What’s better than key lime pie? Little miniature key lime pies!
Is it just me or do teeny tiny versions of food taste better? Individual key lime pies > actual key lime pie.
Summer and key lime pie go together like ben and jerry, mac and cheese, vacation and margaritas. Key lime pie is the type of dessert that takes barely any effort, which makes it perfect when the weather’s warm. AKA when there’s a million other things you’d rather be doing than slaving away in a hot kitchen.
What makes key lime pie even easier (and quicker!) is baking it in a muffin pan rather than in a pie pan. Less bake time, less slicing, less chill time. PLUS (and this is the best part!) it is perfectly acceptable to have more than one. Not to mention, mini key lime pies are totally kid-friendly. Little hands, little appetites, little pies! I love these things.
How to make these adorable little treats? Let’s take a trip back to last month when I taught you how to make the perfect graham cracker crust. This is the same exact graham cracker crust recipe I use for pies, cakes, cheesecakes, and more. Its buttery and slightly crisp texture is the exact contrast I want with my little key lime pies.
3 ingredients = butter, graham crackers, sugar. So you know it’s good.
To ensure a compact crust, make sure you press the mixture tightly into each individual muffin cup. You’ll use a little over 1 Tablespoon of crust in each individual pie.
Then, pour the key lime pie filling evenly into each.
The filling is tart, sweet, and creamy. Exactly as key lime pie should be.
The key lime pie filling has, get this, only 4 ingredients. If you added that up with the crust (I don’t expect you to. It’s summertime.), that is a whopping 7 INGREDIENTS for the entire recipe! Why are we not making these tiny key lime pies more often?!?!
Cream cheese acts as the base of the filling recipe, giving the filling a little structure and a subtle cheesecake flavor. Also providing a little structure, as well as a rich texture, are egg yolks. Besides those two, we’ve got sweetened condensed milk which is an obvious must in my key lime pies. AND… drum roll please… key lime juice!
So easy, it feels like vacation. And the first bite will actually transport you to the Florida Keys.
Key Lime Pies
What's better than key lime pie? LITTLE BABY key lime pies!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
- 6 Tablespoons (87g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (112g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 large egg yolks
- one 14 ounce can (396g) full-fat sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup (120ml) key lime juice1
- optional: lime slices and whipped cream for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-count muffin pan with liners and a second 12-count muffin pan with only 4 (since this recipe makes only around 16). Set pans aside.
- Make the crust: Click here for some handy graham cracker crust tips before you get started. If you're starting out with full-sheet graham crackers, you can use a food processor or blender to grind them up. Or crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together with a rubber spatula in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press a heaping Tablespoon of mixture down into each liner, making sure the crust is tight and compact. You might have a little crust leftover. If so, press a little more into each liner—if desired! Pre-bake the crusts for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in the egg yolks, scraping down the sides as needed. On high speed, beat in the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until combined.
- Pour the filling evenly into each crust. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until the centers of the pies only slightly jiggle (I check this by wiggling the muffin pan—with an oven mitt on-- while it’s still in the oven). Allow the pies to cool at room temperature in the pan set on a wire rack. Once completely cool, place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
- Once chilled, serve the key lime pies cold with whipped cream and a lime slice if desired. Store leftover pies in the refrigerator (covered) for up to 1 week. If they last that long!
- Make ahead tip: Up to 1 day in advance, you can prepare the crust ingredients and the filling ingredients separately. Store each covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to assemble and bake. Likewise, as noted in set 4, you can bake the key lime pies and store in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving. Key lime pies freeze well, up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- For the best flavor, make sure you use key lime juice. You can juice your own key limes or buy it from the store. It is usually with the regular lime and lemon juice in the juice aisle. I buy Nellie & Joe's brand (pictured in this post). In a pinch, you can use regular lime juice.
FOR A KEY LIME PIE: This is the same exact recipe I use for an actual key lime pie (and sometimes I add the zest of 1 lime to the filling, which you can add to these mini pies as well). To make the pie, simply use this crust and filling recipe. Press crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Pre-bake for 12 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Pour in filling. Bake for 18 minutes, then allow to cool at room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator for 4 hours - overnight.
Adapted from Key Lime Pie Squares
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And with whipped cream? This is summer love. ☀