Oh JoyOh Joy

the BEST key lime pie ever...


For every holiday, get-together, or BBQ, I make and bring my signature frozen key lime pie. Now I have always made it clear that I didn't come up with this recipe, but today is the day where I reveal to you my very closely guarded secret and source: #1 there are no key limes used in this key lime pie {just regular limes} and #2 this recipe was created by the ever so amazing, Ina Garten. It is so simple, so tasty, and really may be my favorite dessert to make. Because I lack the careful planning and precise measuring that baking often requires, this pie makes it fail-proof even for me. 

You can see Ina's recipe right here, but I am also listing it below as I have modified it a bit and have some notes to add for your reference.

Ina Garten's Frozen Key Lime Pie {with my notes & slight modifications}

For the crust:
1- 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

{note: I find this to be just a tad too little to coat a standard pie pan, so I usually make 1.5 this recipe if I want a thicker crust.}

For the filling:
6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

{note: I use closer to 1 or 1.5 tablespoons of zest, and I find that you need closer to 8 to 10 limes to get 3/4 cup of lime juice.}

For the decoration:
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges

{I use madagascar vanilla extract & cut key limes into thin slices instead of regular lime wedges.}

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick {note: I use a regular hand-held mixer}. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze.

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Freeze for several hours or overnight.

{note: This pie needs at least 8 hours to really freeze, so I suggest making 24 hours in advance. Also, while you're at it, suggest making two pies at one time. Just double the recipe then serve one for the next day, and keep the other in your freezer for future snacking. It keeps in the freezer well for up to a month, and pretty good up to two months.}


{photo by Oh Joy, original recipe by Ina Garten, melamine plate shown available here.}