Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best Key-Lime Pie

Sometimes, I disagree with Cook's Illustrated's definition of perfection. Sometimes I don't think all the steps are necessary. But other times, there's just no arguing! Their key lime pie was one such case: pretty basic, but a paradigm of its kind. And so, although I've not so far made a habit of recording recipes verbatim, I have to get it down! (By the way, extra thanks again to David B. for the Cook's Illustrated Baking Book!)

Key Lime Pie


Lime Filling
4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/2 cup Key lime juice (3-4 key limes*)
4 egg yolks
14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
11 graham crackers, processed to fire crumbs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons melted butter

Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 lime, sliced thin and dipped in sugar**


1. Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green (aprox. 2 minutes). Beat in milk, then juice. Set aside at room temperature to thicken.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 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, aprox 20 minutes.
3. Pour filling into crust, bake 15-17 minutes, until center is set but wiggly. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate for 3 hours.
4. Whip cream, add sugar.

*Let's face it: I've used regular old Persian limes and it was just fine.

**I didn't make the sugared lime. Instead, I decked the top with a little heap of sugared zest. But that's as you wish; I know some people even consider whipped cream an abomination!


  1. For me, the first chink in the CI armor was a particularly disappointing zucchini fritter recipe. There have been several successes--their fresh basil vinaigrette is I think perfect as published, and a summertime staple--but there was something so liberating about being dissatisfied with one of their recipes. Respect is a much healthier approach than reverence, no?

  2. I love that! That's exactly it - and yes, it is indeed liberating, although elicits the mixed childhood emotions of realizing one's parent is, in fact, fallible ;)