Key Lime Pie with Vanilla Whipped Cream

This week's wonderful warm weather (not including yesterday's unwelcome chill) had me reminiscing of beautiful Key West, where I went for college spring break a quiet vacation four years ago this month. Although I'd like to forget our loooooong 16-hour car ride down the coast, one thing I can't seem to forget is the fabulous key lime pie I ate there.

This particularly green Key Lime Pie gives a nod to St. Patrick's Day and, of course, today's annual celebration of the mathematical constant π - Pi Day!

When I set out to find a recipe, I knew I wanted to find one as similar as possible to what I had in Key West; one with a creamy, tart filling and buttery graham cracker crust. This recipe from Brown-Eyed Baker fit the bill perfectly. As if I wasn't using this pie as an excuse to celebrate more than one "holiday," I also served it to family for my mom's birthday and it was gobbled up PDQ (pretty damn quick).

PS - check out last year's Pi Day post, a Pecan Pie Sundae recipe adapted from the ever-delicious Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn. And of course check out a classic, the chocolate chess pie tradition adapted from my grandma!

Key Lime Pie with Vanilla Whipped Cream
recipe adapted from Brown-Eyed Baker

  • 4 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup fresh key lime juice
  • 9 graham crackers, pulverized into crumbs (about 1 cup cracker crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1½ cups heavy cream, chilled
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Make the Filling: Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together in a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk, then the lime juice.* Set aside at room temperature to thicken while you prepare the crust.

3. Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and the granulated sugar. While stirring and mixing continuously with a fork, slowly drizzle the melted butter into the graham cracker and sugar mixture. Once you are done, all of the dry ingredients should be moistened and it should look like wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate and evenly press the crumbs into the pie plate. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

4. Once the crust has cooled to room temperature, pour the lime filling into the crust. Bake until the center is set, yet still wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return the pie to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 3 hours. (At this point, the pie can be covered directly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

5. Make the Whipped Cream: Chill a mixing bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Pour 1½ cups heavy cream into the bowl. With an electric hand mixer, whip the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Soft peaks will form in 1-2 minutes. At this point, add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, while continuing to whip the cream until stiff peaks form. 

6. Decoratively pipe the whipped cream over the filling or spread the whipped cream evenly with a spatula. Garnish with lime slices, if desired, and serve. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

*Key Lime Pie is typically more yellow than green. To get this lime green filling color, stir a few drops of green food coloring (no more than 1/4 teaspoon) into the mix before pouring into the pie crust.


Post a Comment