I love Key Lime Pie and seek it out whenever I can. I’m always slightly disappointed when a restaurant doesn’t have one on the menu. I’ve had good versions and less good versions, but the contrast of creaminess and tartness (as close to sour as I can get) is so satisfying to me that I forgive even the poor versions. I try to push that balance to the edge, by adding as much freshly squeezed key lime juice to a super creamy base and THEN top the whole thing with a layer of key lime curd and a pile of whipped cream.
This week I finished and sent in my very first solo book manuscript. Despite having written 7 books on bread with my co-author, Jeff, this was a monumental moment for me. I had it in my mind that the first thing, non-book related, that I would bake was going to be a Key Lime Pie. Here it is and it’s the perfect, albeit humble, way to celebrate this milestone of a new adventure in my career. No matter the occasion, this is a terrific pie.
You can find all the equipment I used for the pie here.
Do you have pie questions or need to troubleshoot your recipe? Check out my guide on how to make pie crust.
Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice.
Share it with your friends and family if you like! 😉
- 1 package graham crackers
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- Pinch salt
Key Lime Filling
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 5 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup key lime juice
- Pinch salt
Key Lime Curd
- 6 yolks
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed or bottled key lime juice
- zest of 1 key lime
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Candied Lime Slices
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon corn syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 key limes sliced paper-thin, best done on a mandoline
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Pulverize the graham crackers in a food processor, then add the butter, sugar, and salt and blend until incorporated. Press the mixture into a pie plate, so it is even all the way around. I used a deep pie plate, so I didn't go all the way to the top. It should be about 1/8-inch-thick throughout. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until it is golden brown and smells toasty.
- If your cream cheese isn't soft enough to whisk, heat it for 10 seconds in a microwave. Whisk the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, yolks, key lime juice and salt. If the mixture is lumpy at all, strain. Pour the mixture into prepared crust.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until it is set like jello when you jiggle the pan.
- Prepare the curd as the filling is baking. Whisk together all the curd ingredients except the butter in a large metal bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water set up as a double boiler. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until the curd begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Add the butter and continue to stir until it is completely melted and the curd is quite thick; it will be the consistency of smooth pudding. If there are any lumps, strain the curd into a container; then cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until cool. Then refrigerate.
- Once the filling is set, let it sit for about 10 minutes, then gently spread the curd over the top of the filling and bake for an additional 5 minutes. If you made your curd ahead and it is chilled, stir well, so it isn’t too stiff, then bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
- Just before serving, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla to medium peaks. Spread it or pipe it over the top. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice.
Candied Lime Slices
- Cook the sugar, corn syrup, and water until sugar is melted. Turn off the heat and add the lime slices. let the limes sit in the hot syrup for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, Preheat the oven to 200F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Arrange the limes, gently squeezing off the extra syrup, on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 30 minutes to 2+ hours or until the limes are dehydrated. Depending on the humidity and how thick the slices are, will determine how long this takes. In the summer it can take considerably longer. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat or the limes will lose their lovely color. The thinner you can get the limes the better or the green peel can become tough.