This Instructible will explain the process of making key lime pie. I didn't see that many decent instructibles on how to make this pie so i decided to make one. This pie i will be making uses a graham cracker crust, but you can swap it out for a regular pastry crust if preferred ( I think it is way tastier with the graham cracker crust, and its also a bit easier). I am using my own recipe (an adapted version from the "better homes and gardens" cookbook). I will be putting meringue on mine, but this is optional. I will try my best to make this instructible as clear as possible, but it isn't the easiest pie to make. Definitely worth the work!!!
Step 1: The Crust
The crust that best suits this pie is graham cracker crust. Its quite easy to make. Use a 9 inch pie pan.
-1.25 cups of finely shredded graham cracker crumbs*
-1/4 cup of sugar
-1 stick of butter or margarine ( i used margarine, i couldn't find the butter)
*you can crush your own, i used pre-crushed because it was simple and cheap.
1. Wash your hands!!! Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Melt your butter/margarine in a bowl ( I just put it in the microwave for 15 seconds)
3. Get a mixing bowl and combine sugar and crumbs; mix thoroughly.
4. Dump the butter/margarine (melted) in.
5. Stir well with a spoon until even consistency ( you can use hands to mix, it may work better)
6. Mold into pie pan using fingers and hands, make sure it is even thickness throughout pan (hold up to light if you have a Pyrex clear pan to see thickness) get edges!! not the lip of the pie pan though.
7. Once oven is pre-heated, stick it in for 8 min.
8. Take it out and let it air cool a little.
9. Put it in the refrigerator for an hour at least.
A lazy alternative is to go to the store and get a pre made one. Trust me, it wont taste nearly as good!!! Besides that is cheating;)
Step 2: Juicing Little Tiny Limes -____-
Go to your local store and pick up a 1 LB bag of key limes(yields around a half cup which is how much you need). They aren't that expensive ($2.99 a pound) and I bet they are even cheaper where they grow abundantly. I wouldn't advise using persian limes, it don't taste the same. But if key limes are unavailable, you can use
3-6 of those. You can also purchase key lime juice if available.Warning: They bite!!! if you have any small open sores on your hands... you will find them very quickly!! Also, be careful not to rub your eyes while juicing.
1. Limes at room temperature will yield more juice. So make sure to leave them out, so they are room temperature by the time you use them. Wash them too.
2. Roll them on a table with palm a couple times. Pushing firmly, but don't kill them.
3. Chop them with a knife down the middle. Perpendicular to the sections. (if you don't understand, just look at the picture)
4. Once you've executed that, you may notice that it contains seeds; remove them.
5. If you have a citrus juicing apparatus, you may be able to use that. Otherwise, just squeeze the bejesus out of them. Make sure to get every drop you can.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you have 1/2 cup of juice.
You now have your juice.
Step 3: Filling Ingredients
- 14 oz can of sweetened CONDENSED milk. Don't use evaporated milk, its not the same thing!!! they are sold right next to each other, be careful!
- 1/2 cup of lime juice (that you previously squeezed)
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 3 egg yolks (set whites aside for meringue if desired)
- The crust you made
If you use evaporated milk, your pie will be awful. Trust me. I did that the first time i made this pie.
Step 4: Mixing Filling
1. Beat yolks in a medium mixing bowl with whisk or fork and preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( or 350 depending on if you are going to make meringue or keep it plain, refer to bottom)
2. Slowly add in the can of condensed milk (while stirring)
3. Add lime juice ( you can also add lime zest!!!)
4. Add water (3 tablespoons)
5. Mix well by hand for best results.This mixture will thicken. If you do it with an electric mixer...LOW POWER!
6:Pour into that crust you made
Option 1: Throw it in the oven for 15 minuets at 325 degrees if you want meringue topping. Also prepare to make meringue immediately after putting it in.
Option 2: If not Cook it at 350 degrees for 25 minuets, take it out and cool it on a rack for an hour, then refrigerate 3-4 hours. You can keep it plain or put cool whip or something on it after chilling 3-4 hours. Your finished.
Step 5: Meringue (Optional)
If you have never made meringue before, I will only do a brief explanation of it. So... good luck. Clean your electric mixer beaters if you used them in the last step. This is important. You need to put on the meringue as soon as the pie comes out of the oven, hot as hell!! this will cook the underside of the meringue too. You need and electric mixer!! Refer to the pictures!!
- Egg whites set at room temp for at least 30 minuets, this will give the best volume
- 6 tablespoons of sugar.
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cream Of Tartar
-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Take the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. Mix them in a large bowl on medium high power
2. Mix until they form soft peaks (if you don't know what soft peaks look like, stick beater in mix, when you pull it out it should form a peak and the top of the peak will be curled)
3. Once soft peaks have been achieved, you can start adding sugar; add 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat for four min on high power or until it is glossy and forms stiff peaks (they don't curl at the top, they are pointed).
4. Stick your finger in the mixture, pull it out and rub it between your thumb, if its gritty, keep beating. If not, you are golden, just make sure it is stiff enough.
5. Right about now, your pie should be almost done in the oven. Take it out when finished. As soon as you take it out, spread the meringue on top. Seal it to the edge of the pan. raise oven temp to 350
6. Cook for an additional 15 min. The top will be golden.
7. Cool on a rack for an hour. Then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 3-6 hours, cover if you want to store longer.
8. Serve chilled. Maybe add some garnishments and comment on how your pie turned out.
Tip: Wet the knife ( don't dry it) before cutting the pie. This way the meringue won't stick to it.