Second, this recipe is from a friend’s husband. She’s a pretty lucky lady, to have a husband who can whip up pie this good. But here’s the thing. I lost that recipe somewhere over the Pacific, so this is how I make it now. Because I couldn’t give up key lime pie if you told me it was going to kill me. If you really want the original . . . I’ll put you in touch with said lucky lady.
Third, here’s the thing about limes. If you are going to go all out, buy some key limes and squeeze them yourself. Or buy a bottle of key lime juice. If those aren’t viable options where you are, here’s a secret: you can juice regular limes or <<gasp>> if you’re feeling really lazy, use bottled lime juice. It’s your kitchen, and if you don’t tell anyone, I won’t.
ps–start this pie in the morning. That way you can use the leftover egg whites for an omlete, you’ll have plenty of time to let the cream cheese soften, everything cool and chill in the fridge and hopefully it will take so much time you’ll forget it’s in the fridge so you don’t eat it all . . . like me.
- 3/4 cup vanilla wafers (crushed finely)
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 full sheets)
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 1/4 Cup melted butter
- 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup lime juice (add a little more if you like it tart)
- zest of one medium lime
Cream cheese layer
- 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened to room temp (for serious. use the microwave if you have to, but it needs to be soft)
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 lime juice
- 1/2 teasp. vanilla
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- To make the crust, crush the wafers and graham crackers either with something heavy, or in your food processor. Mix with melted butter and sugar and firmly, firmly press into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, firmly press again and let cool.
- To make custard layer: Lower oven to 300. Whisk sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks and zest together until smooth. Pour into cooled crust and bake 20-25 minutes until the custard is set (it will move when you shake the dish, but it moves as one piece and the center is not more jiggly than the outer edges). Set aside to cool to room temp. This is really important or you’ll get condensation between layers.
- To make cream cheese layer: MAKE SURE CREAM CHEESE IS SOFT. In bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. In separate bowl, mix lime juice, condensed milk and vanilla and add it slowly to cream cheese while the mixer is running. Beat until smooth and spread over custard layer.
- Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours ( I know, I know, but it’s worth it)