08 November 2018

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com

Key Lime Pie is a dessert we really like but, invariably, find far too sweet. Since it is made with condensed milk, it isn’t simply a matter of just cutting back on the sugar. So I put on my lab coat (figuratively speaking) and went to work. Since it turned out so well, I just had to share it with you. 

Since it's made without condensed milk, you can control the sweetness. Even if you prefer to use more sugar than I do, it will still be considerably less than a pie made with condensed milk.

Besides its excessive sweetness, the other problem I have with condensed milk is that the sugar in it is often beet sugar, and a high percentage of the sugar beets grown in the US have been genetically modified to resist herbicides. Since the US does not require labels to designate whether the sugar is from sugar cane or beets, you never know unless a manufacturer volunteers the information. 

Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com


Then there’s the matter of the limes. From what I’ve read, there is very little commercial key lime production in the Florida Keys these days and Key lime juice that is bottled there is often juice from imported Key limes. So let’s just throw the whole “authenticity” thing out the window! But to be perfectly accurate, we could just call my pie “Lime Pie.” 

But whatever variety available to you, look for limes with the thinnest, smoothest, least “pebbly” skins that have a lot of yellow rather than bright green and that yield to gentle pressure. They will have more juice and better flavor than the big, pretty, rock-hard, evenly green limes. 

Do you prefer your lime pie with whipped cream or meringue? I wouldn’t say No to one with meringue, but I really prefer it with whipped cream. 


Key Lime Pie - Without Condensed Milk / www.delightfulrepast.com


Key Lime Pie – Without Condensed Milk 


(Makes one 9-inch/23cm pie) 


The Crust – A Graham Cracker Crust 


1 1/2 cups (4.5 ounces/128 grams—9 whole crackers) graham cracker crumbs
1/8 cup (0.875 ounce/25 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ginger 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, melted 


The Filling 


3 large eggs
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 ounces/118 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest from organic or unsprayed unwaxed limes

1/8 teaspoon salt 


Note: Key limes are not as widely available as Persian limes, so I use Persian. There are about 5 medium Persian limes in a pound (16 ounces/454 grams), each lime with an average yield of 2 tablespoons of juice and 2 teaspoons of finely grated zest. Four of them should yield enough juice for the recipe, but have a fifth on hand, just in case; today I needed 4 1/2 limes. 

1 Preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3. Lightly butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and melted butter until the mixture comes together. If you used a food processor to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust in it as well. If you used your fingers or the rolling pin/plastic bag method to make the crumbs, you can mix the crust with a fork in a small mixing bowl. The mixture should be a bit crumbly but hold together when squeezed. 

2 Press the crumb mixture evenly and firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate just to the top; don’t make a raised rim. I used a flat-bottomed stainless steel measuring cup to get it even and well compacted. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Place it on a wire rack to cool completely while making the filling. Leave the oven on. 

3 In 2-quart bowl (I use a 2-quart glass measure), whisk together eggs, sugar, cream, lime juice, lime zest and salt until well combined. Pour filling into prebaked and completely cooled pie crust. Bake for about 25 minutes, until just set and still with a bit of a wobble in the center. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should read 145F/63C. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days loosely covered, before serving. 

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Jean

56 comments:

Jeanie said...

Thanks for this one, Jean. I don't MIND the condensed milk version but you are right -- sometimes they end up more sweet than tart and I love the tartness of a good key lime pie. This one will be on the must-try list.

Tony Grant said...

I can't quite believe I am the first to comment on this recipe, Jean. I have never been first. But there is always a first time for everything and this is it. I am FIRST!!!!!
Anyway, Lime pie. Have you heard of Lemon Meringue Pie, Jean? You must have done. A highlight of my childhood. Using lime sounds just as good though. Thanks for this Jean. I hope you are well and fully recovered from your recent illness? Tony

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Damned with faint praise! As a dessert egalitarian, I accept all sub-species of key lime pie, and beets are my favorite vegetable (can’t believe I wrote that), as long as they are reduced down to sugar. However, if you ever walk through, a sugar beet processing plant you will gag for several weeks thereafter. It’s that cloying. And I do like limes, whether they are suffering from skin diseases or not. How mature of me! It’s not easy being green, you know – the limes, not me. Well, maybe me too. 5 cleavers.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, thank you. I hope you'll like it as much as we do!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ohhhh, 5 cleavers! Thank you, Sully. Many years ago I knew someone who worked in a beet sugar factory. He never mentioned the smell, as I recall, but I suppose he was used to it. He did mention that a coworker had fallen into a part of the system and been crushed under the weight of the finished sugar. (But that's not why I object to beet sugar!)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, yes, I love lemon meringue pie, too. Can't believe I still haven't posted it. Soon. No, I am not yet fully recovered (might be coughing for months!), but I'm feeling better every day and actually managed a new recipe post today. Thank you for your well wishes last week.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

I'll take mine with whipped cream as well, Jean! Thanks for the interesting facts here about the limes as well as condensed milk! It's worrisome what in in our food. Your pie looks wonderful! ♥

Grace said...

I have no need for whipped cream or meringue - just bring on the (key) lime pie! (And if it is less sweet, all the better, I like me some tanginess!)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Martha! I'm glad that added information was of interest. I do worry about what is in our food!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Grace, thank you. We *love* tangy--it's our favorite flavor!

Louca por porcelana said...

