Key lime pie is such a great way to use up a few limes. The standard key lime pie filling only really has three ingredients, and since it’s usually poured into a graham cracker crust, using a ready-made one brings the time required to make the pie down to almost nothing – although it’s worth noting that the pie must be allowed to set-up in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours (pref. overnight) before slicing.
The ingredients needed are limes (key limes or regular will do), eggs, and sweetened condensed milk. All you nned to do is whisk them together and you’re set. The milk is very thick and very sweet, but provides a great texture and background for the lime. The eggs help keep everything together. The filling is silky smooth and has a vibrant, juicy flavor that keeps it from tasting too heavy or rich.
Instead of using a regular graham cracker crust, I made my crumb crust out of crispy lemon cookies – hence the “double citrus” name for this pie. It added a great extra burst of flavor to the pie, which is especially delightful if you’re a citrus lover! Now, while I used lemon wafers for the crust, you might not have any available. If not, use regular graham crackers – not cinnamon graham crackers – and add either 2 teaspoons of lemon zest or 2 tsp lemon extract to the crumbs as you make the crust. The graham cracker crust will have a slightly more brown sugary flavor to it, but the lemon will come through regardless.
I usually make unbaked key lime pies. The acidity of the lime juice – and it is vital for the flavor to use fresh – “cooks” the otherwise raw eggs in the filling, much as lime juice “cooks” the fish used in ceviche dishes. While I like to stick to tradition, most recipes for key lime pie these days recommend baking the filling. To ensure that my recipe archives cover all the bases and will offer recipes that show both options, I baked my filling for this pie (even though I didn’t really have to). There is little difference in the texture of the two methods once the pie has chilled overnight in the fridge, so feel free to go either way. You’ll enjoy the resulting pie no matter how you get there.
Double Citrus Key Lime Pie
2 1/2 cups lemon wafer cookie crumbs
3 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp butter, melted
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup key lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, or a food processor, combine wafer cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter, stirring until mixture resembles wet sand. If you are using vanilla wafers or graham crackers, add 2 tsp lemon zest or lemon extract.
Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and press into an even layer across base and up sides.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crust begins to lightly brown.
Cool completely before filling.
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a large bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, egg, lime juice and lime zest until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake for 20 minutes, until filling is just set and moves only slightly when you gently jiggle the pan.
Cool to room temperature than chill in the refrigerator before slicing.
Top with whipped cream to serve.