Limes may technically be in season during blustery Winter months, but key lime pie — arguably the pinnacle of lime desserts — screams Summer. Tart, refreshing, and creamy, it's not only absolutely delicious, but also a great pie to try if you're a beginner baker, as a press-in graham cracker crust is much simpler to make than a flaky, buttery traditional pie crust.
While some will swear up and down that the juice and zest of key limes are crucial to a key lime pie's success, I'm here to tell you that's not strictly true. If you have access to the marble-sized citrus, by all means use it, but don't stress over it; I've made this recipe with both key limes and the more common Persian lime with similarly delicious results. The real secret lies in this pie's crust: In addition to the classics — graham crackers, sugar, and butter — this recipe adds a generous handful of ground almonds for subtly nutty flavor.
If using key limes, you'll need about 2 pounds of them; zest 2 key limes, as they're smaller.
- For the crust:
7 (5 by 2 1/2-inch) graham crackers, broken into small pieces
3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
Grated zest of 1 lime, plus 1 slice of lime for garnish
1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed (from 8-10 limes)
4 large egg yolks
- Unsweetened vanilla whipped cream, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.
- Make the crust: Pulse together graham crackers, almonds, sugar, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in butter. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. (Leave oven on.)
- Make the filling and bake the pie: Gently whisk together filling ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth, and pour into crust. Bake until just set in center, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cool completely (filling will set as it cools). Chill pie, loosely covered, at least 8 hours.
- Garnish with whipped cream and lime slice before serving.
- 8-10 servings