I obtained my very first slice of Key Lime Pie from the award winning (and sadly now out of business) Blond Giraffe in Key West, Fl. The cool, creamy filling with its refreshing citrus zip provided delicious relief from the hot day. However, as yummy as I remember it, I am a chocoholic. When I want something sweet, I really mean I want something with chocolate in it. I wasn’t hooked yet.
My second taste is what really locked me in and forced chocolate to make space for Key Lime Pie in the craving section of my brain. It was my first trip to Charleston. A friend who frequented Charleston told me I had to go to Gilligan’s and I had to have their Key Lime Pie. I am pretty sure I said something along the lines of, “What, they don’t have chocolate?” I think that spurred about 10 minutes of him telling me why Gilligan’s was so amazing. LOL! Well, Gilligan’s was apparently part of my destiny. My boss, Army team-mates, and I had spent the afternoon exploring the area, particularly sites like Fort Moultrie, since they are all history buffs. Later on, tummies grumbling, we found ourselves in Mount Pleasant and began our search for dinner. First retail area we pulled into and lo and behold, a Gilligan’s! Told you…destiny. Yes, I had the Key Lime Pie.
Key Lime Pie Minis
Makes 1 dozen
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, appx 9 graham crackers
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4-5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Pre-heat oven to 350°
- Pulse graham crackers in a food processor to create crumbs for the crust base
- Add sugar to graham cracker crumbs and pulse to blend
- Pour crumb mixture into a bowl. Add melted butter and blend together
- Spoon 1 tbsp of crumb mixture into each cup of the muffin tin and use fingers to pack crumbs together firmly to create a crust. (*Lesson Learned* Place a baking liner into each cup of the muffin tin!! Cooking spray didn’t help me at all)
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Remove from oven and let cool while you make the custard filling. Do not turn off the oven since you are going to use it again.
- ½ cup Key Lime juice, about 12 key limes
- 1 tbsp Key Lime zest (you want to zest before squeezing!)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can condensed milk (14 oz)
- Place egg yolks in a large bowl and whisk together. Suggestion: Store the whites in the fridge to use for other dishes or baking projects.
- Add condensed milk to the egg yolks and continue to whisk together until blended.
- Add the key lime zest
- Slowly stream key lime juice into the bowl, whisking until all ingredients are well blended into a smooth custard.
- Spoon 2 tbsp of custard filling into each cup over the crunchy graham cracker crust made earlier
- Bake 12-18 minutes, or until the custard is set
- Allow the mini key lime pies to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill.
- Chill at least one hour before serving.
NOTE: Traditionally, the Key Lime Pie filling is not baked. Just as citrus juices do for ceviches, the acids in the key lime juice “cooked” the filling. Of course, for health safety concerning the raw eggs, people today opt to bake the filling.