For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10-12 graham crackers)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Key Lime Filling:
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice (regular lime juice can be used if key limes are unavailable)
- Zest of 2 limes
For the Whipped Cream Topping (optional):
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional lime zest for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
- In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Alternatively, place them in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the crumbs are evenly coated.
- Press the mixture into a 9-inch (23 cm) pie dish to form the crust. Make sure to press it firmly on the bottom and up the sides.
- Bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden. Remove and let it cool while you prepare the filling.
3. Make the Key Lime Filling:
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are slightly thickened.
- Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until well combined.
- Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust.
4. Bake the Pie:
- Return the pie to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly jiggly in the center.
5. Cool and Chill:
- Allow the pie to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or until well chilled.
6. Make the Whipped Cream Topping (optional):
- In a mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
- Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled pie.
7. Garnish and Serve:
- If desired, garnish with additional lime zest.
- Slice and serve your Key Lime Pie.
Cooking Time: The total cooking time is approximately 25-30 minutes, plus at least 3 hours of chilling time in the refrigerator.
Serving Size: This recipe serves approximately 8 people.