Recipe: Key Lime Pie with a Gingernut Crunch Crust and Sweetened Vanilla Whipped Cream

Key lime pie is one of my favourite puddings and something I can remember my mum making since I was a little kid. We always went by a recipe from an old Sainsbury's cookery book of American recipes, but the end results using that method was always a bit volatile as you added the lime juice to the condensed milk with a few other ingredients and just left it to chill to set. As you get different amounts of juice from different limes and it didn't give you a measurement of juice, just a number of limes to use, this meant that sometimes the citrus to other ingredients levels were off and it didn't set leaving you with a (still very delicious) but un-cuttable liquid pie. I was looking through some recipe books recently and came across a recipe for a baked version, so thought I'd give it a try!

Key Lime Pie with a Gingernut Crunch Crust and Sweetened Vanilla Whipped Cream
Serves 10-12 people

You'll need a loose bottomed tin for this recipe that's between 22-26cm in size (I used this one)

Pie Shell Ingredients
300g gingernut biscuits
150g butter, melted

Filling Ingredients
1 x 397g tin condensed milk
3 egg yolks
the zest and juice of 4 limes

Topping Ingredients
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp icing sugar
decoration for the finished pie, if you wish

Preheat the oven to 150C (fan) / 170C (normal). Lightly butter your tin - if you're using a non-stick tin like I did you won't need to do this - and set it aside.

Take the gingernut biscuits and whizz them in a food processor until they're in fine sand like crumbs with as few big chunks as possible - this can be done by putting them in a thick bag and bashing them with a rolling pin if you don't have a processor. Thoroughly mix in the melted butter and then press the mixture into your tin, making sure you go up the sides of the tin to create a lip to the pie shell and also making sure you haven't left and holes for the filling to seep through!

Pop the tin in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, while it's cooking zest and juice your limes and set them aside. Remove the cooked pie shell from the oven after ten minutes and set it aside to cool while you make the filling.

Whisk the egg yolks for a minute or so, then add the condensed milk and whisk for 2-3 minutes until it has fully blended with the yolks. Add the zest and juice of the limes and whisk for another 3-4 minutes before pouring into your cooled pie shell.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at the same temperature then remove and leave to cool - the filling should be set kind of like a cheesecake. When the pie is cool pop it in the fridge and leave it for at least an hour to fully set.

When you're ready to serve whip up the double cream with the vanilla extract and icing sugar until it is a nice spreadable consistency, about soft peak stage, and then pile it onto your pie smoothing it down a little and then finishing with your decoration if you're using one. Now you're ready to serve!

Remember to store this pie in the fridge, covered, and eat within two days as it uses fresh cream!

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