There is something so perfect about this Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream and Lime Zest; especially if you are a lime lover like I am. This pie makes the perfect addition to your Summer Barbecue plans; easy, fresh, and so delicious!
I think the first question asked of me when I mentioned I was going to make this pie is, “What exactly are Key limes and how are they different from ‘regular’ or Persian limes?” I was going to take a photo and show you but ahem, I misplaced the limes I had planned to use for the photo. I found them this weekend in the laundry room; oh snap…yes I did go to change out the laundry on the way to my studio and put them on a shelf and forgot them so, well, the rest is history. Hard as a rock and no longer photogenic so I’ve borrowed am image from someone else!
First and foremost, the original Key lime trees were decimated by a hurricane in the Florida Keys in 1926 and as the islands recovered, people resorted to planting the sturdier Persian limes most of us know. Some people might be lucky enough to have a real Key lime tree in their backyard but for the most part, the limes now labeled as Key limes that you find at the local grocery have come from either California or Mexico and are often rock hard.
Not surprising, because they are so small, I’ve found that when I do decide to use them that I had better be ready to juice them that day; they dry out very quickly. And juicing is slow and tedious. I use an electric juicer and that little baby lime just barely fit around the part that is supposed to burrow into the flesh of the fruit. It took about thirty of those little buggars to get the amount of juice I needed!
To be honest? Don’t be like Barb; I wanted to do it and now that I have I’m going to recommend you use the standard grocery store variety Persian limes. I don’t think the difference supports the need to find them and spend so much time juicing them; if there is any difference at all. Also don’t expect the green you might have seen in prepared pies. Lime juice is not green without food coloring; I kept this pie au natural and then garnished it with a bit of green. Much better!
Supposedly Key limes are a bit sweeter than Persian limes and you might be tempted to balance that change with more sugar. I find the difference so minimal and I personally love the tartness so do a quick taste test of the filling before deciding more sugar is necessary. I subbed out a bit of the lime juice for lemon juice though; that mixture works beautifully for my favorite Fresh Margarita so I went the same direction and this pie was fabulous.
There are some Key lime pie afficionados in Florida who insist that meringue is the only topping for a Key lime pie but considering the history of the pie, I have a difficult time believing that someone hand whipped a meringue in the middle of a humid summer and had much success. Besides, I prefer the balance of cool whipped cream with a hint of zest for garnish.
My neighbor Casey wasn’t feeling well the other day; he has a history of killer migraines and he was recuperating from one. I had called his house in search of a lime; I thought I had saved one for garnish but apparently not and while Amy said there were no limes in the house, she did mention that Casey just loved Key Lime Pie. I’m hoping the pieces I sent over when it was completed were what he needed to feel better. I had wrenched my back the day before and I know I was going to use that excuse for devouring two slices myself!
This Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream and Lime Zest is the perfect Summer Barbecue Dessert; watch it disappear!
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Each recipe in our menu this month features foods for a Summer Barbecue. This month it’s my turn to host Progressive Eats and I decided to make it all about foods for a Summer Barbecue; in this list there is bound to be something for everyone. Several somethings as a matter of fact!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious summer dishes!
A Summer Barbecue!
Cocktails & Other Beverages
- Sparkling Blackberry Peach Sangria – The Redhead Baker
- Grilled Crostini Four Ways – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- BBQ Green Chile Bacon Burger – The Heritage Cook
- Grilled Skewers of Halloumi, Peppers, Tomatoes and Onions over Zoodles – The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Quinoa Tabbouleh with Grilled Vegetables – From a Chef’s Kitchen
- Reeses Rice Krispie Treats – That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream and Lime Zest – Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
PIN ‘Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream and Lime Zest’
Key Lime Pie with Whipped Cream and Lime Zest
For the crust
- 11 (2 1/4x4 3/4") graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Pinch kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp key lime zest
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
For the topping
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- Lime zest
Make the crust
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Pulse graham crackers, sugar, and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. With the motor running, drizzle in melted butter and process until well-combined. Transfer mixture to pie pan and press into bottom and up sides with a flat-bottomed measuring cup.
- Bake crust until golden brown and set, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Make the Filling
- Whisk condensed milk and yolks together in a large bowl. Add lime and lemon juices and whisk until well-combined (mixture will thicken slightly).
- Pour filling into crust and bake until center is just set, about 15 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool completely (filling will set as it cools), about 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until cold, at least 1 hour.
Make the Whipped Cream
- When ready to serve, whip cream with a whisk or electric mixer to very soft peaks. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cream and continue whipping until it holds stiff peaks. Dollop or pipe whipped cream around edges and garnish with lime zest.
Pie (without whipped cream topping) can be made, loosely covered, and chilled for up to 2 days.