Chocolate key lime pie with a macadamia crust became a holiday tradition in our house way back in 2010. The tang of the key lime filling shines but is uplifted even further with the dark chocolate lining and nutty crust.
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The table was set, the turkey was perfect, the stuffing, appetizers, and side dishes were all mouth watering but to no surprise, it was the dessert that stole the show. We had chocolate pecan pie, two home-baked pumpkin pies prepared by the kids, and the now famous key lime pie – which was featured in our local newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News, in the food section with kudos to my late son, Gregory Lee.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The inspiration for this pie included a white chocolate lining. I promise the dark chocolate is a beautiful contrast of both flavor and color.
- The pie is great with key limes, but we've made it many times with regular limes from our tree and it is still wonderful!
- This recipe lends itself well to preparing it in stages, even over a couple of days if your time is limited.
How to make this recipe
Start by preparing the crust. We use a deep dish 9” glass pie dish. If you use a shallower dish, reduce the quantity of filling by 25%. You can keep the crust constant and have a bit extra or use it all, resulting in a slightly thicker crust. We found the ratio of crust to filling as shown in the recipe worked just perfectly in a deep dish pan.
While the crust is cooling, prepare the chocolate lining by melting the butter and chocolate together. Spread it all over the cooled crust.
While the chocolate-lined crust is cooling in the fridge or freezer, make the filling by combining the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and juice and egg yolks. Pour it into the cooled crust.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350°F. Then chill the pie for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
Chill for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Decorate with lime slices and shaved chocolate and serve with fresh whipped cream!
Gregory's pie was written up in the San Jose Mercury News in 2012:
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Chocolate Key Lime Pie RecipeBeth Lee
- ½ cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed and chilled
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate roughly chopped
- 8 egg yolks
- 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk 2 cans
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest 1 regular lime or 5 or 6 key limes
- 1 ¼ cups key lime or regular lime juice 4 – 5 regular limes or approximately 30 key limes -- really depends on size and juiciness
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon lime zest or a splash of vanilla or both optional
To make the crust:
- In a large or mini food processor, process the nuts, flour, and sugar until starting to combine, then add the cold, cubed butter and continue to process until it forms large crumbs but does not ball up.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, preferably glass. Freeze the crust until it is firm, 15 – 30 minutes.
- While the crust is firming up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once firm, bake the crust for about 20 – 25 minutes, until it is lightly brown and set up. Let it cool on a wire rack. If you are planning to continue preparation, leave the oven on at 350 degrees.
To make the dark chocolate coating:
- Combine the butter and chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. You can either place the bowl over simmering water and stir constantly until the chocolate and butter are melted, combined, and smooth or microwave it on your melt function or about medium power mixing frequently to be sure it combines, using 30-second bursts if you’re not sure how powerful your microwave is. Once the chocolate is smooth and melted, pour it all over the crust and use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly all over the cooled crust. Freeze again until firm – even overnight if you are continuing the baking the next day.
To make the key lime filling:
- While the crust is chilling, in a medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, condensed milk, and lime zest. Gradually stir in the lime juice until well combined. Pour the mixture into the chilled crust.
- If the pie pan has just come out of the freezer and was in there for a long time, let the glass pie dish warm up a bit before you place it in the hot oven. Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 20 minutes to set the filling. Remove pie and let it cool on a wire rack. Then cover carefully and chill for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
- While the pie is chilling, make the whipped topping by beating the cream and sugar (and optional zest and vanilla) to stiff peaks. Place a dollop of the whipped cream on each slice of pie when you serve it. You can decorate with shaved chocolate, lime slices, and/or zest if you like.