So it turns out that before this week, NO ONE in my house had ever tried key lime pie. Neither had my boyfriend. Neither had I, although I did have the chance once. In fifth grade, one of my classmates went to the Florida Keys, and his mom brought back a couple key lime pies for the class. I was a picky child, afraid of trying new things, and so I was the only one who refused a slice. Everyone in my class thought I was crazy, and now I know why.
After reading the intro for this recipe on Food and Wine, I knew it was time. It’s an old-fashioned recipe, and the filling has only three ingredients. Plus, I had never made a custard of any sort, so I wanted to give it a try.
The verdict: My family members couldn’t get over how good it was. And no one could believe they had never tried it before. Yess.
Read on for the recipe and more photos, and scroll to the bottom for a fun key lime fact!
(By the way, I am now one of the only people I know who will try almost anything – from a hallucinogenic drink made by a shaman in the Ecuadorian Amazon, to Mezcal with scorpions in the bottle, to eel, to kava…and much more!)
Tangy Key Lime Pie
from Food and Wine
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs, separated
1 large egg, lightly beaten
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup fresh lime juice, preferably made from Key limes
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- MAKE THE CRUST: Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch glass pie plate. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, or until firm. Let cool.
- MAKE THE FILLING: In a large bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks with the lightly beaten whole egg until thickened. Beat in the condensed milk, then beat in the lime juice and zest.
- In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the custard, then fold in the remaining whites. Pour the custard into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes, or until barely set. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, then refrigerate over-night. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with lime zest.
Fun fact: I always thought key lime pie was green, because limes are green and unless I’m imagining it, whenever I’ve seen key lime pie it’s been green. This must be food coloring. Key limes are more yellow-green than bright green, plus lime juice from any kind of lime doesn’t really make a vibrant green. Good to know!