The Best Key Lime Pie

A Floridian classic, this bright, creamy and tart dessert is so simple to make it will become a regular at your summer get togethers. Key lime juice is the star of this pie, adding a slightly more floral note than regular limes. But not to worry if you can't find fresh Key limes or the bottled juice – you can use standard limes with equally delicious results.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr (plus chilling time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: one 9-inch pie
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Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (see Cook's Note)

1/4 cup brown sugar 

Pinch of kosher salt 

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted 

Filling:

2 cups sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup sour cream 

1 cup Key lime juice, preferably fresh-squeezed 

2 large egg yolks 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

2 teaspoons lime zest

Whipped Cream Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  

Directions

Special equipment:
9-inch glass or metal pie dish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust: Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt with a fork in a medium bowl. Pour in the butter and continue to stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch glass or metal pie dish and spread into an even layer. Use a 1/4 measuring cup or small glass to firmly press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake until it is dry-looking and lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.  
  3. For the filling: Combine the sweetened condensed milk and sour cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the lime juice, egg yolks, salt and lime zest and continue to beat until the batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into the graham cracker crust. Bake until the pie is mostly set but jiggles slightly in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. Let the pie cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then refrigerate to set and chill completely, at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. 
  4. For the whipped cream topping: Combine the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the topping decoratively on top of the pie. Alternatively, dolloped the whipped cream on slices of pie. Sprinkle with lime zest.  

Cook’s Note

You may use purchased graham cracker crumbs, or make your own by pulsing 11 sheets of graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground.