If you went ahead and bought the key limes, thinking surely they were just tiny limes that could be used in the place of regular limes (yes, they can, you’re totally right), I’m here to share the most traditional key lime pie recipe there is. It uses a bunch of key limes, and helpfully also can occupy a youth of ages 6-12 for about 25 minutes.
I go ahead and cut the limes in half, and my 10 year old kid can do the entire rest of the work required for this pie. If your kid doesn’t have a signature recipe yet, feel free to tell him to learn this one. If you don’t have free labor available in your home, this is a 15 minute project.
The juice for this recipe will need about a little more than 1lb of key limes. So there will be leftovers. You can use them to garnish tacos on Taco Tuesday, or on glasses of water to make it seem more like you’re on vacation and less like you’re in-between laundry and dishes.
Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Pie
- 9″ graham cracker pie crust
- 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
- 3 egg yolks (whites not used)
- ½ cup Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice
Combine milk, egg yolks and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350º for 15 minutes. Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. Just before serving, top with freshly whipped cream, or meringue, and garnish with lime slices.
It’s traditional because it uses no ingredients that need to be refrigerated. The Florida Keys, by virtue of being a chain of islands that didn’t get electricity quite when the rest of the US did, came up with this lovely dessert. Eggs, tinned milk, and key limes don’t need refrigeration, and today we continue to not refrigerate graham crackers. Feel free to start jamming those Honey Grahams in the fridge if it makes you feel better, though!
Now, you’ve got some left. You can use them as usual limes, or if you’ve decided that your key lime pie was delicious you can go ahead and juice them all and freeze that juice. Freezing whole fruit doesn’t go well, and freezing zest also loses a lot. The dehydration that comes with freezing just isn’t good for citrus, but for juice? It’s got water in it and can take a bit of stress. So go ahead and get that kid, now that he’s had his pie, and tell him to juice the rest. Then you can freeze it in small plasticware containers, or an ice cube tray (Martha!), and then bag them up for future use.