I’ve got a secret to tell you.
I’ve kept this secret close to my heart, fiercely protected. I’ve guarded it for over 15 years now. I’ve been tempted, at times, to tell everyone, but that just feels….wrong. What is it about this blog that makes me want to share things? Have a seat, because this is pretty major.
It’s my key lime pie recipe.
People freak out for this pie. It’s delicious. I tasted it years ago at a get-together, learned the recipe, and have been making it for parties ever since. It’s tart and sweet and summery and somewhat unique, and I’ve been kind of known for it. My best friend, Amanda, hounded me for the recipe for years. It wasn’t until recently that I divulged the truth. I shared my secret, and now she knows… that it’s the easiest thing you’ll ever make.
Isn’t that the case with “secret” recipes? Great-grandmother’s incredible cookie recipe, a secret passed down for generations, turns out to be the one on the back of the chocolate chip bag or something. That’s kind of how this pie is, which is why I kept it a secret. I didn’t want to be found out.
There it is. Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice. The secret recipe I’ve protected for so long is right there on the back of the bottle! You literally combine a few egg yolks, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and some of the lime juice, toss it into a pre-made crust, and bake it. The end. Trust me, it’s scrumptious. But over the years, I’ve made a few tweaks to make this pie truly special. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Take notes.
Secret #1: I make my own crust. This changes the end result significantly! I don’t do anything fancy- it’s just a simple graham cracker crust with a bit of cinnamon in it. It takes a little extra time, but it’s worth it.
Secret #2: I use fresh citrus juice. Once, while on a trip to Puerto Rico, I wanted to make this pie but didn’t have the special key lime juice. So I squeezed a bunch of limes, added lemon and a bit of orange to cut the sourness, and it turned out even better than the bottled stuff. It’s not really a KEY LIME pie but no one has to know that. Fresh citrus pie? Yes please.
Secret #3: I top it with lots of fresh fruit. Most key lime pies are topped with whipped cream, maybe a lime wedge. One year, for the Fourth of July, I used raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries for color. The tart/sweet combo is magical, and it’s how I make it every time. I used to arrange perfect slices of strawberry and even rows of blueberry, but it took too much time. I think the jumble of fruit on top is perfection.
Make this pie sometime this summer. When people tentatively take a bite of it, you’ll see the look on their faces change. Their eyes will open wide and they’ll look at you like you’re a PIE GODDESS. They’ll say, Mmmmm! really loudly, probably more than once, and then ask how you made it. They might follow you around the party, asking for seconds, requesting the pie recipe, asking what’s in it.
But you won’t tell, will you? No, you’ll guard the recipe with your life, smiling as your guests enjoy the delicious pie that only YOU know how to make. You might want to whisper the truth to a friend, that it’s so easy… but you won’t. After all, you don’t want to be found out.
It will be our little secret.
Amber’s Secret Key Lime Pie
- One 9-inch graham cracker crust (recipe follows)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup fresh citrus juice (mostly lime, but also lemon and a bit of orange)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine milk, yolks, and juice in a bowl; whisk until smooth. Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Top with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and/or raspberries. Allow yourself to be admired by those who eat it, and hold your tongue.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups fine graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- teaspoon of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients until well blended. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool before adding the filling. YUM!
**Find more kitchen secrets on the FOOD BLISS link above!**