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Key Lime Pie

Key lime Pie top

We had a great Christmas celebration with some friends this week. Many of us are foreigners teaching English here in China, so in lieu of getting together with our families, we celebrated with each other. We rented a party room at a café/restaurant near the university, and they graciously allowed us to bring our own food, as long as we spent a certain amount on food and beverages at the café. With tinsel, candy canes, shiny Christmas balls, and a fun gift exchange game inspired by a Dutch friend, we managed to evoke the holiday spirit, though far from home. The best part, of course, was hanging out with the great friends we’ve made here that we are genuinely grateful for.

I wanted to make something a little out of the ordinary to bring for dessert, and ended up making this Key Lime Pie. After scorching the crust not once, but twice, I managed to patch it up, and with a recipe from my trusty Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, made a creamy, sweet, and definitely limey pie.

Key Lime Pie

Unfortunately, after transporting the pie to the café where it sat in state on the buffet table waiting for dessert time, one of the café’s kittens got a whiff of the whipped cream topping. Before we knew it, the cat was quietly lapping away at a corner of the pie. Luckily it had only gotten a small bit before it was shooed away, and we managed to salvage the majority of the pie, which had been left untouched.

It still tasted good, though to be honest, Chris and I aren’t the biggest fans of cream and custard type pies. They’re a bit too sweet for our taste. I’d personally rather have a fruit pie. But I like variety, and this key lime pie was a nice change from the ordinary.

Key Lime Pie
Cook’s Illustrated How-To-Cook Library

4 tsp grated lime zest
½ cup lime juice
4 large egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp granulated sugar
5 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Whisk together the zest and the yolks until yolks turn pale green. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and whisk till smooth. Set aside to thicken (to avoid filling becoming runny, do not whisk again before pouring it into crust).

Mix crumbs, sugar and butter together and press crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake in center of oven until slightly browned, about 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that it doesn’t burn!). Cool completely.

Pour filling into crust and bake 15-20 minutes until filling is set (center should just jiggle slightly when moved). Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate about 3 hours until cold.

Serve topped with whipped cream.

4 comments to Key Lime Pie

  • S

    Key lime pie always tastes better with fresh key lime zest and juice. It can be a pain to zest those little limes and juice them, but the taste is just phenomenal.

  • Camilla

    I agree, and I can’t wait to try it with real limes. The only reason I used bottled lime juice is because fresh limes don’t seem to be readily available in this area of China. But as soon as we get home, I’ll definitely try it!

  • I am in love with this recipe and can’t wait to try it! My husband adores key lime pie and after 10 years of marriage, I still haven’t made him one. I know, bad wife! Thanks for helping me out with a recipe–yours looks lovely.

  • koree

    Hi,it’s my first time to visit here.
    Chris told me this website today and I love it so much.
    By the way,I love cooking,too.