This authentic homemade Key Lime Pie made with a gingersnap crust will deliver the perfect mouthwatering dessert in the form of a slice of heaven.
Occasionally I like to publish fun facts about the food I publish including interesting health benefits or why I prefer to use a certain ingredient over the other. Thanks to my friend, wikipedia, I’m going to tell you a bit about key limes:
The Key lime (Citrus ×aurantiifolia) is a citrus hybrid with a globose fruit, 2.5–5 cm in diameter (1–2 in), that is yellow when ripe but usually picked green commercially.
It is smaller and seedier, with a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind, than that of the Persian lime (Citrus × latifolia). It is valued for its unique flavor compared to other limes, with the Key lime usually having a more sweet and bitter flavor. The name comes from its association with the Florida Keys, where it is best known as the flavoring ingredient in Key lime pie. It is also known as West Indian lime, bartender’s lime, Omani lime, or Mexican lime, the last classified as a distinct race with a thicker skin and darker green color. Philippine varieties have various names, including dayap and bilolo.
You see, I’m sure you could make a key lime pie with regular limes, but that would just feel dirty to me. So, I went to the store and found me a bag of real key limes. They were a real bitch to juice because they were so small, but I was determined to make this pie authentic.
You can totally make this with your standard graham cracker crust, but I think the flavor of ginger snaps is amazing with the mouth puckering zing of citrus, so I used Trader Joe’s ginger thin cookies. Oh my, was this pie good. I wanted to take some photos of the individual slices but we kind of devoured the pie before I could get one of those pretty “staged” photos. The pie is definitely easier to slice after it has really set in the refrigerator. Also, I used a full 2/3 cup of the lime juice because I love the tart flavor, but keep in mind that the more juice you use, the longer it will take to set up. If you love citrus desserts like I do, be sure to check out my blood orange cupcakes, strawberry rhubarb lemon bars, and my gorgeous (if I do say so myself) strawberry lemonade baked donuts. Enjoy!
Key Lime Pie
- 9 ounces ginger snaps processed into fine crumbs
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons key lime zest
- 1/2 cup key lime juice use 2/3 cup if you prefer it to be more tart
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar more if you like it sweeter
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- To make the crust, combine ginger snap crumbs and melted butter in medium bowl and mix well until crumbs are evenly coated. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. Bake crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack while you prepare filling. Allow oven to remain at temperature.
- To make the filling, beat zest and egg yolks in stand mixer with whisk attachment on medium high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until thickened again, about 3 minutes more. Whisk key lime juice into yolk mixture until combined. Pour into ginger snap crust and bake pie for another 10 minutes, until set but not browned. Let pie cool completely before adding topping.
- To make the topping, beat heavy cream with sugar in stand mixer using whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Take care not to over or under beat. Spread over top of chilled pie. Ideally, pie should be chilled overnight so that it can fully set and can be easily sliced.
- This delicious pie will last up to a week if refrigerated... but who can let a pie like this sit in their frig for a week without eating it?