Key lime pie is a warm-weather favorite because of it’s refreshingly tart flavor.  A silky smooth filling and a nutty, crisp crust provide wonderful contrasts in texture.  I like to use fat-free sweetened condensed milk in place of the whole fat version.  I don’t think you’ll miss the extra fat and it keeps this pie nice and light.

I usually have all of the ingredients for this pie on hand – a can of sweetened condensed milk, bottled key lime juice and egg yolks for the filling.  It’s really that simple.  Use a store-bought graham cracker crust if you aren’t up for making one yourself, though a food processor makes quick work of it and the flavor/ texture is worth the added effort.  I’ve used almonds and pecans in this crust before – whatever I have on hand.  I especially like the macadamia nut crust with the key lime filling because they both remind me of the tropics.

Although key lime pie only takes about 30 minutes to make, it will need at least 8 hours in the refrigerator to firm up.  Serve slices topped with a dallop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries or raspberries all work well).  Key lime pie will keep for several days in the refrigerator, but it never lasts that long in our house.

Key Lime Pie with Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust

9 sheets graham crackers

2/3 C. macadamia nuts, toasted

¼ C. sugar

4 Tbs. butter, melted

1 (14oz) can fat free sweetened condensed milk

3 egg yolks

1/2 C. key lime juice

1 thin round slice of lime (optional)

1.            Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   In the bowl of a food processor, finely grind the graham crackers until they resemble crumbs.  Place crumbs in a medium bowl and set aside.  Without rinsing the food processor, pulse the macadamia nuts until broken into small pieces.  Add a little of the graham cracker crumbs to the nuts and pulse until finely ground (adding the cracker crumbs prevents it from turning into nut butter).  Add ground nuts to crumbs, along with sugar.  Mix until well combined.  Drizzle with melted butter and use a fork to moisten the mixture.  Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 10” pie plate.  Bake the pie shell in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.  Leave the oven on and cool the shell on a wire rack.

2.              Whisk the condensed milk, yolks and lime juice together in a large bowl until well combined.  Pour into cooled pie shell and bake in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.  Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.  Garnish with a slice of lime in the center of the pie, if you’d like.