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A Key Lime Pie Kind of Weekend

With temperatures soaring over one hundred degrees last week, it seemed time to make the most refreshing heat busting dessert that I know – key lime pie.

Having grown up a northerner, I only learned how to make one version of key lime pie as a child – the one on the back of the key lime juice bottle.  Moving here to the nation’s capital, making this pie has proven to be more of a necessity to survive long hot summer days.  It’s an important go to dessert for barbeques and pool afternoons.  I decided this year to expand my key lime pie comfort zone and explore a few onew recipes.

My best friend brought over this key lime pie this week.  Having recently moved here herself, she has also discovered the joys of this refreshing dessert on these hot days.  This recipe used Cool Whip and vanilla pudding mix to give it a loftier feel.  Everything is better with Cool Whip!

I decided for Saturday’s family picnic to try a very different key lime pie recipe.  It mixed in vanilla ice cream and then baked it.  After the pie has cooled, it is frozen for at least an hour.  I was scientifically skeptical about how something that is supposed to be frozen would taste when melted, baked, and then refrozen.  But, being that I didn’t have a lot of time and I’m always curious to try new things, I decided to give the recipe a try.

It was fantastic and wonderfully refreshing.  The semi-frozen whipped ice cream melted in your mouth acting as an automatic cool down.  The sponge farmers in the Florida Keys had the right idea when they invented this pie!

Although the orginal recipe used a homemade graham cracker crust and whipped cream, I took some short cuts and used a store bought crust and canned whipped cream.  I think the pie was probably just as good!

Ice Cream Key Lime Pie

(adapted from Epicurious)

You Will Need:

1 regular size graham cracker crust

6 large egg yolks

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of vanilla ice cream, softened

1/2 cup of bottled Key lime juice

Whipped Cream (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat 6 egg yolks in a bowl for about a minute.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until pale and lofty.  The batter should feel slightly fluffy (about 5 or 6 minutes).

2.  Add the ice cream – just softened, but not melted – and beat until the batter is smooth in texture.

3.  Stir in the key lime juice and beat until combined.  The key lime juice determines the tartness of the pie. Because this recipe uses ice cream, it is a bit sweeter than most.  I added a little less than a 1/2 cup the recipe called for to get a sweeter pie, but if you enjoy a tarter key lime, consider adding more.

4.  Pour the batter into the graham cracker shell.  Bake for about twelve minutes or until the filling is just set in the center.  Let cool.

5.  Place the cooled pie in the freezer for at least an hour, but preferably over night.  Take it out about an hour before serving.  This pie can be made up to three days ahead of time and kept frozen.

One of my complaints about key lime pies is they tend to be overly tart.  The ice cream added a sweetness that countered the bite of the lime juice, leaving this pie the perfect treat to a hot summer afternoon.

Happy Celebrating,



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