Key lime pie is a classic American dessert that originated in the Florida Keys. It features a sweet and tangy filling made from key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, which is set in a graham cracker crust and often topped with whipped cream or meringue. The pie gets its unique flavor from key limes, which are smaller and more aromatic than regular Persian limes, with a distinct tartness.
Here’s a simple recipe for key lime pie:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup key lime juice (freshly squeezed or bottled)
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest (optional)
- 1 cup heavy cream, whipped (for topping, optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the crumbs are evenly coated with the butter.
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish to form the crust. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice, and key lime zest (if using) until well combined and smooth.
- Pour the key lime filling into the slightly cooled graham cracker crust, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Bake the pie for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is set and only slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate the pie for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the filling to fully set.
- Before serving, top the pie with whipped cream, if desired. You can either spread a layer of whipped cream over the entire pie or pipe individual dollops onto each slice.
The combination of the sweet graham cracker crust, tart key lime filling, and creamy whipped topping creates a delightful balance of flavors and textures that has made key lime pie a beloved dessert for generations.