It’s a vacation dessert. Specifically a warm tropical vacation dessert. It’s cool, tart, and refreshing, just the thing you want to eat after a long day at the beach. Or when you’re sitting at home on a rainy day and want to pretend you’re at the beach. It works either way.
I took a vacation to Key West my senior year of high school and I still remember dessert every night. At each and every restaurant we ordered ‘The Best Key Lime Pie.’ Yes, every restaurant claimed to have ‘The Best.’ Therefore as a vacation goer it was our duty to try each and every one and make the decision on our own which one was the best. Vacation can be tough.
The kicker is it was hard say. While each one was slightly different, they were all delicious. Since that vacation I have made many Key Lime Pie’s that have also been equally as delicious. But then I made this pie. It really is THE BEST.
I’m a huge fan of graham cracker crust. I love it with cheesecake and I last week I would have told you that was the only way to make a good key lime pie. I was wrong.
The idea for the Nilla Wafer crust came to me in a dream. No, just kidding. But it was 1am, I was wide awake and couldn’t sleep. This is when I think up my best recipes. Some people count sheep, I think of new recipes. It’s weird, I know! But when you taste this crust you will be happy I lost a night of sleep to think it up for you. You’re welcome!
Since I was making this pie while in Florida I thought I might find some actual key limes to use in the recipe. Sadly I could not. It spared me hours juicing the tiny little buggers and proved the bottled stuff is really just as good. Plus gave me more time for tanning and reading by the pool, the tough life of vacation.
And just so it doesn’t feel overlooked, I must mention the meringue. It is the subtle yet crucial third layer to this pie. It’s like eating a cloud. I know you want to know what eating a cloud is like so make sure you top your pie with the meringue. Your taste buds will do backflips.
Key Lime Pie
2 Cups Crushed Vanilla Wafers (Like Nilla)
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Butter
2 Large Eggs
2 Large Egg Whites
1/2 Cup Key Lime Juice
1 (14-ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Tablespoon Lime Zest
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix crushed Nilla wafers sugar and melted butter together. Spread into the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch pie dish. Bake for 5 minutes while mixing the filling.
In your mixer whip together the eggs and egg whites until frothy. Add in the lime juice, lime zest and milk. Pour into baked crust and put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set.
To make the meringue beat your egg whites until soft peaks form. In a small bowl mix your sugar, cornstarch and salt. Slowly add to the egg whites until mixed in. Pour meringue over the cooked pie. Place in the oven under the broiler for a couple minutes while continually watching and turning several times to get a slight browning all around.
Cool pie on a wire rack. Chill for 4 hours.