Monday, July 4, 2016

Key lime (no-bake) pie and key lime ice cream

With my love of citrus + creamy desserts, its no surprise that I'm a fan of key lime pie. The best I've ever had was a Cooks Illustrated recipe I blogged about a year ago.

Blast from the past.

But today I'm sharing two summertime twists on this classic dish: a no-bake version and key lime pie ice cream!

First up, a simple no-bake* key lime pie in a Ritz cracker crust (a game changer!).

*Technically the crust is baked for a short while, but the filling itself is no-bake.
The filling is pillowy and rich, without being heavy or too sweet. It's a different take on the classic as the whipped cream is folded into the mixture, so the filling is more mousse-like than custard-like. But don't let the picture fool you--the filling does set up enough so that the pie slices like a dream.

The buttery crust was ridiculously good--I could have broken it apart after baking and eaten it on its own. And yes, I know it sounds weird that its made from crackers. But don't let that scare you! Growing up you probably always had Ritz crackers with cheese or meat, and never with sweets. But crush 'em up with your hands, toss with extra butter and sugar, and it'll be one of the best pie crusts you've ever eaten. Guaranteed. (It's like the pie crust version of crack cookies--nobody will ever guess the secret ingredient is a cracker!)

Bonus points: it was one of the fastest desserts I've ever made, with no special equipment required to whip it up.

Next up, key lime pie ice cream--it's all the flavors and textures of key lime pie, but in ice cream form!

There really isn't much I can say about this ice cream, because the name says it all (a frozen version of your favorite pie)! So I'll let the photos do the talking...

Summertime in a bowl

Dramatic ice cream photo.

For all you lovers of key lime pie I hope I've given you a few out-of-the-box ideas to re-discover your favorite pie in different ways!

Buen Provecho,

No-bake Key Lime Pie, adapted from The Sugar Hit!

Note: the crust was really, really buttery. Super delicious, but borderline greasy. It may have been because I crushed my crackers a tad too much (check out The Sugar Hit blog to see her photos of the crust), so not that much butter was needed. Either way I think the butter could be reduced a bit and not compromise the integrity of the pie crust, but I haven't experimented with that. 


For the crust
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers (100g), plain
⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
7 TBSP (100g) butter, melted (see note above)

For the filling
14 oz (395g) can condensed milk
½ cup lime juice (I used Nellie & Joes Key West lime juice from the bottle and it was perfect!)
zest of 2 limes, divided (half for filling, half for the garnish)
1 cup (250ml) heavy whipping cream, whipped

  1. For the crust, place the Ritz crackers into a large bowl, and use your hands to crush them down.You want some pieces about ¼ of a Ritz, and lots of rubble. 
  2. Add the sugar and the melted butter to the bowl, and stir to combine. 
  3. Pat the crackers into a 9 inch (23cm) pie pan. Bake the crust in a 300 F/150C oven for 15-20 minutes or until deep golden brown. Set aside to cool completely. 
  4. For the filling, place the condensed milk into a bowl and add the lime juice, and half the zest. Stir until combined, then fold through the whipped cream. 
  5. Pour the filling into the crust, scatter over the remaining zest and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until completely chilled and set. Slice and serve! 
Key lime pie ice cream, from Use Real Butter

Note: From what I remember I had a touch too much filling for my ice cream maker. So don't feel compelled to add all of it to your machine, as the ice cream will expand as it churns. You could just drink the leftover mixture with a straw--no judgement. :) 

I'll keep the recipe as the original, where she has the approximate number of key limes you'll need. But after trying key limes once I didn't feel they were any better than regular limes, so use regular limes for the juice and zest if you're like me!

1 TBSP key lime zest (~4 key limes)
1/2 cup key lime juice (~12 limes)
3/4 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 egg yolks
2 cups cream
1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed

  1. Mix the zest, juice, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Let sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. 
  2. In a saucepan heat the milk until it is just boiling, and remove from heat. 
  3. Place 4 egg yolks into a medium sized bowl. Temper the yolks by slowly whisking in 1/4 cup hot milk into the yolks. Whisk in another 1/4 cup of milk. Once the yolks are tempered, pour the yolk-milk mixture back into the rest of the milk and whisk together. 
  4. Place over medium heat and whisk constantly until the custard has thickened (should coat the back of a spoon). 
  5. Place the custard on ice or in the refrigerator until it is chilled completely, preferably overnight. Mix the sugar-lime mixture, the custard, and the cream together in a large bowl.
  6. Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to the ice cream maker instructions. Stir the graham crackers into the soft ice cream. Put in a large container and freeze until firm. Makes about 1.75 quarts.


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