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Last summer, I made this famous and traditional Key Lime Pie in which I used speculoos instead of graham crackers for the crust.
This year, I wanted to add my “French touch”. So I made a Key Lime Pie with Pie Crust (called “pâte brisée”) and used a bigger pan for a thinner filling.
My family and I really liked this version better because this type of crust and the thinner filling made the pie lighter. The crust was delicious, not too sweet, and balanced the sweetness of the topping. It also was easier to cut the pie.
I made just one mistake when I put my tart in the fridge. I covered the pie with some aluminum too close to the filling. So I messed up the top of the filling a little bit when I carefully tried to remove it :-( I did my best to hide it with some whipped cream. I learned my lesson!
For the Pie Crust (Pâte Brisée):
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp unbleached flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut in dices (I used Plugra butter)
- 2 Tbsp ice water
- 1 packet of vanilla cane sugar (=1/2 Tbsp) or 1/2 Tbsp sugar + 1 vanilla bean scraped
For the filling:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (I used 12 key limes) or 3-4 Persian limes
- 2 tsp grated key lime zest (grate only the surface of the lime and not the white part which is very bitter)
For the whipped cream topping:
- 1/2 cup heavy whipped cream
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
To make the crust:
- In a food processor, add the flour, salt, and vanilla sugar. Pulse it to sift.
- Add the cold butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
- Pour the water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse until the mixture just forms a dough.
- Put the dough in a plastic wrap. Press the dough into a flat disc and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- When it is ready to use. Butter a tart pan (11 inches). Precisely fit it in a tart pan (11 inches). Poke the dough all over with a fork. Then put the pie back into the fridge to harden.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. When it is hot, remove the pie from the fridge. Put some parchment paper on the dough. Put some pie weights or dry beans to cover the entire bottom and angles of the pie well.
- Cook for 20 minutes until the crust is lightly brown
- Remove the pie from the oven. Pull out the parchment paper by holding the 4 corners and remove the pie weights or dry beans. Put them in a bowl to cool off (be careful not to burn yourself, they are very hot!) Let the pie crust cool down on a wire rack.
To make the filling:
- Meanwhile, zest the key limes. Then, squeeze out the juice from them. They are very small and it takes a lot of energy, so it is best to use some kind of juicing/pressing device!
- In an electric mixer bowl with the whisk attachment beat the egg yolk until pale and fluffy (3-4 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick (about 3 minutes longer). Scrap down the sides of the bowl and then add the lime juice and zest. Whisk until well-incorporated.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust.
- Bake about 10 minutes or until the filling is set.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before to put in the fridge at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When the filling of your pie is cold, put the bowl and the whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
To make the whipped cream topping:
- Whip the heavy cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form (do not over beat or you will have butter). Spread the whipped cream topping evenly over your pie or use a piping bag. You can serve the pie directly like this or put it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that the whipped cream sets.
- Before serving the pie, you can add some extra zest on the cream and a thin slice of lime to decorate.