Frozen Key Lime Pie

Frozen Key Lime Pie

5 Ingredients. 

5 minutes.

Probably 5 years worth of bragging rights.

Whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, Key lime juice, vanilla extract, a pre-made graham cracker pie crust, a freezer. That is all you need to whip up (no pun intended, you will be doing the whip here….neh neh completely optional) the most amazing amalgam of silky, luxurious, should be labeled as a controlled substance, debauchery. 

As in: excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures (thanks, Wikipedia!).

Not a kale leaf in sight. Not a Brussel to be sprouted. Quit nagging, quinoa.

I got the devil in my freezer this day, and I make NO apologies!Frozen Key Lime Pie

A homemade, satiny rich, softly frozen treat that doesn’t morph into an ice brick due to the lack of an ice cream maker? What the huh wha huh? But 8 gazillion google results later (clearly way behind the ball on that one…hey, it happens…..ONLY ALL THE TIME) the code was cracked. You can make all sorts of ice-creamy delectables without any special equipment, and it is a pretty spectacular thing.

I wish I’d invented it.       Now I’m just the messenger.

And I’m delivering by way of this perfectly puckery pie, so gorgeous and cinchy to throw together…..

You’ll spend more time licking the bowl.     It’s just the truth.Frozen Key Lime Pie

Begin by mixing a whole can of sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 cup of Key lime juice. Now Key limes are the itty-bitty ma petite cousin of the good ol’ conventional supermarket staple, Persian limes. Some folks love, love, love themselves a Key lime and insist on its authenticity but since I suspect you don’t know or plan to entertain any active members of the Key lime task force………do yourself a favor.

Just use regular limes, will ya?  Or half lime half lemon juice, if you really want to try to mimic the more acidic properties of the real deal. In actuality Key limes are tiny and hard and practically impossible to juice and frankly fairly bitter because unless you live in Florida and have a tree in your back yard, you are shelling out your hard-earned pesos for an inferior import.Key Lime Juice

Then again, you can always do what I did and buy a bottle of Key lime juice.  Lazy ingenuity… easy to locate right there in the juice aisle.  Score!!Frozen Key Lime Pie

In a separate bowl, dump the entire pint of whipping cream and add a healthy glug of vanilla extract, like a really generous teaspoon. Get out your beaters and whip this up until it is nice and fluffy, giving you some nicely formed, nearly stiff peaks. This should take about three minutes or so. Once your cream is looking like a cloud, take a small amount of it, maybe a half cup or so, and fold it into your Key lime (WHATEVER! we shall call it what we want to) mixture.Frozen Key Lime Pie

Use a rubber scraper to do this. Gently cut through the center of the cream and flip it over. Keep turning the bowl as you “turn” the cream into the flavored sweetened condensed milk. What you want to do is incorporate the two without deflating the air you just whipped into your cream. Make sure to completely scoop up from the bottom as you go, you want to make sure to get it pretty uniform.Frozen Key Lime Pie

You will have some lumps as you go, mostly in the beginning, don’t worry about that. Just keep folding the whipped cream into the mixture a half cup at a time, gently gently, cutting down through the middle and then scooping everything up from the bottom. It will fight you just a bit. Stay the course and resist the urge to get that whisk back out and go all mad dog on it.

Easy, tiger.     Cut, fold, scoop.     Keep going… got this…..Frozen Key Lime Pie

and your reward will be a beautifully homogenous cloud of lush, limey love.


Pile this high into a ready-made graham cracker pie crust (if you are feelin’ 100% DYI, where else would you go but for the recipe) until you have a whipped cream mountain, because you will have A LOT. Just for good measure, and because it looks really pretty, zest a smattering of lime green confetti over the top. Pop this into the deep freeze for AT LEAST an hour, more if you can manage it…..Frozen Key Lime Pie

and you will end up with this. Light as a cloud, not too sweet, softly frozen limey luminescence.

My work here on earth is done. 

RECIPE BELOW: This peach of a pie will serve 8 or more, depending on the size of the slice. Being the glutton that I can be, I say err on the side of 8 or less. Truly takes five minutes to mix together, that is not even a whisper of an exaggeration, but you gotta give it time in the freezer to firm up…and that means at least an hour or two of wait it out time.  Life can be so hard.

Frozen Key lime Pie
  1. 1-14oz can of sweetened condensed milk*
  2. 1/2 cup Key lime juice (just use regular limes if you like, 3 or 4 should do the trick. Or half lemons and half limes.......even all lemon juice if that's what you happen to have on hand!)
  3. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1 ready made graham cracker pie crust
  6. And...if you are using bottled Key lime juice.......
  7. 1 lime, for zesting
  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk with the Key lime juice until very well combined. You will probably notice that this will thicken up on you as it comes together; this is totally normal.
  2. In a separate medium sized bowl, beat together the whipping cream and vanilla until fairly stiff peaks form, about three minutes. Use your electric beaters for this, or if you want to...go manual style and use a whisk. If you choose the latter route, it may take a little longer but you will have excellent forearms to show for it. Clearly I use the beaters.
  3. Incorporate the two by adding the whipped cream to the sweetened condensed milk mixture, about a half cup at a time. It will seem lumpy as you begin, but that will smooth out as you go.
  4. Fold this in gently with a rubber scraper, making sure to thoroughly scoop up from the bottom. You want to make sure you end up with a consistent mix as you continue to fold the whip cream into the sweetened condensed milk.
  5. You may have a few lumps in the end, but that is totally fine. Just be patient and gently fold the cream under, up and over.
Once you have a nice homogenous incorporation
  1. Dollop this into your prepared graham cracker crust. It will seem like it won't fit, but will....pile it high!
  2. Sprinkle the top with some freshly grated lime zest.
  3. Place in the freezer to firm up, at least an hour or two.
  1. You can totally remove this in one piece from the foil pan and place it on a beautiful serving dish (which I clearly had no use for....just give me the pie!!!).
  2. If you have this in the freezer for hours and hours or even overnight be sure to pull it out about an hour before you plan to serve, just to let it soften up a little.
  3. SLICE and sigh........
  4. This is soooooo good.
  1. * if you want to use the fat free can do that. But seriously? Just go for the gold. It's ok.
Kick and Dinner

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