the best key lime pie

Yesterday was Pi day - you know, 3.1415926535.....etc, etc, on and on.....math geek stuff, or March 14 (03/14).  In honor of Pi day, we had a pie competition at work and Trev's request was Key Lime (his favourite) so I made two, one for work and one for him.   I had some stiff competition at the office, but my pie got the most votes so I won!  Yay pie!

This recipe turned out pretty good, really good actually.  I love tart, limey stuff, so I made this pie in my deep dish pie plate and increased the filling.  I know the pie is called "key lime", but grating the zest off of those little things is painful, so I used regular limes (Persian limes).  I'm not sure how much difference in flavour you would notice, so why not save yourself some time? 

Lime Filling

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 1/2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • Whipped Cream Topping
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 5 tbsp icing sugar

Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together in a large bowl for about 2 minutes (until it gets a light green tint).  Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, then mix in the lime juice.  Set the filling mixture aside to thicken while you're making the crust.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and sugar in a bowl.  Drizzle the melted butter over the top and mix with your hands until well combined.  If the crust mixture is too dry, add a little more butter - you want to be able to squeeze the crust mixture in your hand and have it hold it's shape.  Lightly grease a deep dish pie plate, then use your hand and a measuring cup with straight sides to evenly press the crust mixture into the pie plate.  Bake the crust for about 15 minutes (until it's lightly browned and smells good) then let it cool on a wire rack.

When the crust is completely cooled pour the lime filling into the crust.  Return the pie to the oven (325 F) and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the center is set, but still wiggly when you jiggle it.  Allow the pie to cool to room temperature.  Spray a piece of plastic wrap lightly with cooking spray and gently press it to the surface of the pie and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Just before serving whip the whipping cream and icing sugar until just-stiff peaks form.  Spoon the whipping cream on top of the pie either as you slice it or spread it over the surface and swirl it with your spoon.  Garnish with very thin slices of lime and serve right away.

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated by Cook's Illustrated.