This Key Lime Pie, is the Key Lime Pie to end all Key Lime Pies. That’s why I’m nicknaming it Killer Key Lime Pie!
I have a talent. I didn’t know it was a talent until my friend Rebecca told me it was. I thought it was normal and that everyone can do it. She told me I was wrong.
My weird talent, or gift, if you will, is that I can taste things in my head without actually physically tasting it. It’s what makes me good at recipe developing. If I think about a recipe I want to make, I can imagine what all the ingredients mixed together will taste like.
It’s similar to how some people have perfect pitch…I just have perfect taste. I can taste the food without actually tasting it. Like people who have perfect pitch can make the sound of a note without actually hearing the note first.
Anywho, the reason I bring that up is because even with my “tasting it in my head” talent, I underestimated the deliciousness of this pie. I knew it would be good and couldn’t wait to try it, but as an after thought I decided to do a little extra step.
Even the fine tuned flavor receptors in my brain did not anticipate that that extra little effort would pay off in such a huge flavor-tastic way.
So what was the extra little step you ask?
All I did was zest the limes and mix the zest with granulated sugar. I made the pie a day in advance of serving it so the sugar zest mixture sat out (in a little bowl) over night and became hardened and crystallized. I don’t really know what I was expecting, I was really just doing it to have a pretty garnish for the pictures.
All I can say is, GO ME!!! The crystallized sugary zest was a REALLY good idea. It does something AMAZING to the already delicious pie. Put a scoop of sweetened whipping cream and a generous sprinkle of the zest on top of your slice and all I can say is, “Boom baby, you’re in pie heaven!”
One more important thing to note about this pie: The amount of filling is actually a little too much for a normal size pie tin. It’s perfect for a 9 1/2 inch pie tin, if you have one. I don’t so what I do is fill the pie tin and then put the remainder of the filling in a little ramekin or two. If you put them in a ramekin put a square of graham cracker in the bottom. Yum!
The other option, because this makes so much filling is to make two pies that have a thin layer of filling instead of one with a thick filling (makes it more like a tart.) This is a great option if you are a person who loves a large crust to filling ratio.
So, this is a key lime pie, but if you can’t find key limes or just don’t want to deal with the smaller limes, you can use regular limes. The flavor is very similar, but the key limes do give a slightly more tart flavor, so if the tartness is really important to you you’re definitely going to want to find some key limes.
Zester’s are so fun to use. Here is one I like on Amazon.
- 1 sleeve of graham crackers (9 large crackers) or 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- 1½ cups sour cream
- 2 (14 oz) cans sweet and condensed milk
- ¾ cup key lime juice (this took about 24 key limes for me)
- Zest of all the limes
- 1½-2 tbsp of granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use a food processor to crush graham crackers into crumbs or put them in a ziploc bag and smash them with a rolling pin until they are tiny crumbs.
- Mix in the ¼ cup sugar first and then the melted butter until completely combined.
- Press mixture evenly into a 9 inch pie pan. ( I put a little plastic bag of my hand when I do this to make it less messy.) Make sure to press as firmly as you can to make the crust solid.
- Zest all of the limes and put the zest in a small bowl. combine it with 1½-2 tbsp of granulated sugar, make sure you use enough sugar to coat all the zest. Set aside uncovered (this will need to set overnight to set up and be crunchy.)
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the sour cream, sweet and condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk together until combined and smooth.
- Pour over graham cracker crust in the pie pan.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes if doing one thick pie. Bake for 10 minutes if doing two thinner pies. (if you are doing a thick pie with a ramekin or two, pull the ramekins out after 10 minutes.
- Cool completely before serving and top each slice with sweetened whipping cream and then sprinkle with the sugary crystallized lime zest.
- *This is how I make my sweetened whipping cream. 1 cup whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer until stiff and can keep it shape.