This classic pie includes a flaky pastry crust, billowy whipped-cream topping, and of course a silky, aromatic sweet-tart custard filling. If you can’t find fresh Key limes, you can substitute common lime juice, which will be tart but without the floral notes found in Key limes. Bottled Key lime juice is an even better choice as long as it’s 100% juice. The pie needs to chill for at least 5 hours before serving.
Make Ahead Tips
The dough can be made up to 24 hours ahead of shaping. Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic.
The crust can be shaped up to 24 hours ahead of baking. Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic.
You can fill, bake and chill the pie (but don’t top with whipped cream) up to 1 day ahead; if refrigerating for more than 5 hours, cover the pie with plastic wrap. Top the pie when you’re ready to serve.
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Yes, I’m a Florida girl, too, and this is indeed the classic recipe. I was appalled when restaurants down here began serving it exclusively in graham cracker crust. Originally, it was pastry, and that’s the way it should be. Otherwise, all the subtlety of the real Key lime juice in the filling is sacrificed to the overpowering flavor of graham crackers.
I made this last yearwhen the recipe was published. I did use a Graham cracker crust, and wished I had gone with a pastry crust. I forgot where the recipe originated. Greg Patent lives in Missoula, Mt, and I spent hours today combing saved recipes from him before finding it. The recipe is so good, it was worth the time and effort to find it! It is a real pain to juice fresh Key limes, but once that is accomplished, the pie is very quick and easy to make. And totally delicious!
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