Key Lime Pie is my father’s favorite dessert, so I made it for his birthday last week. I’ve been through a variety of bottled key lime juices over the years. Between being hard to come by and inconsistent, I decided to give this a go with fresh key lime juice. Key limes are those teeny limes you see occasionally in the grocery or specialty foods market that are just smaller than a golf ball. Unfortunately, as seems to be the case with all limes in recent years, some of them are totally dry and tend to yield no juice, while others are wonderful. Unless you have a powerful electric juicer or a super fancy hand held one, I would recommend sticking with the bottled juice. I hand squeezed 50 of these key limes last Friday and it nearly killed me. Not to mention that it took forever. I was telling my sister I’d have to call it the $50 pie if I wanted to sell it. Squeezing all those darn teeny limes for such a small yield was a beating. As for the bottled juice – my favorite brand is the Pompeii key lime juice – all the HEB’s in the Austin area carried that brand but I’ve never seen them in the Dallas area. For the rest of us non-Austinites, I’d recommend the Nellie & Joe’s 100% key lime juice . I’ve also heard good things about the Manhattan Brand Key Lime juice but haven’t tried it, yet.
Key Lime Pie Recipe
1 and 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers
5 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar
7 egg yolks
2 tsp key lime zest
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (14 0z each)
1 c. key lime juice (takes 25-30 key limes if using fresh)
In a Cuisinart or other food processor with large blade, process graham crackers to tiny crumbs. In a large bowl stir 1 and 1/4 c. of the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well combined. Press mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and smooth to create an even layer on bottom and sides. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 6 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and zest. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir to incorporate. Add lime juice and continue whisking until all combined. Pour into prepared crust then bake about 25 minutes longer. Check for a firm center, then remove and cool. Refrigerate at least four hours, then serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream.