So many years ago, I travelled to Florida to visit my friend Laraine O’Neill. Laraine is one of those people who made a party, well, a party! She always brought the fun. Great sense of humor, great stories, a great friend.
Laraine had recently moved back to her beloved Florida and made me this fabulous Puerto Rican dish for dinner. But then, she said, “I made you my famous dessert. I hope you like Key Lime Pie.” Well. To be honest, I had never had Key Lime Pie. I could not have even told you at that point in my life what a Key Lime was, and if or how it was different from a regular lime.
Now most of you who know me also know that really just about all of my favorite desserts have chocolate, preferably with a side of peanut butter. I was actually a little disappointed Laraine made a lime dessert. I mean, really? But you know what? It was so darn good, that when I got back to my house, I went right out and bought the ingredients and made one of these gems for myself. It is just that great.
Tangy, sweet, tart, creamy, crunchy, and frozen. So refreshing. This pie is the perfect dessert for a Mexican-themed dinner or chili, or really any warm and spicy meal.
It is also so easy to make! Just a few ingredients, and you can do it all by hand or use a stand mixer, whichever you prefer. Make it, bake it, pop it into the freezer. Enjoy!
Laraine’s Key Lime Pie (with my Graham Cracker crust)
For the crust:
11 graham cracker sheets (22 squares)
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1/4 t salt
For the filling:
4 large eggs, separated
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
5 oz. key lime juice
1/2 t cream of tartar
4 T white sugar
Preheat oven to 325F.
Make the crust. In a gallon-sized, zippered bag, place the graham crackers. Crush into crumbs with a rolling pin or pound with a mallet. Pour crumbs into a medium bowl. Add butter and salt. Stir until mixture looks like wet sand. Press into 9″ pie plate. Bake 10 minutes until set. Let cool while you prepare the filling.
In a stand mixer, or with a whisk, vigorously beat egg yolks 5 minutes until they are thick and light colored.
Add the sweetened condensed milk, beat slowly until combined. While stirring or beating, add the lime juice and the cream of tartar. Mix until combined completely. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake 15-18 minutes. Filling should be firm and look slightly dry.
Cool slightly, then place pie in freezer.
After 2 hours of freezing, make the meringue topping. In a metal bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, place the 4 reserved egg whites and the 4 T sugar. Whisk or beat on high until whites are stiff and a bit shiny. Pour onto the frozen pie and return it to the freezer until ready to serve.
Makes 7-10 servings, and lasts in the freezer for at least a week (theoretically anyway).