I have always loved the bright and vibrant flavors of citrus, particularly Limes. And in this gal’s humble opinion, very few desserts can bring such a smile to my face like a good piece of Key Lime Pie. The creamy, sweet, and tart flavors balance so well with the traditional graham cracker crust. Just absolute Yum! So when the Memorial Holiday Weekend came up, I couldn’t think of a better dessert to accompany our barbecue dinner.
Traditional Key Lime Pies are fairly easy to make but I have had so many that fell short on that true “in your face tart flavor”. Therefore, I wanted to ensure that I didn’t skimp on the Key Lime juice—a flavor quite unique to its more commonly found relative the Persian or Tahitian Lime. But have any of you ever attempted to squeeze your own Key Limes? It’s a laborious task! Those little buggers are quite small and often need to be worked quite a bit to release its juices. In fact, after squeezing 28 entire Key Limes, I was only left with a little over 1/4 cup of juice! Yikes! My confession to you all is that I actually supplemented the rest of the juice with Persian Limes. Hey–at least I was honest!
But for those of you who need to stay true to the Key Lime, you can also buy bottled Key Lime Juice at many grocery specialty stores. Just be sure to read the label and not buy the pre-sweetened type.
As for the crust, I wanted to add a unique spin to my version of the Key Lime Pie. Recently equipped with heavy bags of Macadamia Nuts from our visit to Hawai’i, I decided to incorporate these tropical nuts into the crust. I think the addition was quite delicious—offering a little nutty flavor to the party.
And how was it? I LOVED this Pie. Seriously, LOVED IT! If you’re a fan of Key Lime Pie, or any Citrus Desserts, you’ve GOT to try this little goodie. It’s seriously “Nam Tested and Approved“. And no, I won’t tell anyone if you decide to use all Persian Lime Juice instead of battling it out with the tiny Key Limes. It’ll be our little secret 🙂
Key Lime Pie with Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust
½ Cup Roasted Macadamia Nuts
9 Graham Cracker (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch crackers)
1 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Large Egg Yolks, Room Temperature
½ Teaspoon Lime Zest
½ Cup Key Lime Juice
1 Cup Heavy Cream, chilled
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extra
¼ Cup Crushed Macadamia Nuts
Preheat oven to 350° degrees.
For Crust: In a food processor, grind Macadamia Nuts until fine. Add Graham Crackers and continue to process until contents reach the consistency of sand. Place mixture into a bowl and add sugar and butter until combined well. Transfer mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch glass pie plate and firmly press the crust together to cover the bottom of the pan and up the sides. It is extremely important to press the mixture evenly–the flat side of a metal measuring cup can assist in this process. Bake the pie crust for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
For Filling: Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice, lime zest and whisk until combined well. Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack. The filling will continue to set as it cools. Once it reaches room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
Final Touches: Just before serving, prepare the whipped cream. In a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream on high until it just holds stiff peaks. Slowly sprinkle in sugar. Add vanilla. Pipe the whipped cream on top of the chilled pie and garnish with remaining crushed macadamia nuts, lime zest and lime slices.