I’ve never tried Key lime pie, but everyone raves about it. I was curious …
Key limes are not easy to find. They are much smaller than regular limes, and have a higher acidity and a strong aroma. Luckily we found Key limes while visiting the “once a year” event, “Taste of the Food Terminal.” I’ve also seem them a few times at Costco.
The ingredients are fairly straightforward. A traditional Key lime pie is made with a graham cracker crust. The filling consists of whole eggs, fresh Key lime juice and condensed milk. I looked at several recipes and decided to try a mousse-like pie, rather than the traditional version.
The recipe is from “Pepe’s Cafe,” located in Key West, Florida, and involves folding in whipped egg whites.
While the pie turned out wonderfully, I can’t say I understand the commotion surrounding Key lime pie. The pie was light and fluffy, but very tart. We’re talking, “dimples and more dimples.”
Regular limes also work well, and I would suggest trying them instead of Key limes, unless you really crave a very tart pie!
Pepe’s Cafe Key Lime Pie
Recipe adapted from epicurious.com
For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6-8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 2 large egg whites
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup fresh Key lime juice (regular limes work well)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons icing sugar
Make the graham cracker crust:
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar
- Drizzle with the melted butter and stir until well combined
- Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate
- Bake until set and golden brown, about 10 minutes
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely
- Leave the oven on
Make the filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a whisk or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Add the lime juice and whisk until combined
- Gently fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten the mixture then add the remaining egg whites and fold until just evenly combined
- Gently spread the mixture in the pre-baked crust and bake until just set in the center, about 20 minutes
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and then refrigerate at least 4-6 hours before serving. DO AHEAD: The pie can be baked and stored, covered, in the refrigerator, up to 3 days
Garnish and serve:
- In a medium bowl, combine the heavy cream and sugar and whisk until soft peaks form
- Pipe whipped cream onto pie and enjoy!