Key Lime Meringue Pie

(Yes yes, I know.  It’s traditionally “Lemon Meringue Pie,” there is no need to correct me.  Today, we embark on a little experimental journey : mixing lemon meringue and key lime pies TOGETHER to make an even more tart and delicious treat.)

A little backstory before diving into the challenge :  my mom always makes key lime pie in the summer…and ever since the beginning, I’ve disliked it.  (That’s right –  thumbs down).  In my household, key lime pie is made with a graham cracker crust, a tart but creamy filling, and a thick (EPAIS) layer of whipped cream on top.  This is a combination that my dad, sister, and mother adore, as I have often watched them devour with gusto this dessert.  In an effort not to sound TOO whiny (or picky), I would take a piece and simply scoop the whipped cream off, leaving it in a large, fluffy pile on the side of my plate.

As a result, when my mom announced this morning that we were having key lime pie for dessert…I was not thrilled. So we struck up a compromise that my dad (!) seemed keen on : NO WHIPPED CREAM.  Turns out I wasn’t the only one disappointed by the excessive chantilly…and so began the fusion process.

The good news :  IT WORKED AND WAS FANTASTIC.

The bad news :  There is no bad news, aside from the fact that those who were hoping for whipped cream are, in fact, going to be let down by this post.  My apologies in advance.

I took a traditional Key lime pie recipe and added more lime juice, more graham cracker, and topped it with the same  meringue cloud as goes on a lemon meringue pie – it’s quite simple to make and renders this treat healthier (less fat !) and lighter on the stomach.  The egg white cuts the tartness of the curd without overpowering (and muting…) your tastebuds with cream.  Simple, quick, fresh, and pretty, this dessert is excellent update on a typical treat.

For the crust :

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbles
5 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon (or a folk).

The graham cracker crumbles should absorb the butter and together make a combination that is crumbly but malleable.

Pour this mixture into a buttered pie pan and, using the spoon, press firmly until evenly coated.

Place this in the oven for about 10 minutes – you’ll just start to smell the crust before it’s ready to be removed.  Let cool.

For the pie :

3/4 cups key lime juice
3 egg yolks
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (NOT EVAPORATED.  DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR LABELS, FOLKS)

This is probably the easiest recipe ever.  Put all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth.

It will look rather like pudding or custard.

Pour the “batter” into the prepared pie pan and swirl with a spoon to evenly distribute.  The filling will not rise (no leavening agent !) so fear not if you are close to overflowing.  We had the opposite problem…as you can see.

Cook for about 20 minutes or until set.  Many key lime pies don’t need to be cooked and are instead “refrigerator pies” but as we added egg yolks, the extra heat will allow those proteins to reform in a more solid position, making the pie more like a flan than a custard.  Trust me, it’s a good choice.  You should be able to touch the surface of the pie and have a little of the filling stick to your finger – nice and thick, but not totally solid.

Let cool slightly before covering again…with meringue.

For the meringue :

3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Little note : when at school, I don’t have an electric mixer, so I am quite used to whipping by hand.  Ergo, I whipped this meringue into a frenzy with my brute (ahem lacking) strength.  For those who don’t want to exercise while cooking, use not a whisk but a mix master (Kitchenaid or the like).  However, please know that it is entirely possible to do pretty much anything by hand.

Put the salt in a large mixing bowl, followed by the egg whites.  You may also add cream of tartar (this stabilizes the egg white foam and helps you whip without fear of failure) but it is not necessary.  Whip until soft peaks foam – just beyond the foamy stage, this moment is where you can lift the whisk out of the bowl and it will just keep a shape.

Add the sugar and whip without mercy.  The mixture will change drastically, thickening and turning glossy.  When your meringue looks like marshmallow fluff or Cool Whip, you are all set.

Plop the meringue on top of the pie and smooth with a spatula (or a spoon, for that matter), swirling towards the center.  To make the little poofs (for lack of a better word…), press the meringue gently with the back of a spoon and then lift up quickly.  Repeat until desired topography is achieved.

Put the pie BACK in the oven and cook until the meringue is nicely browned – like a toasted marshmallow.  It doesn’t take long, so don’t leave the kitchen and watch Dr. Who because if you do so, the meringue will be in an unfortunate position…charred, I’d say.

In any case, we ate about 2/3 of the pie in one sitting…and there are only four of us…so it was quite fantastic (as I sit here devouring the final piece avec une vue de la mer et un sourire digne d’une personne fière de son travail…)🙂

In any case, bon appétit !

Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Key Lime Meringue Pie

  1. Eliza Manning

    I love the twist on this recipe. The simplicity is almost appetizing as well. Do you have a suggestion as to which Dr. Who episode to watch while baking? I’m just loving this blog!

    • Thanks ! It really is simple – it just looks fancy. And in terms of Dr. Who…anything with Matt Smith is probably a good bet – his first season, the one with the weeping angels, is a favorite of mine.🙂

  2. I never had Key Lime Pie.
    But I agree with you, whipped cream sounds really weird. And I don’t really know how I feel about the crust… It seems so gooood (I discovered graham crackers – thanks to someone ;P- and i like them…) but I don’t know… Because… Lime ? Well, I think it can work well together.
    Replacing whipped cream by a meringue is good. I love meringue pie. Nom nom. Not sure it is healthier, though… Because… Its whipped eggs, and a bit of sugar, and a lot more sugar syrup😄
    Your meringue is beautiful by the way. And I love the small peaks.

    Oh, and it’s not related at all…
    But today, I just realized what I could bring to the US in October.. A small treat for you, and Em, and I. I won’t say more, it’s a surprise *intense teasing, haha*
    Talking about me coming and visiting… I registered for my classes, so now I know a little bit more… But I still don’t know if I will have midterms on the Saturday I want to fly… So annoying… And the flights are pretty bad in fall, like, if I can’t leave on Saturday at 10 am, I have to leave on Sunday at 1 pm :((((
    (and my parents dont want me to skip my classes, which is stupid, because we are allowed to miss some days, and I could miss two classes and wayyyyyy longer – 2 days!)
    anyway, I have to figure that out.

    • I think the meringue is healthier, actually, because it has far less fat than whipped cream. Further, there is only 1/2 cup sugar added to three egg whites and no simple syrup SO I think all around it’s a better deal🙂

      • Coul. I love when you can pretend unhealthy food is very healthy and good for you.
        That is actually what I did tod
        ay… Yes, yes, mayonnaise is good because there are eggs so proteins. And lot of oil ? Oh yes, sure, but you know, there are omegas whatever in oil, and your brain needs it. Yes, trust me. Totally healthy. 😄

        (also, I baked your brownie for a mini dinner we had with some friends on Thursday. People loved them ^^)

        (I think I will never go wrong with your recipes. cf. My Mum, who could not do anything but agreeing that PB is goood and that PBblossoms are the best thing ever, haha)
        (so, obviously, I have nothing to do but trusting you Key Lime pie)

  3. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking and checking back often!

  4. Thank you so much ! Happy reading !

  5. Laura

    Great recipe! I didn’t bother to bake the ingredients separately. Just dropped the oven temp a bit and baked it all until the meringue browned and then refrigerated the pie before cutting. It came out great! P.S. Love your blog!

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