Thursday, May 20, 2010
Key Lime Pie


Summer is finally here! Well, supposedly. Finals are through, school is out, and I'm still alive. However, this temperamental Bay Area weather indicates anything but. Add in the fact that few other colleges let out this early and that I started working a full time job two days after my vacation started and you've got the perfect formula for the anti-summer.

The only way I could convince myself otherwise was to make key lime pie. I few months earlier I spotted bags of key limes being sold at Food Max and I took this as a sign that it was finally time to try my hand at this iconic dessert. Of course, this was in the dead of winter and on top of being buried in weekly exams and hospital clinical days, I was still craving the comfort of warm, cozy baked goods.

Only a few minutes into my undertaking I realized that it was a good idea that I had decided to wait until my vacation to try this recipe. Although I halved the recipe and needed only half a cup of key lime juice, it took over thirty minutes just to squeeze out enough juice from those tiny little buggers and they left my fingers stinging. Fortunately for me, the rest of the recipe is cake, well you know what I mean. Some people bake their key lime pies with zest in the filling, which I'm sure adds even more delightful tartness. However, I just couldn't bring myself to blemish the pristine, marble-like custard. Instead I opted to add zest to the graham cracker crust, which I enjoyed just as much. The bright, green flecks of zest added just the right amount of zing and quirk to the pie. Key lime pie is notorious for being deceivingly light, yet calorie laden so I spared myself a fraction of the guilt by making it in tart form. I'll post the amounts that I used and if you'd like to make a full size pie you could easily double the ingredients--note though that you might end up with a little more filling than you need, but I'm sure you can find something to do with that.

key lime duo

Key Lime Pie (adapted from

makes one 8-inch tart

4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice

1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
zest of a few key limes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and zest until well blended. Press mixture into an 8-inch tart plate.

Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well and pour into unbaked graham cracker shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight before serving.