I have never before made a Key Lime Pie, but after my sister Felicity made a gorgeous one for a family party I had to have a go! This very popular party dish is named after the fabulous small key limes native to the Florida Keys. Key Limes are apparently tarter and more aromatic than the limes we get in the UK. There are many recipes, some using a baked crust and baked filling and others, like this one, using chilled biscuit crumbs and filling. I was sceptical about the mixture of cream, condensed milk and lime juice setting enough, but somehow during mixing a reaction occurs between the acidic lime juice and condensed milk which causes it to thicken magically. It might not be the most authentic version, which includes egg yolks, but it is certainly the easiest and it is so tasty that I think it is permissible to swap authenticity for ease and taste.
I used gluten free digestive biscuits to make this suitable for people with wheat intolerance, but you can swap regular digestives for these.
Since writing this a fabulous version with ginger by star baker Ryan has appeared on The Great British Bake Off. His was a baked version and I am going to try and get my hands on that recipe as Mary Berry was so impressed with it. However, sticking to my rule of easy and stylish and most of all tasty, my recipe certainly fits the bill.
You will need a 23cm/9 inch fluted, loose bottomed flan tin. Mine is 4cm/1.5 inches deep.
- 250g gluten free or regular digestive biscuits
- 100g slightly salted butter, melted
- 1 x 397g can condensed milk
- finely grated zest and juice of 5 large limes
- 300ml carton double cream
- Melt the butter in a small pan and finely crush the biscuits
- Mix the melted butter and biscuits together and press carefully and evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the flan tin
- Put in fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes
- In the meantime wash and dry the limes and grate the zest finely. Juice the limes
- Combine the condensed milk and double cream in a bowl and whisk together
- Add the lime zest and juice and whisk until the mixture has thickened.
- Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base and return to fridge to set for at least two hours.
- When ready to serve carefully remove from the flan tin, place on a serving plate and decorate with lime slices