Okay, before I begin, I’d like to confess:
I HATE anything milk or flour based mixed in with any kind of citrus. Lemon cake? Bleh… Orange cream anything? Oh gawd… Any of your fancy citrus tinted custards basking on a base of crackers? Oh no, I have an emergency… sorry for missing dessert!
There. I’ve said it.
But key lime pie?
There used to be a time where I would be HAPPY I could never order it or try it because it was never made eggless anywhere. Who needs lime flavored sweetened milk in pie form? But then I got married, and guess what my better half LOVES to death?
Yup. This pie.
So after a bit of searching, it turns out that AllRecipes had a combination that most people loved more than the egg-filled version. I paired it with a graham crust from my favorite cooking idol and voila.
Plus, it’s PI DAY (3.14)! Always need another excuse to make a glorious dessert.
And, yes, I actually LIKED this mix of cream and citrus… it’s a rich treat!
Makes 1 nine inch round pie
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (from about 10-12 crackers)
2 pinches sea salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
If you have a food processor, you’re in luck! You just take the crackers, dump them in, grind them down, add in salt and butter, and grind again until everything is nice and blended.
If you don’t have a food processor (comme moi), keep reading:
Melt butter just so that you have almost no solid butter left, then mix to completely melt.
Place crackers in a plastic zipper bag.
Beat crackers gently with a rolling pin, then roll pin over bag to make the crumbs as fine as possible.
Add butter and salt to the bag.
Then seal and shake bag until butter has covered all the crumbs. Pour out into your pie dish.
Using either a measuring cup a rounded steel bowl (like I have) pack mixture down, and raise it up against the sides.
Bake for 10 minutes on middle rack. Remove and let cool as you make the filling.
ALTERNATIVE: Buy a ready-made graham cracker crust 🙂
2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/2 cup key lime juice concentrate (if using fresh, use about 3/4 cup of juice)
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
In a medium sized bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and lime zest.
Now, I wanted to use FRESH juice, but there were no key limes available. So I opted for this concentrate:
Pour 1/2 cup (or just a little less if you don’t want a sharp lime taste) of concentrate and mix well.
Add in sour cream.
And mix well.
Pour into your graham cracker crust.
I baked mine on a lower rack because I wanted to make sure my crust was solid. If using a pre-made crust, use the middle rack. Bake for ONLY 10 minutes. You don’t want the filling to brown.
Remove and cool for 20 mins before cooling completely for at least 3 hours in the fridge.
Technically, you’re done! But if you want to add a billowy layer of whipped cream… well, you know you want to 😉
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon whipped cream cheese*
*A trick I learned on the interwebs to keep the cream stabilized (i.e. not melty and molten as it gets after a while) for DAYS on end… it’s magic!
Place your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 10 mins… cold bowl and whisk = great cream. (Ahem… excuse all the ice cream around the bowl.)
I used my KitchenAid, but it works by hand, too (just takes a little longer).
Pour in cream and sugar, and beat at medium speed until well combined and cream is starting to get fluffy.
Add in the bit of cream cheese. Make sure you’ve softened it a bit with the back of a spoon.
Raise speed just a notch higher, and watch for peaks to form. Your cream is ready when it stays on your whisk.
Pile on top of your COOLED pie (please wait until it is really completely cold).
Spread and garnish with zest, candied limes, or lime slices!
Store in fridge. Keeps well for 4-5 days 🙂