Sunday, August 30, 2009

Frozen Key Lime Pie

This really isn’t a recipe for Key Lime Pie. Have you ever seen key limes? They are the size of a large marble. It would be easier to milk a cat than extract ¾ cup of lime juice from key limes. But would you really be interested in a recipe called Frozen Lime Pie? I didn’t think so.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa, Family Style

Frozen Key Lime Pie

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, crushed from 10 graham crackers (which is really an unfortunate amount since each sleeve contains exactly 9 crackers)
¼ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

6 extra-large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 4 or 5 limes)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl. Press into the bottom and sides of a 11 inch tart pan. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for 8 or 9 minutes. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

Beat the yolks and sugar on high speed with an electric or stand mixer until thick, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked shell and freeze until very firm, preferably 24 to 48 hours before serving. Drizzle with a small amount of raspberry sauce, if desired. Serves about 10.

Notes on the recipe:
Ina Garten makes her pie in a regular 9-inch pie pan, but we really prefer the tart pan because it gives a more pleasant crust-to-filling ratio in each bite. Once at a family reunion we cheated and bought a pre-made graham cracker crust. I won’t ever do that again.

Ina also tops her pie with a huge amount of sweetened whipped cream. We prefer a simple raspberry sauce made with only defrosted raspberries, sugar, and a little fresh lemon juice. I am not exactly sure of the proportions, but if I took the time to create a recipe it might read like this: Defrost one bag of frozen raspberries, place in a blender or food processor and add about 1/3 cup sugar. Blend until smooth. Add more sugar to taste and a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor.

The downside to this pie is that it is absolutely not portable. It must be frozen solid and eaten as soon as possible after removing from the freezer, otherwise you will serve key lime smoothies and they are NOT GOOD. I speak from experience here. If you need a key lime dessert that travels, please see the recipe for key lime bars on this site.


  1. Sounds yum, and hey! It's not Brown! :D Nice picture by the way :)

  2. Hey Lynnette, I didn't see a measurement for sugar to add to the egg yolks. Am I just blind? And do you not bake the filling at all? Just curious. Loved your "milking the cat" comment :) Thanks for sharing all these fun recipes with the world.

  3. Laura,

    I NEED AN EDITOR! It's 1/4 cup. Thanks! And no, the filling is not baked which is why you shouldn't serve this to pregnant ladies.