I’ve had a lot of key lime pie in my lifetime.  Years ago, my family took a trip to the keys and were on a quest to find the best key lime pie.  We must have had at least ten different ones.  We had a ranking sheet- taste, crust, appearance, texture…needless to say, it was serious business.  So when I set out to make my very first key lime pie last night, I had a tough time figuring out how to go about it.  My standards are high when it comes to key lime pie.

My first decision was that the crust needed to be incredible.  I’m normally not a crust eater.  I hand crushed graham crackers and made an addition of sweetened shredded coconut for a tropical flair.  I also decided I wouldn’t settle for anything less than real fresh squeezed key lime juice.  And of course, something so delectable would need vanilla bean whipped cream.

“This sounds like a lot of work,” you say.  Oh, I know.  It seems like a lot of effort, huh?  I promise you, it is one of the tastiest I’ve ever had.  If you’re up for the challenge, keep reading.


The Crust:
-1-¼ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
-⅓ Cup Sweetened Coconut
-2 Tablespoons Sugar
-6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

The Filling:
-1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
-4 Large Egg Yolks
-½ Cup Fresh Key Lime Juice

The Whipped Cream:
-1 Cup Heavy Cream
-2 teaspoons Powdered Sugar
-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Use a 9 inch pie pan, but not a deep dish pan.  I used a 9 inch tart pan and it worked well.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl.  Use a fork to mix.  Press mixture down into a lightly greased pie pan, being sure to be as even as possible.  Bake crust in oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.  Allow to cool.

Next, prepare your filling.  Whisk condensed milk with egg yolks until creamy and combined.  Add key lime juice and whisk again.  Pour filling into crust- but be sure you have given it adequate time to cool, first!

Bake for 15 minutes, allow to cool in fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

To make whipped cream, pour chilled heavy cream in a large bowl with vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar.  Beat with a mixer on high until soft peaks form.  Only prepare the whipped cream right before serving.