I still remember the first time I tasted key lime pie.
When I was a teenager, my family went on vacation to Florida for the whole Disney World – Epcot Center – Space Center adventure and that was all great. One night after dinner, my mom suggested that we order key lime pie for dessert. The combination of tart, smooth lime filling layered between the buttery graham cracker crust and creamy topping was heaven.
That experience caused me to be pretty picky about this new favorite. Since then, I’ve had key lime pie at restaurants and made a few of my own that just didn’t live up to that memory. But this one from Emeril Lagasse is the real deal. Okay, maybe it isn’t the actual real deal. I don’t squeeze fresh key limes to get the juice. I don’t even use real key lime juice from a bottle. I always use Nellie and Joe’s Key West Lime Juice from a bottle. That’s pretty tricky, right? So technically it’s a plain old lime pie, but I’m okay with that.
Key Lime Pie with Whipped Coconut Cream
For the crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 cup lime juice (I use Nellie and Joe’s)
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
For the topping:
1 can full fat coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a medium bowl. Mix with a fork until it reaches a sandy consistency. Dump the crumb mixture into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate, and use the back of a large spoon to spread the mixture evenly. Using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, press the mixture firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake 15 minutes and remove to cool completely before filling.
Combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined, and pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes, and allow the pie to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cooled completely (at least 2 hours).
Open the can of coconut milk. Scoop the solid white cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Leave the coconut water behind. Using the whisk attachment or hand beaters, whip on high speed until it becomes smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping 1 to 2 minutes until it is light, creamy, and soft peaks form. Just before serving, spread the whipped coconut milk over the pie.