Even the slightest hint of pie makes my daughter turn into a ravenous monster. If she were ever in a pie-eating contest, place your bets on her because I’ve seen her throw down full-grown men.
So, needless to say, when I walked in with pounds of key limes the other day, her eyes grew wild she realised a pie-baking session was on the cards. She was deliriously happy, and I was bribed with two gumballs and the entirety of her allowance to make it right then and there, so we had pie that night — I can always use a gumball.
Key lime pie has an interesting story, supposedly beginning in the early 20th century when refrigeration was scarce. Sweetened condensed milk was used a lot in cooking, especially on fishing boats. Legend has it that the famous pie was created with what the Florida sponge fisherman had on hand: sweetened condensed milk, limes and crackers. Even at sea, there’s time for comfort food.
Today, it’s beloved by many and is even the official state pie of Florida. There are many tried and true recipes out there, but I like to make mine with quality ingredients (organic if possible), extra lime juice and a pinch of zest for that added depth of flavour, and fresh whipped cream with a kiss of raw honey to balance the sourness. Delightfully sweet with the perfect amount of tartness, this creamy bright pie is indulgent comfort in every bite.
Key lime pie recipe
- 10 graham crackers/digestive biscuits
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 5 tablespoons raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 1 pound of limes)
- 1 teaspoon key lime zest, grated
- 2 cups heavy/double cream
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Finely crush your crackers or biscuits and, in a bowl, stir to combine with the butter, 2 tablespoons of honey and salt. Grease a 9-inch pie dish with additional butter. Pour the crumb mixture into the pie plate and evenly press to form a crust on the bottom and the sides. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, add the condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and zest to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pie crust then bake for 15 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, beat the cream and remaining 3 tablespoons of honey together until it holds stiff peaks. Using a spatula, evenly spread the whipped cream on top of the pie and garnish with additional lime zest, if desired. Slice and serve!