Florida Key Lime Pie

William Curry (Rich Bill) was a ship salvager and Florida’s first self-made millionaire. He had a cook known as Aunt Sally. It was Aunt Sally who created the recipe for key lime pie in the late 1800s. The predominant theory is that Aunt Sally was well versed in making lemon icebox pie with its base of sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. But instead of lemons, she used local key limes out of convivence.

With no fresh milk, no refrigeration, and no ice available in the remote Florida Keys until the 1930s, local cooks had to rely on canned sweetened condensed milk. Key lime may be the star ingredient of this pie, but the smooth and creamy sweetened condensed milk is no bit player.

Key Lime Pie

MHT uses two adaptations to this American classic make it easier to make and enhance the flavor. First, key lime juice can be easily purchased, saving the cook from juicing 30-40 tiny key limes. Also, the crust flavor is enhanced by using browned butter instead of regular melted butter.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: BBQ, Dessert
Cuisine: American, American South, North American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Chilling: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • 9-inch pie plate
  • Stand Mixer with paddle and whisk attachments
  • small saucepan

Ingredients

  • cups Finely ground graham crackers (10-11 crackers)
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • tsp Kosher salt
  • tbsp Lime zest, finely grated
  • 3 large Egg yolks
  • 14 oz Can of sweetened condensed milk
  • cup Key lime juice, bottled or 12 key limes squeezed (or 4 Persian limes)
  • ¾ cup Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp Powdered (Confectioner's) sugar

Instructions

  • Make Crust
  • Buy already prepared graham cracker pie crust or make your own by preheating oven to 350°F (177°C). Brown butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Grind graham crackers into fine crumbs. Combine crumbs, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add browned butter and extra water to bind as needed. Stir well until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Using you hands or the bottom of a measuring cup, press down hard to compress crumbs into a tight, level crust.
    Bake store-bought or homemade pie crust for about 10 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Leave oven on.

Make Filling

  • While pie crust is cooking, grate lime zest into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add egg yolks and beat at medium speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add condensed milk and beat 3 minutes more. Add lime juice and beat until well combined. Pour filling into pie plate with crust. Place back in the oven and bake until set (but not browned on top), about 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Make Topping

  • Rinse out the mixer bowl and place in the freezer along with whisk attachment. When pie has completely cooled, pour cream and powdered sugar into the cold bowl, attach whisk, and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Spread over the whole top of the pie or pipe noisettes decoratively around the pie. Garnish with thin lime slices.
    Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Slice and serve.

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