Hands down my favorite pie. When something good happens and I want to celebrate, key lime pie is the pie for me. Sooo, let’s talk pie.
This is the Cook’s Illustrated key lime pie, made with the Italian Meringue they suggest for the Lemon Pie. I love any key lime pie recipe that doesn’t have heavy cream. Nothing against cream, but it doesn’t need it. No key limes though, so I guess that means this is just lime pie.
Since I was celebrating, this had to be over-the-top indulgent. That meant mounds of thick, fluffy, super silky meringue. Spin it in your stand mixer for 12 whole minutes, and try not to eat it all before piling it onto your pie. If you don’t have a torch, a quick stint in the oven gently browns and crisps the peaks while keeping the inside softer than a homemade marshmallow.
Key Lime Pie with Meringue Topping
Cook time: 1 hour Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
- 4 teaspoona grated lime zest
- 1/2 cup lime juice from fresh limes (About 4 limes)
- 4 egg yolks14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 11 graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs
- 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green (about 2 minutes). Beat in milk, then juice. Set aside at room temperature to thicken.
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar. Add butter, stir with fork until blended. Press into pie pan. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly brown and fragrant. Cool to room temperature, 15 minutes.
Pour filling into crust, bake on middle rack for 15-17 minutes, until center is set but wiggly. Cool while you make the merengue.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Combine water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to vigorous boil over medium-high heat. Once syrup comes to rolling boil, cook exactly 4 minutes (mixture will become slightly thickened and syrupy). Remove from heat and set aside while beating whites.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat whites at medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, until whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into whites (avoid pouring syrup onto whisk or it will splash). Add vanilla and beat until meringue has cooled and becomes very thick and shiny, 10-12 minutes.
Using rubber spatula, mound meringue over pie, making sure meringue touches edges of crust. Use spatula or your fingers to create peaks all over meringue. Bake until peaks turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature.