What do you do when you have a Pisco sour party and wind up left with an extra bag of adorable little key limes*? Obviously, you make a key lime pie. And what better day than 3/14/15 to share this incredibly simple recipe? This was not only my first time attempting a key lime pie, but it was also my first time making a graham cracker crust and a meringue, and it came out as close to perfect as I can imagine a key lime pie being. This recipe is legitimately fool proof.
*We found our key limes at Huong Vuong in Philadelphia.
Bottled key lime juice works just as well, or you can tart-up some Persian lime juice with lemon juice.
Key Lime Pie
Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook
10 graham cracker rectangles (5 1/4 ounces)
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest (from Key or Persian limes), preferably organic
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup freshly squeezed Key lime juice (from about 20 Key limes), or 1/2 cup fresh Persian lime juice (from about 4 regular limes) plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 about lemon)
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
God, this recipe is so easy I can’t even stand it. Okay, so first things first. Make that crust.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C)
- Pulse your graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Don’t try to mash them up in a plastic bag like I did. Just get out the stupid food processor and accept the fact that you’re going to need to clean it later.
- Add the butter, sugar, lime zest, and salt until combined.
- Press into a pie pan, flatten with the bottom of a clean glass, and pop it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
- While that’s baking, beat you egg yolks with a hand mixer or immersion blender until they lighten a bit.
- While mixing, slowly pour in the sweetened condensed milk and beat until it thickens.
- Add lime juice.
- After the crust has cooled a bit, add the filling then put it back in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until set. It’ll have a slight jiggle but will retain it’s shape.
- Get out your stand mixer. I really don’t recommend doing this by hand, your arm may fall off.
- Beat the egg whites with salt until they start to get foamy.
- While mixing, add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat until you have stiff, glossy peaks. Add the vanilla around medium-peak time.
- Scoop the meringue onto the pie and smooth with a spoon. Get creative here if you want. Mound it up in the center or make it all the same height. You can even pipe the meringue on in designs. Just remember, the rougher the top the more yummy brown bits you’ll have when you broil it.
- I did this in a toaster oven so I could keep close tabs, because once this stuff starts to brown it has about a two second window before it burns, and a 5 second window before it flames up like a piece of paper. Keep an eye on it and when it starts to brown and smell like toasted marshmallows, you’re done. If you want to pretty it up even more, hit it lightly with a brûlée torch.
Happy π Day!