While we were on vacation in Key West, we had Key Lime Pie for dessert at several different restaurants. It’s a specialty down there. You know, because the limes … they’re grown in the Keys. And I honest-to-God just put that together at age 34 while we were on that trip.
Key Lime Pie.
Limes grown in the Keys.
It was like an Oprah ah-hah! moment.
Anyway, the pie was so tasty that I started looking for a recipe online after we got home. And I think I have struck a really good one! I’ve made it twice so far and it’s gone over really well both times, so I thought I’d share the recipe here.
Before we start, let me just also say that I had no idea key limes were so tiny and cute. Look how tiny and cute:
Okay, here is what you need. It’s a short list and seems unlikely to make such a delicious pie, but I swear, it does:
- about 15 key limes (for 3/4 c. lime juice and 1 Tbsp lime zest)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 pie crust
Amazingly, I found the key limes at Cub Foods. Who knew. They weren’t over with the bigger Mexican limes, but instead near the green peppers in these little, orange netted bags. One bag had just enough limes in it.
The first thing I do is wash (water and scrub brush) and dry the outside of the limes. Then I run them all across the zester until I have 1 Tbsp of lime zest.
Next up, cut the limes in half and squeeze out the juice. Be prepared for achy fingers by lime #10.
Next, strain the juice into your measuring cup. This gets rid of any seeds and pulp.
If your bag of limes doesn’t yield 3/4 cup of lime juice, you can supplement with a little bit of extra juice from a Mexican lime or from a little plastic lime juice bottle (you know the ones I mean … the little green bottle that looks like a lime … see how technical I am with this stuff?).
Oh, and one important note: SAVE ONE LIME! Keep one lime un-zested and un-squeezed. You’ll use it later as a garnish.
So now, you need to mix together your 3/4 cup of lime juice, 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk, and 1/2 cup of sour cream.
And I know you’re thinking, “Sour cream? What?” But I think it really makes the pie. The filling bakes into a wonderfully smooth, light custard and the sour cream really adds to that.
After you’ve mixed everything together, don’t forget to add the lime zest.
I think this might be the most important step, actually. Because those little green flecks in the filling are the difference between store-bought and “I made this from scratch, people!”
Then you just pour the filling into a pie crust.
I am no martyr, so I use store bought crusts.
But if you are a better baker than I (which, let’s face it, is highly likely), you could definitely make your own crust from scratch.
Bake the pie at 350 degrees until you start to see tiny, little bubbles (teeny tiny, like the size of the head of a pin) start to rise to the surface. The original recipe said 5-8 minutes, but it took me about 12 or 13 minutes both times. DO NOT BROWN the pie, though. You’re not cooking it to brown it. You’re heating it up to get it to marry together and get smooth and custard-ey.
Cool it in the fridge for a few hours and you’re ready to go!
I topped each piece with a little Cool Whip and a slice from the “saved garnish lime.”
And you could even serve yours on actual dishware! You know, in case you don’t roll with plastic-ware the way we often do.
Well, that’s it. If you try the recipe, let me know how it goes!