For the longest time I thought key lime pie was difficult to execute, and I never tried to make it. Turns out, the hardest thing about making them is waiting for them to completely cool before devouring one or five. Staring at them and gently touching the custard with the tip of your finger doesn’t make it go by any faster in case anyone was wondering.
Perfectly reasonable amounts of butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar come together in a crust that is pre-baked in mini tart tins. I used 4.75″ mini pie tart tins with removable bottoms from Wilton (available from Amazon here). I highly recommend using tins with removable bottoms, as it makes it much easier to remove the pies while keeping them intact. I tested this recipe in tins without removable bottoms, and they turned out …deconstructed.
Egg yolks are whisked until they’re light yellow and fluffy, and then combined with sweetened condensed milk. Finally the juice and zest of a dozen key limes are added. Don’t skip out on the zest – it’s aromatic and adds tons of flavor! The crust is filled after it’s pre-baked, and the entire pie is baked for 5 minutes. They will and should jiggle. Don’t doubt yourself and over bake them – you will end up with limey scrambled eggs.
Let them completely cool and set for at least several hours to overnight, and then top with whipped cream before serving. Don’t skip out on the whipped cream – the pies themselves aren’t very sweet and it really balances out the tartness of the lime. You could go with store-bought or make your own. I whipped together 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 3/4 cups of powdered sugar and ended up using about half to pipe my pies. You could also spoon giant dollops on each one and do less dishes.
I personally like them cold, straight out of the fridge. They’re the perfect pick-me-up with my afternoon cup of coffee (almost exclusively cold brew these days), though I can’t guarantee you won’t have to share with your office mates. These kept well in the fridge for at least three days. I can’t speak for longer than that because they disappeared.
Mini Key Lime Pies
For the Crust:
-3 sleeves (27 full sheets) of honey graham cracker crumbs
-1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
-3/4 cups granulated sugar
-1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Filling:
-5 egg yolks
-14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
-12 key limes, zested and juiced
-12 4.75 inch mini tart pans with removable bottoms
- For the Crust Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Divide evenly among 12 4.75 inch tart pans, and bake for 10 minutes.
- For the Filling Whisk egg yolks using a handheld or stand mixer until they are pale and fluffy. When you lift the whisk, there should be a slow trail coming off of it. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk until the mixture is light and fluffy, and finally whisk in the key lime juice and zest.
- Divide the filling evenly among the 12 pre-baked crusts, and bake the pies for 5 minutes at 350°F.
- Allow to cool and set for several hours to overnight. Top with whipped cream before serving.
Keep refrigerated in an air tight container.