Oh my!That dessert is one of my favorites...But with condensed milk!Hugs,dear Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Maristella! I hope you'll try it soon. I like to eat organic, and while organic condensed milk is not readily available, organic heavy cream is, so this will work out well for me.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I haven't had a slice of key lime pie (well, in this country the limes never were authentically 'key' limes) for many years. I think many of the pies had become too sweet although I'm not sure if it was the pies that had changed or my tastes. This does sound like a very fine alternative version to me.

ellen b. said...

Congratulations on your trial coming out so well. It looks and sounds delicious.

Cranberry Morning said...

I much prefer things with less sugar Jean, now that I no longer eat things like Mike n Ike. LOL. I was eating my typical mid afternoon snack of pistachios while reading this recipe. I have never eaten a key lime pie, but I can tell by the ingredient list that I'd love a piece sitting in front of me right now. Your Depression Glass plate (shallow bowl?) is beautiful!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Phil. Yes, the pies have always been too sweet AND your tastes have probably changed as well. You can alter the sweet/tart balance any way you like with my version. I might use even less sugar next time.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. It does make me happy when my experiments turn out right the first time!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! I love that cake plate, too. It was my mother's, so something I've had around all my life.

NanaDiana said...

Jean- Your pie sounds wonderful. The original recipe I had from the Keys when we lived in FL was not made with sweetened condensed milk. I lost the recipe years ago but I believe it had heavy whipping cream, sugar and I believe there was cornstarch in there -and the eggs of course.
I am copying your recipe over to try. Thanks...and I like my own with whipped cream rather than meringue, too!
Have a wonderful night. xo Diana

ps- Thanks for popping by to visit my blog!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Diana, thank you! I hope you'll like it as much as the recipe you lost.

Margie said...

For some reason, I've always associated key lime pie with summer. YUM! Thanks for the visit!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hello Jean, I'm glad to hear you are feeling better! Personally, I like whipped cream on lime pie and I too like it tangy but I also prefer lemon meringue pie to the lime. I learned to make it in Home Ec {many moons ago} and there is nothing better than home made. You always inspire us to bake and to bake well; thank you!

Angie Schneider said...

It's one of my favourite treats too. Love this less sweeter version, Jean.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I don’t mind the original Key Lime Pie, mostly because it is a joyful childhood memory, like Hershey kisses! That said, I can’t wait to try your version and I do prefer more tart than sweet when it comes to citrus. And, lucky for me Key Limes (the exact same as Mexican Limes) are almost literally “a dime a dozen” here and many friends grow them! Thanks, Jean!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Your Key Lime Pie sounds like a winner, Jean! I like the touch of cinnamon in the crust, too. I'll take mine with whipped cream, please! I hope you're feeling much better.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, I always have, too. But for some reason, I just had to have it in November!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Sandi. And I'll eventually get around to posting my lemon meringue pie.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

David, thank you. Let me know when you try it. I envy you your ready supply of good limes at little or no cost!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Kitty. I'm feeling much better. The little touch of ginger adds something as well. And sometimes I use a little unsweetened coconut in place of some of the crumbs.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thanks. You can always count on me for a less sweet version of things!

Gloria Baker said...

absolutely love this Lime pie, delicious !!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Gloria! I was just getting ready to have a small slice of it.

Carole said...

Thanks, Jean. I wonder whether unsweetened condensed milk would work? Cheers

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

In the US, Carole, all condensed milk contains sugar. Canned milk that has been cooked down a bit without the addition of sugar is called evaporated milk. But I prefer cream. I'm like Julia Child--not afraid of butter and cream! :D

REBECCA SMITH - Glutarama said...

I'm still yet to make key lime pie...this recipe has inspired me #blogcrush

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Well, thank you, Rebecca! And it's so easy to make the crust gluten-free. Let me know how it turns out for you.

Erica Hughes said...

I like the idea of a less sweet lime pie. If you are going to have something flavoured with lime, you need a sharpness to it. I'm not a cream fan and can only face small quantities, so I think I'd have it with meringue and then you'd want some sharpness to offset the sweetness.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Erica. And I'm sure the meringue would be good, too!

Swati said...

Loved the recipe.. love key lime pies!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Swati!

April J Harris said...

Jean, I am so happy to see this recipe! I am not a fan of condensed milk in pies and I had hesitated to make Key Lime Pie myself because of it. Your pie looks absolutely delicious. Scheduled to share later on Twitter and on the H&S Facebook page. Thank you for sharing, and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party. Have a lovelyl week ahead!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you so much! I've never tasted a single recipe with condensed milk that was not sickeningly sweet to me.

Miz Helen said...

I love a Key Lime Pie and your recipe looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and hope you will come back soon!
Miz Helen

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Sounds delicious to me. I am more of a pumpkin pie fan myself but I've never been known to turn down a good piece of pie.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you so much. Love your #FullPlateThursday!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, aspiritofsimplicity. I've got pumpkin pie on the blog as well!

kateonthinice said...

Need to give this one a try as have never eaten or made and am looking for new challenges so why not? #TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kate, thank you. I hope you will! There's really nothing quite like it. AND it's quite quick and easy.

Rosie said...

Yummy - the best key lime pie I ever had was in Key West in Florida no less. This looks delicious x #TriumphantTales

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Rosie. I like my recipe so well, I doubt that I'll ever order key lime pie in a restaurant again--unless I go to Key West!

daydreams of a Mum said...

Though I'm not a dessert person I think this recipe would go down a treat in our house #blogcrush

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mum! Hope you'll try it out on your family soon.

Tarahlynn said...

Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing with us at the To Grandma's house link party - see you next week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tarah! Congrats on getting through your first year!

Lowcarb team member said...

Key Lime Pie, a firm favourite for many :)

All the best Jan

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jan! Hope your month is going well.

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