My favorite desserts are tart, zesty, fresh & slightly sweet. I prefer citrus to chocolate..not sure why that is, exactly. I’ve tried and have made many a key lime pie in my days, but I’ve struggled to find a pie recipe that is tart enough for my liking. With my good friend Mark’s birthday coming up, I knew he would love a surprise birthday dessert which was light & fresh…so I searched and found a recipe I loved and I knew he would, too.
Credit goes to ChefMom. I’ve altered this recipe a bit, increased the lime and slightly cut down on the sugar. The filling is refreshingly tart but it is balanced by the sweet in the whipped cream topping.
It’s a cinch to make the crumb crust and surprisingly the filling only bakes for 15 minutes. Let this rest in the frig for a few hours then garnish with some zest, a lime wedge or a pretty berry to add color. The crust cuts beautifully from the pie pan and serves up in a clean wedge. Just about the perfect key lime pie in my opinion. Enjoy!
Zesty Key Lime Pie with Macadamia Nut Crumb Crust & Whipped Cream Topping
For the Macadamia Nut Crumb Crust
- 2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped (or grind in food processor)
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Stick of melted butter
Directions for the crust:
- Preheat the oven 350F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Spray a deep pie pan with non-stick spray and add the crumb mixture. Spread and flatten the crumbs evenly on the bottom and edges of the pan.
- Bake 15 minutes until slightly golden blond color.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
For the Key Lime Filling
- 1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice (bottled can substitute if you don’t have fresh key limes
- 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
Directions for the filling:
- With a kitchen mixer or hand-held beaters, whip the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, lime zest and egg yolks.
- Pour into cooled crust and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 20 – 30 minutes.
- Loosely cover the pie with a piece of parchment paper or paper towel making sure to not touch the filling, then cover that with a large piece of plastic wrap & secure underneath the pie plate (baker’s tip: if there is any condensation from the heat of the pie, there will be moisture built up – but if you have paper towel or parchment protecting the surface of the pie, then the water droplets from condensation will not drip on the pie).
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow pie to set. Top with sweetened whipped cream.
For the Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
Directions for the topping:
- In a medium-sized bowl beat the cream and sugar until soft peaks appear.
To finish before serving
- Uncover the chilled pie and top with the whipped cream. Garnish with sliced lime, lime zest, mint or a fresh berry for color. This will hold over well and can be covered and go back into the frig for a few hours if needed before serving time.
- To pull out a perfect first slice, select a knife with a long blade, run under hot water to heat the blade and dry. Run the knife through the pie making sure to slice through the crust to the bottom of the pie plate. Clean the knife under hot water and dry, then slice the other side. Slice at least 2 pieces of pie, cleaning between cuts. For whatever reason, if you slice at least 2 pieces of pie before removing a piece, it will be easier for your first slice to be removed with clean-cut edges.