Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Key Lime Curd Pie

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This Key Lime Curd Pie helps to cure the New England winter blues! There is no shortage of key lime dessert recipes available on the internet, and they usually fall within one of two camps. First are those that use sweetened condensed milk for traditional key lime pies. Second are those that make curds for a more delicate dessert that serves beautifully in decorative single-serve glass containers. What makes this recipe a little different is it combines the best of both worlds to make Key Lime Curd Pie! I personally prefer the tart flavor of curd but love the fun when you have a pie to decorate, too!

But first, a few things

The recipe below is for the basic key lime pie only. This means you’ll need to plan separately for whatever you want to put on top of your pie. And the prep time may vary depending on whether you buy or make the ingredients. For example, you can hand-squeeze limes for fresh juice or simply buy lime juice in a bottle. You can also make your pie crust from scratch or buy one pre-made from the store. I’m all about easy prep and cleanup, so I bought juice and a pie crust from my local grocery store. I especially enjoy using Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice as it reminds me of one of my favorite vacation locations. And for an audience with allergies, consider buying Mi-Del’s Gluten Free Graham Style Pie Crust. Both are available in most major chain grocery stores.

The double-boiler method for cooking curd

The special secret to this pie is how you cook the filling. Because the filling is of a more delicate consistency, you’ll want to use the double-boiler method for cooking. (This should not to be confused with the bain-marie method used for other desserts like crème brûlée.) But if you don’t have a double-boiler, don’t worry! As long as you have a heat-proof bowl that can nestle into one of your regular pots, you’re good to go! I like using Luminarc stackable nestling mixing bowls for just this occasion.

You’ll cook the filling using steam from the bottom half of the double-boiler. Be careful to cook the filling long enough to avoid having raw egg in your pie. If you have a food thermometer, you’ll want it to read at least 170-degrees Fahrenheit to be safe (for this recipe, that will take about 20 minutes).

If you cook the filling direct on the stove, it will definitely cook a lot faster (closer to 5 minutes). However, you’ll risk the eggs cooking too quickly, which means you may have scrambled eggs in your key lime pie (eww!). I tried this method once with my gas stove at home, and this definitely happened even though I used the smallest burner on lowest heat. The double-boiler method may take longer, but it’s never failed me, and my pies always turn out delicious and amazing!

Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to rate it!

Key Lime Curd Pie

4 from 3 votes
Recipe by Cook-Corrette Collaboration
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

A sweetly tart and delicious pie that is everything key lime pie should be. A great escape reminiscent of warmer weather and perfect for the cold New England winter blues.

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup key lime juice (from approx. 4 limes)

  • 1/4 cup extra key lime juice (from approx. 2 limes)
    (optional if you like your pie a little more tart like me!)

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 4 tsp key lime zest (from approx. 2 limes)

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter (plant-based for dairy free)

  • 1 graham cracker crust

Directions

  • Fill the bottom part of the double-boiler with an inch of water. Place the bottom part of the double-boiler on the stove and bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  • Combine the eggs, sugar, juice, salt, and zest in the top part of the double-boiler (away from heat) and whisk together until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
  • Reduce the heat to low and place the top part of the double-boiler over the bottom part on the stove. Cook the filling over steam and stir constantly until the mixture reaches 170-degrees Fahrenheit (about 20 minutes).
  • Remove the top part of the double-boiler from the stove. Add the butter to the filling and whisk together until thoroughly mixed.
  • Pour all of the filling into the pie crust, cool to room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to set.
  • If desired, decorate and garnish your pie after the filling is set.

Notes

  • This recipe can easily be made with regular limes and/or gluten-free ingredients.
  • If you don’t own a double-boiler, use a large heat-proof bowl that can nestle inside a large pot.
  • As the filling starts to reach temperature while cooking, the edges will start to froth and the consistency of the mixture will start to stiffen. This is how you know it’s getting close to done!

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