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A traditional Key Lime Pie in a graham cracker crust. Stores in the refrigerator up to three days. Adapted from "The Pie and Pastry Bible" by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 11 graham crackers (1 package of double crackers 4 7/8 inch x 2 3/8 inch)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 eggs, at room temperature separated and divided
- 1 1⁄4 cups sweetened condensed milk (1 14 oz can)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons key lime zest, finely grated
- 3⁄4 cup fresh key lime juice
- 1⁄2 cup sugar (preferably superfine)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- To make the crust by hand: Place in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush.
- In a medium bowl, combine crumbs and sugar; stir in melted butter.
- To make the crust in a food processor: Process crackers and sugar until crackers are finely crushed, about 20 seconds; add melted butter and pulse until incorporated, about 10 pulses.
- Press mixture into a 9 inch pie pan using the back of a spoon.or your fingers.
- Bake crust until just set, about 6 minutes (crust will only color slightly).
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, lightly whisk together egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk; gradually beat in the lime juice (mixture will thicken) and the zest; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and an electric mixer) beat egg whites until foamy; add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form; set aside.
- In a saucepan, stir together sugar and water, then heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves; reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the soft ball stage (236 degrees F); remove from heat.
- With the mixer on low speed, gently pour syrup over the egg whites until incorporated; increase heat to high and beat 2 minutes.
- Remove 2 cups of the meringue, then cover the remainder with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Fold the 2 cups of meringue into the lime mixture; pour int crust.
- Bake (at 350 degrees F) until set, 15 minutes.
- Spread remaining meringue over entire surface of pie and sprinkle with powdered sugar (to create extra crunch), if desired.
- Return pie to oven for 5 minutes, then turn on broiler and cook 20 seconds to 1 minute until meringue is golden.
- Cool pie at least 4 hours before serving; use a wet, thin knife to cut.
- Store, uncovered, in the refrigerator, up to 3 days.