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Key Lime Pie is a well-known dessert from Key West (Florida, USA) made of a graham cracker crust. The filling is a simple custard made of egg yolks, condensed milk, and key lime juice. This pie can be topped with whipped cream or meringue.
For my oldest son’s birthday, I made this Key Lime Pie, one of his favorite desserts. He really wanted the crust to be made of speculoos.
If Key Limes aren’t available in your area, they can be easily substituted with Persian limes. There is some debate over whether the flavor is the same, but in my opinion, after having tried both versions, my family and I prefer the slightly more acidic and aromatic flavor of the Key Lime. This difference is subtle, but it complements the pie well!
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups (155 grams) Speculoos or graham cracker (about 10 crackers)
- 2 tbsp cane sugar (only if you use graham cracker)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 7 tbsp unsalted butter melted
For the filling:
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ 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 lemon and not the white part which is very bitter)
For the whipped cream topping:
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Butter a 9-inch pie pan.
To make the crust:
- Place speculoos (or graham crackers) in a food processor and blend until coarsely ground.
- In a medium bowl, mix in speculoos crumbs (or graham crackers), sugar (only if you use graham crackers), salt, and melted butter until combined.
- Press crumb mixture evenly and firmly over bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish.
- Bake crust for about 8 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
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 whisk in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
To make the whipped cream topping:
- Whip the heavy whipping cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Spread the Chantilly cream 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 heavy whipped cream sets.
- Be careful when you cut the pie; the crust is a little fragile and can fall apart. I recommend cutting with a small knife and cleaning your knife after every cut.