key lime pie

key lime pie is one of my FAVORITES! i think it would have been damn near impossible to escape our jimmy buffet-laden, beach bumming, floridian childhoods without a healthy love of key lime pie, not that i would have tried. this pie is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and i especially like that this recipe contains NO EGGS! it sets up beautifully, and topped with homemade whipped cream is just heaven. 

is it summer yet?

| ingredients |

9 graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (apprx 1 1/2 cups)
¼ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup key lime juice*
grated lime zest for garnish
whipped cream for garnish
      -1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for homemade!

*more on this special hell in a moment...

| method |

to make the crust, combine your crumbs and sugar and add melted butter until well incorporated. press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.

to create the filling combine the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and key lime juice* until smooth, and pour into your prepared crust. 

*what no one tells you is getting the 3/4 cup of key lime juice is somewhat of an exercise in extreme patience and carpal-tunnel inducing hand exercises. now i'm sure there's some fantastic trick i don't know, or if you have a juicer this is probably a cinch, but for those of us that hand cut each individual key lime in half and hand-squeeze it to see the smallest amount of juice possible eeek out...i know. it feels like you will never, ever even with 1,000 baby key limes get that 3/4 of a cup of juice. you'll get there, and it's worth it, i promise. by the time this is over you'll really deserve that piece of pie.

but if all else fails and you reeeeally can't hack it/don't have the time for an hour long epic key-lime squeezy fest, you can substitute 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime juice (bottled). or if you're real fancy you can use kermit's super duper key lime juice from the one and only key west.

once your pie is assembled, bake for 10 minutes and then turn off the oven. let the pie sit in the oven for 30 minutes, checking occasionally. do not let the pie brown!

remove the pie to a wire rack to cool, and then chill completely before serving. (this usually takes a couple hours but ideally you should chill overnight and then garnish the next morning)

homemade whipped cream:

in the bowl on an electric stand mixer, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. beat on high until desired consistency is reached. 

before serving, garnish the chilled pie with whipped cream and key lime zest. enjoy!

-l
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