easiest, because some recipes call for multiple, time-consuming steps. Fortunately, this recipe takes out all of the complications and leaves you with a silky smooth dish that's sure to please your family.
Unlike other versions of key lime pie, this is more traditional, including egg yolks, fresh key lime juice and a homemade pie crust. While it may seem a little intimidating to put together a pie crust from scratch, it takes only minutes to put together and bake. Plus, your kids can help with this step – pretty easy to do and fun for little hands to put together.
Total Time: 45 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 cookies)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup key lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 key lime
- Heat the oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, crumble the graham crackers and add them to a food processor. Pulse the crackers until you have fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs back into the medium bowl.
Mix in the sugar.
3. Using a small bowl, melt the butter in a microwave. To avoid burning the butter, heat it in 10-second increments, stirring after each until completely liquefied. 4. Pour the melted butter into the crumbs and mix until combined. 5. Transfer the crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan. Using your hands or the base of a water glass, flatten the crumbs along the bottom and sides of the pan to form a solid crust. 6. Bake the crust in the pie pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the crust cool over a wire rack. Do not remove it from the pan. 7. In two small bowls, separate your eggs into whites and yolks. 8. In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer set to high to combine the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, egg yolks and sugar. Mix until thick, about 4 minutes. 9. Pour the pie filling into the crust. 10. Bake the pie for 15 minutes. 11. Remove the pie and cool it in the refrigerator before serving for about 1 hour. Alternatively, place it in the freezer for 15 minutes. 12. Garnish with key lime zest from a fresh key lime. You can also slice the key lime into thin slices and use those to top the pie.
Substitute animal cracker crumbs for graham cracker crumbs in equal amounts to make the crust, if desired; other types cookies may result in a soggy or crumbled crust. Use a store-bought crust instead, if you wish.
If you don't have a food processor, add the crumbled graham crackers to a resealable plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush the pieces into fine crumbs.
Instead of key lime slices, top the pie with 1 cup of whipped topping and key lime zest.
Use the egg whites in another recipe or make a meringue to top the pie. Simply whip them using an electric mixer on high in a medium-sized mixing bowl with 1 cup of confectioner's sugar. Top the pie with the meringue before baking and cook it for 20 minutes or until the whites are slightly browned.
Susan Paretts has contributed to a variety of publications about nutrition including Livestrong, Food & Nutrition, Healthfully, Real Simple, Our Everyday Life and the Houston Chronicle, among others. Her expertise is in healthy eating, vegan choices and organic foods.