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Double Citrus Key Lime Pie (baked)

Double Citrus Key Lime Pie

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.

Serves 8-10

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  • Liesl
    January 28, 2009

    My husband LOVES Key Lime Pie…I will have to try this, it sounds pretty simple, and it looks delicious!

  • Linda
    January 28, 2009

    OMG, that sounds divine. I’m a huge fan of key lime anything (other than fake) and a lemon cookie crust makes it sound even more heavenly. Did you use TJ’s lemon thins for the crust? That would be my choice! Can’t wait to try this one!!

  • Netts Nook
    January 28, 2009

    Can’t wait to try this key lime pie thanks for sharing.

  • Nick
    January 28, 2009

    Yum, can’t believe how easy that is too. This would be a great Super Bowl dessert for sure.

  • Jenn's Baking Chamber
    January 29, 2009

    I love the decoration on that piece! What a great way to make it fancier, looks delicious!

  • Kevin
    January 30, 2009

    That key lime pie looks really good!

  • Karyl
    February 1, 2009

    I made the pie this weekend (the graham cracker/lemon crust version) and it was delicious. It made a little too much crust for the depth of my pie plate but that was easily adjusted. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Shanna
    March 11, 2009

    I finally made this for a dinner this last weekend. I agree that it made too much crust (and I used Kroger brand frosted lemon cookies and it came out fine). But it did take longer to bake for me. I had it in the oven at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes before I felt comfortable with the amount of remaining jiggle in the set up. The diners all said it was great, and I didn’t have any left, so I guess it was pretty good (didn’t get to taste it myself).

  • mitchy
    March 15, 2009

    Made this today and it came out delish! I agree with the others that there is a lot of crust….I burnt the first batch so good thing there was enough left over to make a new crust! sooo tart and yummy!

  • Vernon
    March 18, 2009

    Going to have to try making this. Usually store bought key lime pies are too rich sometime.

  • Britney
    March 19, 2010

    Did you use a deep dish pie plate? 2.5 cups of graham cracker crumbs was too much for my 9″ pie plate. I think I ended up using 1.5 cups.

  • Carolyn
    November 18, 2011

    I made my second key lime pie today ! The first one I made years ago, without any eggs. Today I did it the way you said.. but I used graham cracker prepared crust. I used some bottled lime juice and the juice of two fresh limes in it along with their zest. I used eggbeaters in it instead of whole eggs. Some recipes call for only egg yolks. Have you ever made it with eggbeaters??? And I baked it about 20 minutes at 325. Now, I’m going to chill it and serve later. I tasted it before I stuck it in the oven and it tastes soooo good. Can’t wait to try it ! Yummo !!

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