Happy 4th of July! This year looks a lot different than most. With fireworks and festivities absent this year the one thing that remains is good food and sunshine if we’re lucky! We’re having a quiet pool day drinking frozen watermelon margs, firing up the grill, and eating these cutie little mini key lime pies! Ya’ll they are seriously so addictive. In the summer, I crave all things puckery and tart, so key lime pie is my best friend. Plus mini size makes it the perfect after dinner bite or to share at a gathering (whenever that will be again 🙄)
Floridians love key lime pie and it’s hotly debated – Should the crust be graham cracker or pastry? topped with meringue or whipped cream? And most argued of all—do you have to use true Key limes?
Growing up in central Florida, living in Portland, and now in Atlanta I have never seen key limes hanging out in a grocery store until last week! We discovered Buford Highway Farmers Market and it truly has any fruit, vegetable, ingredient you could ever need for ANY dish. It’s incredible. Not to go on a tangent but we went a little nuts and bought fresh ramen, miso, kimchi, goodies from Norway, a Balinese seafood paste to re-create dishes from our honeymoon. We bought stilton blue cheese, this incredible cognac duck liver pâté, tons of fresh seafood, and lastly these adorable key limes! I knew instantly key lime pie was happening stat.
So how do you make mini key lime pies?
For the homemade graham cracker crust all it is is crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar. I made these in a foil muffin tins and used the back of a 1/4 measuring cup to smash down the mixture making it compact. You par-bake the crusts for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven until hardened.
The classic key lime mixture is egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and a little lime zest. Distribute the mixture among the crusts and bake another 7-9 minutes until custard is set but still a little soft and slightly jiggling in the center. Then the key is to let them cool down on a rack and then chill in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. I chose to top with fresh whipped cream but you could also do meringue!
The homemade whipped cream makes it for me! I don’t make the cream too sweet since I want it fresh and to cut the sweetness of the graham and custard. No judgement sneaking a couple spoonfuls of leftover whipped cream – Remember as kids taking mouthfuls of ready-whip out of the can?! Wait…. I still do that! 😉
What you can serve these with!
I mean these are great by themselves or make for dinner-parties or birthdays! But if you’re looking for good summer menu items to go alongside, here’s some ideas!
Mini Key Lime Pies
Graham Cracker Crusts
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice regular limes if you can't find key limes
- 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
Homemade whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy whipped cream
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F. Place foil muffin liners in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Spray with cooking spray if you have it but I have made these without spraying and they don't generally stick.
- In bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Divide mixture evenly among cups, press idown on mixture making it compact using bottom of glass or measuring cup. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. Remove and cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile in your stand mixer or large bowl, beat condensed milk and yolks with whisk. Stir in lime juice and lime zest. Divide mixture evenly among cups and bake 7-8 minutes or until set. Cool completely in muffin pan on rack, then cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Just before serving, beat whipping cream and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixture or your stand mixer about a minute or until it holds stiff peaks. Top mini pies with a dallop of cream and garnish with lime slice or zest. Enjoy!