So a coworker of mine was taking a trip to Florida. Not sure how it came up, but she was telling me how much she loved key lime pie. I told her that my old college roommate loved it too, and that I had never made it before. We made a deal. If you brought the limes back from Florida, I would make the pie. What was I getting myself into?? Not only had I never made key lime pie, but I couldn’t even remember that last time I had had it. I think I remember not like it. When you make something with a flavor you’ve never had, it’s hard to tell if you’re making it right. I kept asking my husband to taste the filling—is it supposed to be tart like this?? is it too sour? I had NO idea. I followed the recipe, so I just hoped it tasted great.
When the pie was done, I packed it up along with the whipped cream for the commute to the office the next day. I was nervous to see what everyone thought of my first attempt at this pie. I was especially worried I’d disappoint my friend who was soooo looking forward to it! Well she didn’t wait until after lunch, or even before lunch. She dove right into that pie for breakfast. Not only did she love it, she said it was the best she’d ever had! Now maybe she was trying to raise my self-esteem (which I’m sure she was), but hell, I’ll take it!!! If you don’t have any key limes, don’t worry it can be made with regular limes.
- 1½ cups graham crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- pinch of salt
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 1-14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup key lime juice (you can substitute regular limes)
- 2 teaspoons key lime zest
- 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- pinch of vanilla
- pinch of cream of tartar
- First, you'll need to make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the graham crackers, sugar, butter, and salt together in a bowl. Once combined, press down into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie dish.
- Bake the crust in the oven for 8–10 minutes to set. Don't be tempted to touch it right away! It needs to cool a few minutes before fully setting.
- With a hand blender, beat the egg yolks about 2–3 minutes or until fluffy. Add the condensed milk, and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Next, add the lime juice and zest, and beat a few minutes until fluffy.
- Pour the filling into the baked pie crust and spread evenly. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until set. Allow the pie to cool before adding the whipped cream.
- In a bowl, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl (cold bowl is best) until stiff peaks form. Add a pinch of cream of tartar at the end to ensure the peaks hold. Using a piping bag, or just a spoon—top of the entire pie, or allow everyone to top their own slice, it's up to you!