I've never made a traditional key lime pie before, only the Frozen Key Lime Pie I've written about previously. While I've had key lime pie a few times around the S. Florida area, I've never had a great desire to make one myself. There are a few types I've tried. Some have a thick layer of meringue on top like a lemon meringue pie, while other have just small dollops of whipped cream. Both are equally yummy, even if they don't have exactly the same consistency.
When trolling the internet I found recipes in both styles, but for me the deciding factor was, as usual, possible waste. The base of the key lime pie, the custard part, is made of egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice. And of course, to have egg yolks, you need to separate the yolks from the whites. While its easy to use the whites later in other recipes (or breakfast) I prefer to use them immediately so I don't forget they're sitting in the back of my fridge. Therefore, I selected a recipe that called for use of the egg whites in the meringue.
If you're in the mood for a summery treat, I highly recommend this recipe. Its so easy and has such a nice result. It can truly be made in under half an hour. I really hope you make this recipe.
Key Lime Pie
1 pre-made graham cracker crust (easy to find at all stores) or make your own (if you really want to... but the store bought ones taste the same
6 eggs, separated
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (or regular lime juice)
Lime zest from 4 key limes, or 2 regular limes
1 cup sugar
In a mixer, beat the egg yolks with the sweetened condensed milk until light and fluffy (about 8 minutes). Fold in the lime juice and zest until just combined. Pour into the pie crust and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350. In a very clean bowl, whip the egg whites into a foam (use some cream of tartar if needed). When the foam begins to build, pour in the sugar. Continue to whip until you get stiff peaks. Pour the meringue on top of the lime custard and move it around to cover. Put the pie in the oven (center rack) until the meringue gets gold tips (12-15 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye on it). Cool for 5 hours and enjoy!
You can almost hear the ocean, right?