Key Lime Pie: Recipe


A new no-bake Key Lime pie recipe.

I thought I had the best recipe for Key Lime Pie -- until I talked to one of my sisters who scolded me for not knowing about another, very popular, very tasty recipe. My family usually stays pretty loyal to recipes. But this new (to me) no-bake Key Lime pie recipe makes such a good, tart pie, it has become our new family favorite.

There are four main types of no bake pies: custard or cream, mousse, fresh fruit and frozen. In the custard or cream pie, the filling is a thickened egg custard that is flavored then chilled and allowed to set. Some examples are the banana cream pie and the coconut cream pie.

Mousse pies are basically a flavored base with whipped egg whites and whipped cream folded in to make a light and fluffy filling that is then chilled and allowed to set. The best examples of this type are your chiffon pies, like chocolate and raspberry. Fresh fruit pies are very simple, they are just a fresh fruit like strawberries or pineapple that have been mixed with a fruit glaze (a thickened fruit gel made of fruit juice and cornstarch or arrowroot).

Fresh fruit pies do not keep as long as other pies. Frozen pie filling can actually be a mix of fruit and yogurt or a mousse. One of the best examples of this pie is a recipe I did a while back on Frozen Blueberry Yogurt pie.

When making a no-bake pie, remember to keep everything as fresh as possible, do not store the pie with other strong smelling foods in the refrigerator, and share with others!

Key Lime Pie

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel [set aside]
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Green food coloring [about 2-4 drops]
In a saucepan combine unflavored gelatin, sugar, and salt. Beat egg yolks, lime juice, and water until blended; stir into gelatin. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly just till mixture comes to boiling. Remove saucepan from heat; add grated lime peel. Add enough drops of green food coloring to give pale green color; mix thoroughly. Chill, stirring occasionally, till mixture mounds when spooned.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 9-inch pie shell (recipes follows)
In a large bowl, beat egg whites till peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold chilled lime gelatin mixture into the stiffly beaten egg whites. Whip cream till soft peaks form then fold into gelatin/egg white mixture. Pile filling into shell. Chill till firm. Garnish with additional whipped cream, lime peel, chopped pistachio nuts, and lime wedges, if desired.

I am very fond of Rice Krispy Treats, and I like to make many foods with cereals as breading or crusts. This is another way to incorporate one of my favorite cereals into a delicious dessert!

Pistachio Crispy Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup toasted pistachios, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup rice crispies
  • 1 cup ground shortbread cookies
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of salt

In a bowl combine the pistachios, rice crispies and ground shortbread cookies with the sugar and salt. Blend them together till all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Add the melted butter and mix. Put the mix into a 9-inch pie pan and press the mix evenly on the bottom and sides.

At this point you can chill the shell. There are many recipes that call for baking the shell for 10 to 12 minutes. But not this one!

I was messing around my kitchen one day while making this pie and wanted to top it with something other than meringue (I had run out of eggs), but a bit more interesting than just plain whipped cream. I made this light and tart whipped cream which a great compliment to this dish.

Key Lime Whipped Cream

For the filling:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons key lime juice
  • 2-4 drops geen food coloring

Chill the bowl and the whip you use for this before you start, at least 1 hour. This helps increase the volume (this is the opposite principle for egg white which need to be at room temperature and require a slightly warm or copper bowl to gain maximum volume). Whip the cream until it starts getting stiff, then add the sugar and lime juice. When it is medium-stiff, add the food coloring until the desired color is achieved. When stiff peaks are formed, it is ready.

I hope this has given everyone an alternative to the traditional lime pie. It is a lighter, not so cheesecake-like version.