Frozen Key Lime Pie

Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Frozen Key Lime Pie

Make this now.

This Frozen Key Lime Pie is a sure thing. I have yet to meet a person who hasn’t died over this.

This is the kind of dessert that turns heads. It’s the kind of dessert that disappears 2.5 seconds after it hits the table, even after everyone is stuffed from a full meal. This Frozen Key Lime Pie will elicit moans and lip smacking, and a cacophony of utensils scraping up every last bit from the plate. This pretty little number is going to win you a lot of friends this summer.

Come to think of it? You should probably just plan a party right now so you have an excuse to make this. It’s the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. The texture is fantastic (like soft ice cream).

limes

Sweet and Tart

The cool key lime custard filling is sweet, tart, and refreshing. Billowing poufs of vanilla whipped cream brings an impressive volume to the dessert. The graham cracker crust is crunchy and buttery. And best of all, you can make it all ahead of time. Just pull it out of the freezer when you’re ready for dessert…and look like a totally put together rock star of a hostess.

Oh, this ridiculously delicious, beautiful dessert? I just whipped it up. No biggie…

(Cue: shower of adoration and kisses).

Graham cracker crust

Graham cracker crust

It all starts with the crust. I’ve never been able to resist a graham cracker crust. Guaranteed delicious and super easy to make. Simply combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter, and press it all into a pie pan.

In the interest of presentation, I find that using a foil pan makes it easy to lift the pie out and make clean slices. I’ve also made this in a springform pan before with good results (although then it becomes more of a Frozen Key Lime Cake…semantics).

Graham cracker crust

Graham cracker crust

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool while you make the filling.

Makings of key lime pie

Makings of key lime pie

For the filling, you need a can of sweetened condensed milk, a bunch of limes, sugar, and six eggs at room temperature. (Here’s a tip: if you don’t have time to let the eggs come to room temp, just soak them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.)

Separate your eggs

Separate your eggs

You’ll only need the yolks for this recipe, so save the whites for a dino-sized egg white omelet tomorrow.

Separate your eggs

Get in there

Go ahead, just use your hands.

Separated eggs

Pretty yolks

Once you have all six yolks set aside, whisk them together with the sugar and lime juice.

key lime pie filling

Lime custard

Make a double boiler by setting the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and frothy.

Key lime filling

Key lime filling

Now whisk it together with the condensed milk and lime zest, and stir until everything is combined.

frozen key lime pie

Almost done!

Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell.

Frozen Key Lime Pie

I love you, pie.

Now for the copious amounts of sweet vanilla whipped cream. There’s nothing like real whipped cream made with nothing but heavy cream, vanilla, sugar, and air. Creamy dreamy.

Stick the whole thing in the ol’ icebox and forget about it until it’s time for dessert! (…and adoration…and kisses.)

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Frozen Key Lime Pie
This Frozen Key Lime Pie is a sure thing. I have yet to meet a person who hasn’t died over this. It’s the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. The texture is fantastic (like soft ice cream). The cool lime custard filling is sweet, tart, and refreshing. Billowing poufs of vanilla whipped cream brings an impressive volume to the dessert. And best of all, you can make it all ahead of time.
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002).

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: (1) 9-inch pie, about 8 servings

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the topping:
2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges for garnishing

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. (Note: I find that using a foil pan makes it easy to lift the pie out and cut neatly for presentation when it’s done. I’ve also made this in a springform pan before with good results.) Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. For the filling, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and lime juice until combined. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickened and frothy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove bowl from heat, and whisk in the condensed milk and lime zest until well combined. Pour into the cooled pie shell.
  5. For the topping, beat the heavy cream on high speed in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime slices.
  6. Freeze until firm (at least 4 hours, or overnight). Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. If you used a foil pan, the pie should lift right out, or you can snip the edges of the pan with a pair of scissors to help remove it. If you used a springform pan, run a knife around the edges, then pop it open.

Print Recipe

frozen key lime pie, a hit

Happy guests abound

11 Responses to “Frozen Key Lime Pie”

  1. I just bookmarked this recipe! YUMMM! The issue I have with key lime is that sometimes it’s just TOO tart and ends up tasting sour and hard to finish. Is this recipe on the lighter/sweeter side? 

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Sandy,

      The whipped cream definitely makes this feel lighter than traditional key lime pie. Also the condensed milk is pretty sweet. You could always cut down a bit on the lime juice if you’re worried, but I loved it as is and had no problem finishing it ;)

      Let me know what you think!

      -s-

  2. This sounds so good! Perfect for this hot weather. What a fun summer treat :)

  3. Sam Ana says:

    I might HAVE TO try this pie!
    I don’t like desserts that are to sweet and this would be perfect I think!

  4. Stephanie says:

    hi Stephanie ! Sounds awesome!!! Sure recipe for this weekend!! How do you transfer la pie from the aluminum base to the nice and chick white stand with out crumble it?

    Thanks!

  5. Shelly says:

    I would like to try this in a 9×12 glass baking dish for transporting purposes. Do you think instead of doubling the ingredients as I think it would be too much just adding another half recipe would work well. I hope it comes out of the dish well then also.

    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Shelly,

      I think adding another half recipe should be fine. The only thing I’d recommend is using one of those disposable foil containers to make it easier to pop out. Once it freezes, it’s much easier to cut if you can lay the entire thing on a cutting board and get some leverage.

  6. [...] Frozen Key Lime Pie. Sweet, tart, refreshing, and with the consistency of soft frozen custard, this icebox key lime pie is prime for summer entertaining. [...]

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