Updated: Jun 22, 2020
My mom Suzanne is the most disciplined eater I know- which is probably why she looks so great at 61 years old. But when I make this key lime pie, she can’t resist... it’s THAT good, a pie that breaks the will of the most regimented health nut. This has become something of a “house specialty” around here- it’s my go to for special occasions and is frequently requested by friends and family. The secret lies in the crust. Instead of the traditional graham cracker blend, I boost flavor with spicy ginger snaps and crunchy almonds. I could eat the crust mixture with a spoon straight out of the food processor (and I have). Key limes are a must here- they are more “limey” and floral tasting than regular ones. The hardest part of the recipe is juicing all of those little suckers- but this is a great job for little hands! Put those kids to work! Just make sure to fish out any teeny seeds that make their way into the juice, and remember to save a couple for zesting before you squeeze them all. Next, the pie needs to chill for at least 8 hrs before serving. I leave it uncovered since plastic wrap tends to stick and create pock marks on the smooth, silky surface- no bueno. This is the best make ahead dessert! Serve it with lots of lightly sweetened whipped cream and berries- this pie is the KEY to everyone’s heart! Enjoy!
prep time: 20 min. cook time: 8-1/2 hrs. (includes chilling) serves: 8-10
2 cups 2” gingersnaps (or roughly that size, such as Midel brand), or 7 graham crackers broken into pieces
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
zest from two key limes
1 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh whipped cream and berries, if desired
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the gingersnaps, sugar, and almonds into the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine (the texture should resemble coarse bread crumbs). Drizzle in the butter and pulse a few more times until it’s all incorporated. Pour the mixture into a 9” pie pan and using the bottom of a small bowl, press the crust into the pan in an even layer, making sure you get it up the sides as well. Bake the crust on a middle rack for 8-10 minutes, until it has lightly browned. Let the crust cool completely.
Make the filling by whisking together the condensed milk, key lime juice and zest, vanilla, and the egg yolks. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake another 15 minutes, until the filling has just set. Let the pie chill at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Serve the pie sliced with whipped cream and fresh berries on top. Enjoy!!