Key Lime Pie

"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."
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  • 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.

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