As I mentioned recently, we’ve been on a bit of a vacation-induced pie kick. I totally had a taste for classic key lime pie, and I pulled out my Grandma’s 1996 cookbook, “Home Cooking with Dave’s Mom,” and turned to the dog-eared page with my aunt Gretchen’s key lime pie recipe. It’s super easy, especially if you do the no-roll pie crust—and even easier if you skip the meringue topping and slather on piles of whipped cream instead. Which is just what I did.
This key lime pie recipe is divine: It’s simple to make and the filling is remarkably light and fluffy, thanks to the addition of a whipped egg white. You’ll see in the photo below that I overbaked the pie slightly, resulting in a few dark spots. But no worries: The taste was fantastic.
(apologies for the meh photo: it was time for dessert, and I didn’t want to fuss with the lighting …)
Gretchen's key lime pie in no-roll crust
1 no-roll pie crust, pre-baked for 10 minutes
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup fresh key lime juice
optional meringue topping:
3 egg whites (from the separated eggs)
6 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine condensed milk, 4 egg yolks and lime juice. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a large bowl and a whisk or hand mixer), whip 1 egg white until stiff. Transfer about 1/2 cup of the condensed milk mixture to the whipped egg white and fold gently to combine, then transfer this to the bowl with the rest of the condensed milk mixture and fold gently to combine (make sure there are no visible lump of egg white). Pour the filling into the pre-baked pie shell and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is set.
Optional meringue topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a large bowl and a whisk or hand mixer), whip 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and cream of tartar; continue beating until the meringue forms firm, glossy peaks. Top the baked pie with the meringue and bake or broil until the meringue is golden (or use a kitchen torch).