This rich key lime pie is baked, then an optional meringue topping is added, or top the pie with a dollop of whipped cream and lime zest. Feel free to use a light whipped topping on this pie, and use either a purchased or homemade graham cracker crust.
You can use fresh squeezed key lime juice if available, but bottled key lime juice works just fine.
- 1/2 cup key lime juice (fresh if possible)
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lime zest (divided)
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 graham cracker pie shell
- Optional: whipped cream or whipped topping (if not making fresh meringue)
- For the Meringue:
- 4 egg whites
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- dash salt
- Whisk the sweetened condensed milk with the egg yolks until smooth and well blended.
- Stir in whipping cream and lime juice.
- Stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest.
- Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and increase temperature to 350 if meringue is used.
- If you aren't making the meringue, cool the pie and top with whipped cream and a little lime zest just before serving.
Meringue Topping (Optional)
- Meanwhile, make the meringue topping, if using. In a glass or stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt; gradually beat into the egg whites.
- Continue beating until egg whites no longer feel gritty (with sugar)when a little is smeared between two fingers.
- Spoon onto the hot pie filling, spreading to cover completely to the crust.
- Put back in the oven and bake at 350° until meringue is browned, or about 12 to 15 minutes.
Tips for Making Meringue:
- Separate eggs carefully; even a tiny bit of yolk can keep the peaks down.
- Let the egg whites come to room temperature for the lightest, fluffiest meringue.
- Beat sugar into egg whites gradually, and beat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Spread the meringue topping over the hot filling, spreading it so that it connects with the crust.
- Watch carefully while baking and keep out of drafts when you take it out of the oven. A sudden draft could make the meringue shrink.
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