Key Lime Pie with Meringue Topping

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Key lime pie is my favorite dessert, and I have made many versions,  but this is the best.

It is not green, because it is used real key lime juice, and any key lime pie that is green is not to be trusted.

Start the afternoon before you want to serve it.  It really needs at least 8 hours to chill once fully assembled, and it will take you about 3 hours to get to that point. OR, you can make in the morning and pop in the freezer for about 4-6 hours.  It will be firm but not frozen solid.  The meringue does not freeze that well, so be careful and don’t let it freeze.

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 and 1/2 sleeves)

1/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon cinamoon

  1. Grind your graham crackers in a food processor to get crumbs.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until blended.
  2. Press into a 9 inch pie plate
  3. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes exactly.  Do not wait for it to brown, or it will be rock hard.
  4. Cool at room temp for 1 hour.

For the filling and topping:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime juice (MUST BE KEY LIME.  Bottled key lime is perfect, like the Nellie’s and Joe’s brand, which is found with cocktail ingredients at my grocery store.  Fresh regular lime is NOT OKAY.)

1 teaspoon grated lime zest (normal lime is fine)

2 egg yolks

1 whole egg

4 tablespoons white sugar

2 egg whites (this all adds up to 3 whole eggs)

  1. Mix everything in a bowl EXCEPT the egg whites and sugar.  Pour into your graham cracker crust, cover and chill for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. Make meringue by mixing egg whites and sugar in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  Spread meringue gently over pie.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until top starts to brown, like the picture below.
  5. Cover and chill 8 hours+ in fridge, or 4 hours in freezer.

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*Note: if you want to pipe the meringue on top, you will want to use 3 egg whites and 6 tablespoons of sugar.  And be careful with the pastry bag you use, they have to be large and slightly stiff, like the large one in this reusable set.  Kids like to pipe.*