Key Lime Pie

key lime pie

This should be called a double-decker pie, as there are two, count’em, two layers of tart lime filling. You must be a citrus lover to appreciate this pie because lime is featured in three different components: lime zest in the graham crust; lime juice and zest in the creamy bottom layer made with condensed milk, and lime juice and zest again in the somewhat translucent lime curd in the middle, all of which are topped with a cushion of whipped cream.

Image: Dédé Wilson

Key Lime Pie
Makes: Serves 8 to 10
  • 1½ cups very fine graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
Creamy Lime Filling:
  • 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated lime zest
Lime Curd:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
Whipped Cream:
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
For the Crust:
  1. Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the inside of a 9-inch tempered glass pie plate with nonstick spray.
  2. Place graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and rind in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour mixture into pie plate and press with fingers to create an even layer on the bottom and up the sides, creating a high rim. Use a flat-bottomed glass to facilitate pressing the crumbs along the bottom and to help with the edges. Keep glass flat, move towards the edges and it will press the crumbs along the sides, creating an even crust all around. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or just until crust starts to color. Cool on rack. Meanwhile, prepare filling.
For the Creamy Lime Filling:
  1. Whisk together the condensed milk, lime juice, yolks and zest. Pour mixture into pre-baked crust. Bake for about 10 minutes; filling will be set. Cool on rack. Meanwhile, prepare curd.
For the Lime Curd:
  1. Place sugar, lime juice and egg yolks in a heavy non-stick saucepan; whisk well to combine. Cook over low-medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture is thick, looks somewhat translucent and coats a spoon. It is okay if mixture simmers. This will take about 15 minutes. Stir in the lime zest off the heat. Allow to cool slightly. Gently spoon lime curd over creamy lime filling and spread to make an even layer. Cool pie on rack to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
For the Whipped Cream:
  1. Whip the cream and sugar together right before serving until medium firm peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pie all the way to the edges, creating attractive peaks. Serve immediately.

Bakepedia Tips

  • Don’t even think about using bottled lime juice for this recipe. It’s all about the bright fresh flavor of the limes.
  • The pie can be frozen overnight, whipped cream and all, for a chilly, frosty version.
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