Key lime pie is SO easy to make, and my marshmallow meringue is the perfect sweet topper to the creamy tart filling.
While a great meat dish makes for a satisfying feed, a great dessert turns it into a complete meal. I’ve long been making this Key Lime Pie and it’s always a huge hit with dinners guests, and equally popular when I post pics on social media, which is why I’m finally sharing the recipe.
The base is sweet and crunchy, the filling tart and creamy, and the fluffy peaks of marshmallow meringue balance it out perfectly. More importantly, it’s super easy to make, and if you get your portions right you also guarantee yourself pie for breakfast the next day, which of course is a staple leftover morning food along with cold pizza.
Key limes are in fact different to regular limes, they’re half the size and are much tarter than the ones you usually find crammed in the neck of your Corona. In fact, they’re so tiny that they can be a real pain in the butt to squeeze, but luckily you can buy the non-concentrated juice in bottles.
What sets my pie apart is the marshmallow meringue. This stuff is crazy good:
Regular meringue can sometimes be quite “eggy”, and have a weird foamy texture. This version is super silky and luscious, but still incredibly light, and even gets a nice chewy character from the parts that are torched.
This recipe is a real winner because it’s so easy but has a high wow factor both at the table and on you’re tastebuds. If you’re really pinched for time you can use pre-made graham cracker crust bases (which isn’t as shameful as not making your own pastry from scratch!), and then aside from cooking/cooling time the prep only takes 10-15 minutes total. Too easy!
optional: grated lime zest, 1-2 drops green food color
For the meringue:
3/4 cup sugar
1.5 tsp light corn syrup
Pour the crumbs, melted butter, salt and 1/3 c sugar into a bowl and mix well to combine. It should have the consistency of wet sand.
Press this mixture firmly into a 9″ pie tin, working one section at a time. The key to a good crust is to pack it down VERY firmly, using the back of a measuring cup helps with this process. Once crust is assembled, put it in the fridge to firm for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350/180 degrees
Separate the eggs taking care to ensure no yolk ends up in the whites, otherwise your meringue will fail.
In a bowl, combine egg yolks, condensed milk, lime juice and optional zest and colouring, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Pour into pie crust and place in pre-heated oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. The mixture should still be wobbly at the end of baking time, and keep an eye on the edges to make sure it’s not overcooking.
Remove from oven and allow to cool, then place in fridge to cool further.
This meringue needs a 1:1 ratio of sugar to egg whites. I like to pour the egg whites into a measuring cup to see how much I have, then add the same amount of sugar.
Put whites, sugar and corn syrup into a small saucepan over very low heat, and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.
Pour mix into a bowl and immediately beat using an electric hand mixer or whisk attachment. It will take around 7-10 minutes to get to the right consistency. The finished meringue should have firm peaks that don’t move or sink back into the bowl at all.
Spread meringue over cooled pie, making sure to seal the meringue to the crust and not leave any filling exposed. Use a spatula to flick up peaks in the meringue.
To brown the top, it’s best to use a culinary blowtorch. You can use a broiler but take care to ensure it doesn’t burn, which can happen very quickly.
Store in refrigerator – will keep about a week, but you’ll probably have eaten it all before then.