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Good Key Lime Pie has this addictive quality that arises out of a perfect balance between tart and sweet. The trademark salty, buttery graham cracker crust and creamy filling bring plenty of richness, and the key lime juice lends just the right amount of acidity to keep this dessert perfectly balanced. The only thing that can improve upon it is a small mountain of homemade whipped cream.

Total time: 6 hours

Active time: 45 minutes

Bake time: 25 minutes

Makes 1 pie

Ingredients for the crust:

1+1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the filling:

3 egg yolks

Zest of 2 limes (roughly 2-3 tsp)

1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup key lime juice (bottled is great; I used Nellie and Joe's)

Ingredients for the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold

2 tbsp granulated sugar

Lime wheels for garnish


1.) Preheat a standard oven to 350° F. If you're using whole graham crackers for the crust, put them in a ziplock bag and beat them with a rolling pin into fine crumbs. Break up any chunks to help the crust hold together well.

2.) In a medium bowl, briefly mix together graham cracker crumbs, salt, and sugar until combined. Drizzle melted butter across the mixture and use a spatula to mix the butter in until the mixture resembles wet, coarse sand. Press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9 inch pie tin. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove crust, but leave the oven on. 

3.) To make the filling, beat egg yolks and lime zest with an electric mixer on high for 4-5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk 1/4 can at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add the key lime juice and beat briefly on low speed until just combined and then stop to prevent the filling from thinning out. 

4.) Pour the filling into the baked crust. Depending on the size of your pie tin, the filling may fall a bit lower in the crust; that's okay! More crust never hurt. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until very cold.  

5.) 15 minutes before you want to eat the pie, place it in the freezer (this makes it easier to cut). Put the heavy cream in a medium bowl, and, using a whisk or electric mixer, beat quickly until the cream thickens slightly. Then add the granulated sugar, and continue beating vigorously until you have soft, smooth whipped cream. Feel free to top the center of the pie, or cut first and top each slice. Garnish individual slices with a lime wheel and enjoy!

adapted from Food Network

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