I love key lime pie. I feel confident in saying it’s my favorite dessert.
I have never made it myself, but have always thought about it. After I bought these pans awhile back, I knew I would be making mini key lime pies with them.
I have had amazing key lime pie, and okay key lime pie… I don’t know if I’ve ever had a bad key lime pie… but I didn’t know where to start to get a good one. I did some online searching and learned there are a couple different ways to make it. Some use sweetened condensed milk (something I have never even purchased before), some have cream cheese, some use lime jello or limeade concentrate.
Based on texture, I decided to go with a sweetened condensed milk version. I found this recipe by JoyofBaking.com, and had to adapt it a little because of the available ingredients at my grocery store.
Key Lime Pie – adapted from JoyofBaking.com
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp granulated sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted
3 large egg yolks, room temp
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (It takes about 20-25 key limes. I used the bottled stuff.)
2 tsp lime zest (you can use regular limes for this)
whipped topping of choice
1. Preheat oven to 350*. Spray bottom and sides of pan(s). You can use an 8 or 9 inch springform or pie pan, but I decided to use 3 4″ springform pans. It was the perfect amount of filling for my 3 pans.
2. Mix together melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Press into bottom and 1/2 up sides of pan(s). Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until it’s golden brown at the edges. (My mini pans only took about 5 minutes.)
3. While the crust is baking, grate the lime zest. My grocery store did not have key limes, so I bought bottled key lime juice and used regular limes for the zest. (It takes 20-25 key limes to get enough juice, so I don’t know that I would want to do all that extra work anyway.) I like my zest in smaller pieces, so I always chop it up after I zest it.
4. When the crust is done, remove to a wire rack and let cool. With your mixer and your whisk attachment (regular beaters are fine if you have a hand mixer) beat the egg yolks for 2-3 minutes. They should be light and frothy.
5. Open the can of sweetened condensed milk and slowly add to your egg yolks while the mixer is going. It should beat for about 3-5 minutes total. You want it to be light and “fluffy.”
6. Scape down the sides of the bowl and add the key lime juice and zest. Beat for a bit more, until the juice is fully incorporated. (I got a bunch of zest stuck on my whisk so I had to scrape it and mix a bit more by hand after I stopped the mixer.
7. Pour the filling into your pan(s), then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the filling it set. Even with my little pans this took about 12 minutes.
**My mini pans were dripping in my oven, which ended up creating smoke by the time I took them out. Next time I would set them on a cookie sheet or something when I put them in the oven.
8. Let cool on a wire rack, then cover and chill overnight (or at least for a few hours).
9. When ready to serve, remove the springform ring (if necessary) and top with a dollop of whipped topping. I just used the frozen stuff, thawed out. It was light and didn’t take away from the perfect tartness of this pie.
I don’t think I ever need to try another recipe, this one was absolutely perfect! Very tart, smooth creamy texture, and a perfect crumbly crust. I used the bottled key lime juice, and it was easy and perfect. The recipe for key lime pie on the juice bottle was actually identical to this one. That’s how you know it must be perfect!
*Note* Real key lime pie is not green, but yellow. The juice (and the inside of a key lime) is like a pale yellow color. The egg yolks are yellow, and the sweetended condensed milk is yellowish. If the pie is green, food coloring was added.