key lime pie

My freezer is full to bursting at the moment. Whilst rifling through the freezer looking for some ricotta gnocchi, I found a packet of almond short crust pastry I'd completely forgotten about. As I haven't baked a pie in ages, I decided to make one. I
 defrosted the pastry; parbaked a tart shell then scratched my head wondering what kind of filling to make. I looked through the fruit and vegetable drawer and found a bag of limes, so the decision was made for me, I was going to make a key lime pie. 

Have you eaten key lime pie, because I haven't, and I've certainly not made one. I did some digging online and found most recipes were pretty much the same - a biscuit crumb crust and a lime custard filling made with sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and lime juice +/- grated lime rind then served with whipped cream to offset the sweetness of the filling.

As I'd already made the pastry shell I wasn't going to make a crumb crust, so I just made the filling. I based my filling on an Australian Women's Weekly recipe but I used one fewer egg yolk. I also used one beaten egg white to seal the pastry before filling.

Here's the recipe for you which makes a 4cm deep 17cm tart. The filling quantity is enough for a regular 9-inch tart. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Key lime pie
Almond short crust pastry
110 g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
¼ cup (25g) almond meal
1⅓ cups (200g) plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cold water

3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely grated lime rind
400 gram can condensed milk
½ cup fresh lime juice

300 mls thickened cream, whipped
Lime zest

To make the pastry, combine all the dry ingredients in a food processor, and whiz for a few seconds until well combined and free of lumps. Add the cold butter and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and sufficient cold water and whiz until a soft dough just starts to form around the blade. Remove the dough from the food processor and gather the pastry into a ball; flatten slightly before wrapping in plastic and placing in the fridge. Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes. You’ll only need about half of the pastry dough for this recipe. The pastry freezes well so just wrap the remaining pastry in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

Grease a deep 17cm tin. Roll out the pastry quite thinly then line the base and sides of the tin to form a pastry case. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Chill for 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 180°C and bake the pastry shell for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. If you like, you can seal the tart shell with egg white and return to the switched off oven for a few minutes until dry. Cool completely before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 170°C, conventional. Place the egg yolks and the grated lime rind in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture lightens in colour and thickens somewhat. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk, mixing until smooth then beat at high speed for 3 minutes. The filling will become slightly thicker and gain a bit of volume. Add the lime juice, stirring just to combine then pour the filling into the tart shell and return the tart (on the baking sheet) to the oven. 

Bake the tart for 15 to 20 minutes, until it appears set around the edges though still a bit wobbly in the centre. Remove the tart from the oven and cool to room temperature then refrigerate for several hours before serving. Just before serving, decorate with the whipped cream and lime zest. If you refrigerate the cream topped pie for an hour or so before serving, you'll find the pie much easier to slice.

All in all, the key lime pie was pretty easy to put together and it would be even easier if you made a crumb crust. The pie filling set nicely using just 3 egg yolks and I was able to get a clean slice. I had my slice last night and it was delicious - crisp pastry, soft just set filling topped with lashings of cream. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,




  1. Did you use key or persian limes?

    1. No key limes in Sydney unfortunately so I used regular limes. The pie was still delicious.


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