Smooth and Simple Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Our family loves a Lemon Meringue Pie we make as a variation of North Carolina restaurateur Bill Smith’s much-praised Atlantic Beach Pie. We take Smith’s pie, change the crust and add our meringue recipe.

After making the lemon pie recently, we had a discussion with my wife Molly’s parents about making a Key Lime Pie. Molly and I decided we could probably take the lemon pie, substitute lime juice for lemon juice and omit the meringue to make a good Key Lime.

That’s what we did, and the picture above reflects the result. On the first try, the consistency was perfect, and the flavor was citrus-y in a delightfully subtle way. I’m not the biggest fan of citrus pies. They’re just not my favorite. But this Key Lime Pie was right on target, smooth and creamy.

I prefer a homemade crust, so that’s what I do, but I’ve found in sharing pie recipes that most people like to keep it simple and use store-bought shells. So, in the interest of preserving the most top-secret pie-recipe pieces I use, I’ll keep the Graham cracker crust specifics under my hat for now. However, I will gladly share the filling recipe with you to try for yourself.

This makes a light but satisfying summery pie with what we believe is just the right hint of lime. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!


Key Lime Pie

What You Need:

1 14-ounce can sweetened-condensed milk

4 egg yolks (You can save the whites for something else. We like using them for egg whites on a breakfast sandwich. When we’re making lemon pie, we use the whites for meringue topping.)

½ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (If you want to further simplify, just use store-bought juice.)

What You Do:

1. Make or open your pre-packaged Graham cracker crust.

2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the sweet milk, egg yolks and lime juice until the different liquids aren’t separated.

4. Pour the mixture into your crust, and bake for 16 minutes.

5. Cool for an hour, then chill the pie in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. (If you place the pie directly from the oven into the fridge, you’ll end up with condensation on your pie, which could make it watery.) You want the filling to be completely set before you cut a slice. Otherwise, your filling will just seep into the gaps every time you cut and remove a piece.

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