This tangy pie recipe originated with a white chocolate lining. We substituted dark chocolate for the white, adding some contrasting flavor and color. We’ve also made the pie with both traditional key limes as well as the lemony-looking limes that grow in our backyard. The regular size backyard limes result in a wonderful pie with far less labor than squeezing so many mini key limes. 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 below to work just perfectly in a deep dish pan. This recipe lends itself well to preparing it in stages, even over a couple of days if your time is limited.
½cupfinely chopped macadamia nutsa little extra is ok
½cupunbleached all-purpose flour
¼cupwhite or organic sugar
3tablespoonsunsalted buttercubed and chilled
3.5ouncesdark chocolateroughly chopped
28ouncessweetened condensed milk2 cans
1teaspoongrated lime zest1 regular lime or 5 or 6 key limes
1 ¼cupskey lime or regular lime juice4 – 5 regular limes or approximately 30 key limes -- really depends on size and juiciness
½tsplime zest or a splash of vanilla or bothoptional
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.