Key Lime Pie with Macadamia Nut Crust
Or try my key lime pie bars!
Happy Memorial Day! I know you’re off enjoying this blissful long weekend as we remember those who have fallen for our country. Today is the unofficial start of summer: there’s burgers on the grill, watermelon in the fridge, and a whole lot of pie in our baking futures.
Many of you have been asking me what I’m craving in my pregnancy. I’m very boring, so here’s my answer: fruit. Buckets of fruit. Fruit… and salt. Buckets of salty chips followed by buckets of fruit. All the chips, all the fruit. Balance, right?
But in all honesty, it’s more like tangy/sweet things (lemon, lime) and spicy/salty things (made this salmon the other night and it was MAGIC). Side note: Kevin surprised me with one of those edible arrangement bouquets of just fruit and I ate almost the entire thing myself in 1 day. And it was the large size.
ANYWAY. I made key lime pie the other weekend– it was the recipe out of my cookbook. Have you tried it yet? Key lime pie will forever be one of my favorite desserts. This southern specialty has been winning over my tastebuds for years, ever since I met my friend Amy. It’s her #1 favorite. In fact, her birthday cake each year is key lime pie. She got me hooked. Between the buttery and crunchy crust, tangy custard filling, and the essential creamy topping– no dessert can rival key lime pie.
Can we make a good thing even better though?
I made another key lime pie last week and am just going to say it right here, right now: this is absolutely the best key lime pie I’ve ever tasted.
Key lime pie is traditionally made with effortless graham cracker crust. It’s the most wonderful crunchy, sweet, and buttery, bed for the fresh key lime filling. But hey! How about getting a little nutty? You won’t believe the difference a handful of macadamia nuts makes. All I did was sub in some salty macadamia nuts for some of the graham crackers. Macadamia nuts are a gem and, as it turns out, often overlooked in the baking world. Why though? They’re so damn good!!
Just pulse some mac nuts with graham crackers and mix with melted butter and a little sugar. It’s an awesomely thick crust and the salty and sweet/toasty and crunchy combination will blow you away.
Do yourself a favor and buy a bottle of key lime juice from the store. Otherwise you will spend 100 years juicing 500 itsy bitsy key limes yourself. You need an entire cup of key lime juice and yes, it will take you 100 years to squeeze them all. But, I don’t know, maybe you’re much faster than I am!!
There’s brand of bottled key lime juice called Nellie & Joe’s in most major grocery stores next to the bottled lemon juice. You can use that. Just make sure you’re using key lime juice, not regular lime juice. Key limes are a little sweeter with a more intense flavor. Yum!
3 Ingredient Filling
This key lime pie filling recipe is a little different from my usual (the recipe in my cookbook). I typically add a little cream cheese to the filing to ensure stability and structure, but decided to do without. I wanted to share a traditional key lime pie here on my blog! So we’ll be using egg yolks, 2 cans sweetened condensed milk, and key lime juice.
Yes, the filling is only 3 ingredients.
(and, um, look how deliciously thick this crust is!)
Make sure you pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes before pouring in the thick key lime filling. The actual pie only takes about 15 – 20 minutes, so not only are there minimal ingredients– this is a relatively quick recipe! Considering most fruit pies take about triple the time…!
For the topping, you can garnish the key lime pie with whipped cream OR since you’ll have leftover egg whites, make a meringue topping. You’ll have time to kill while the pie chills anyway!
Summer of pies starts… now.
SHOP THE RECIPE
Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
Key Lime Pie with Macadamia Nut Crust
Graham Cracker Macadamia Crust
- 9 (135g) full-sheet graham crackers
- 1/2 cup (62g) salted macadamia nuts (I used roasted)
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted
Filling + Topping
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and macadamia nuts together into crumbs. A few larger pieces of nuts is OK! Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. Press tightly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Pre-bake crust for 8 minutes. Leave oven on.
- Make the filling: Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and egg yolks together-- or use an electric mixer. Pour into warm crust.
- Bake the pie for 15-20 minutes or until only *slightly* jiggly in the center. You want it mostly set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, cover and chill for at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days) before serving.
- Garnish as desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: You can prepare and pre-bake the crust up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover and store at room temperature. Likewise, you can mix up the filling up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then assemble and bake. Freezes well up to 3 months-- thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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And PS: you’ve tried these key lime pie truffles, right?!
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