This dessert is best enjoyed the day it's made. The sky-high meringue is a sight to behold, and the rich Key lime flavor is refreshing.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 cookie sheets)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 large egg whites, divided
1 tablespoon water
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice or fresh lime juice (about 6 Key limes)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon grated Key lime or lime rind
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine crumbs and melted butter in a bowl. Place 1 egg white in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons egg white to graham cracker mixture, tossing well with a fork to combine. Discard remaining beaten egg white. Add 1 tablespoon water to graham cracker mixture; toss gently to coat. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. (Moisten fingers, if needed, to bring mixture together.) Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Place 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add juice and condensed milk, beating until thick; stir in rind. Spoon mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until edges are set (center will not be firm but will set as it chills). Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely, and chill at least 2 hours.
Place remaining 3 egg whites in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until foamy using clean beaters.
Combine sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 250°. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over chilled pie (completely cover pie with meringue).
Broil pie 1 minute or until meringue is lightly browned.
The filling is creamy with great lime flavor. I used Nellie and Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice and grated one lime (a little over a teaspoon). The meringue turned out fluffy and sweet, cooked as written, but it took several minutes under the broiler in my oven. My only complaint is the crust. It doesn't keep its shape, so it's very hard to serve, and adds nearly nothing to the flavor. I'll repeat the pie with a different crust recipe again, for sure!
Good basic recipe. I didn't bother with making the hot sugar syrup; I've never liked doing meringues that way. I doubled the meringue ingredients and added 1/2tsp cream of tartar. Worked just fine. I might try the hot syrup method next time. Be really careful putting the meringue under the broiler; 12in away is about right and NEVER take your eyes off it! GREAT filling and crust recipe. Crust was pretty easy and filling was smooth and tangy. Will definitely use again!
We ate this pie the day it was made, and the crust was completely cooled before the filling was added and baked. The crust was still soggy, and I would not make it again. The filling was ok, but I may have beaten the meringue too long while adding the syrup, because it didn't spread smoothly. There was a lot of accumulated liquid when I cut into the pie.