I need a better name for this pie because after making it I think it will be part of my rotation when lemons are a plenty. Around our house key lime pies are a pretty big deal. When Robert and I were dating he mentioned that his favorite pie was key lime and being a woman in love I knew that the fastest way to his heart was through his stomach. I had never even tried key lime pie before but I set out to make him the best key lime pie he’d ever tasted.
Well before we left California this spring we had a glut of lemons to use up and no key limes were anywhere to be found. So I modified my recipe and made a spectacular lemon pie.
1 package graham crackers
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon juice (make that a generous 1/2 cup)
3 Tablespoons lemon rind, zested from the lemons before you juice them
To crush the graham crackers place the sealed package in a ziplock bag, remove all the air and hit with a rolling pin or your can of sweetened condensed milk.
The package of crackers may burst open but that’s okay. Continue crushing until it there are only a few coarse chunks. I am not all that careful and have several pea sized chunks in mine. Pour the crumbs into the pie pan, sprinkle on sugar and then pour melted butter on top. Mix in the pan with a fork until evenly distributed. Then press into the sides and up the edge with the back of a large spoon. Finish pressing with your fingers to get a nice tight fit.
Bake at 375F for 12 -14 minutes. Watch carefully it browns quickly at the end. Let cool.
Now for the filling, mix all ingredients together until well blended. I mix mine in my 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup that I used to measure out the lemon juice. This cuts down on the dirty dishes. Pour into baked shell.
This handy dandy squeezer takes a lot of work out of juicing lemons and particularly key limes. Don’t forget to zest the lemons before you squeeze them. I really increased the zest for this recipe because you want to mimic that bitter flavor that key limes have. The bitterness and the flavor are in the zest, don’t worry it won’t be too much because the condensed milk is sooo sweet.
Bake at 325F for 15 – 20 minutes or until set. It shouldn’t jiggle in the middle. Mine sometimes takes a long time and sometimes I forget about them with no harm done.
Let cool completely and then chill in the fridge for as long as you can stand it. It’s obviously best cold but who can wait that long. You can top with whipped cream but we like this lower calorie version and it’s one less step for me.