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Best Recipes, Desserts

Cute little Key lime pies

Cute little Key lime pies
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Jen Mai isn't normally a fan of key lime pie, but that changed after one bite of the cute mini-version served at Fishing With Dynamite in Manhattan Beach. We agree. And while it may not be a Key lime pie ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling and chilling times | Serves 8

Graham cracker crust

  • 1/2 cups (1 stick) butter
  • 5 1/2 ounces (160 grams) graham cracker crumbs, from about 11 whole crackers
  • Scant ½ cup (94 grams) sugar

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and set aside to cool slightly.

Step 2In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press the dough into each of eight (4-inch) tart shells.

Step 3Bake the crusts until set and lightly colored, about 6 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Key lime filling

  • 1/2 cup Key lime (the same as Mexican lime) juice
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into very small cubes, at room temperature
  • Prepared pie crusts

Step 1Whisk together the Key lime juice, sugar and eggs in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens to a custard, about 8 minutes. Be careful to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan while cooking so the mixture doesn't curdle on the edges. Remove from heat.

Step 2Strain the custard into a bowl, then cover the surface with plastic wrap and set aside to cool. When the custard comes to room temperature, add the butter and use a hand blender to blend the mixture until it is silky smooth. Divide the filling among the prepared crusts and refrigerate until set, 4 to 6 hours.

Key lime pie

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup plus 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 3 egg whites
  • Prepared pie crusts
  • Finely grated lime zest, for garnish

Step 1Combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan, then cook over medium heat until a thermometer inserted reaches 240 degrees. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a stand mixer or large bowl until frothy.

Step 2Remove the sugar from heat and slowly, with the mixer running, beat the sugar into the egg whites until the meringue becomes cool and holds a stiff peak.

Step 3Fill a piping bag fitted with a star tip with the meringue, and pipe the meringue, in small peaks, onto the tops of the pies.

Step 4Use a crème brûlée torch or blowtorch to brown the tips of the meringue. The pies can also be quickly placed under the broiler to brown the tips.

Step 5Garnish the tops of the pies with lime zest and serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from a Fishing With Dynamite recipe. It calls for small tart pans, which can be found at select baking and cooking supply stores, as well as online.


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