Recipe source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style
The closest I’ve come to a homemade key lime pie was my mother’s, circa 1992, for a church potluck. It came out brown. And tart. VERY tart. Like, mouth-puckering, face-scrunching tart. I don’t know what happened, because my mom followed the recipe and she is a good cook. Maybe it was a bad recipe. But it was very, very bad. So I’ve been a bit scared. But a good key lime pie really can be a heavenly thing, so I decided to attempt it with Ina.
Plus, key lime pie reminds me of my favorite show, Dexter! So I began my quest for the best key lime pie recipe… sans sodium pentathol, that is.
I served this pie with my last post, tequila lime chicken. (Are you sensing a theme?) I loved the crust – graham cracker – an unbeatable classic. And flavor-wise, the filling was about right: tart, but sweet enough to avoid the pucker. I was not crazy about the texture, however. When I first read this recipe, I thought ‘frozen key lime pie’ was a weird title and planned to omit the ‘frozen.’ But it really is an important descriptor. The inner parts of this pie can get a slightly flaky, icy texture, which hurt my sensitive teeth. And somehow the crust was extremely hard to scrape out of the pan, making for messy servings. I think the butter may have frozen to the pan. So, my quest for the perfect key lime pie continues…
RECIPE – Frozen Key Lime Pie
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)
For the decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.
For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.