Cool, creamy, classic key lime pie with a buttery graham cracker macadamia nut crust. Summer’s not complete without one, and this recipe is no-fail!
Or check out these refreshing key lime pie popsicles – naturally-sweetened!
Hello friends! If you’ve been reading for a bit, you might know that key lime pie is kind of a thing in my house, mostly because my stepdaughter requests one every year for her birthday “cake.” I just love food-related traditions like that, and have very happily obliged the request for several years running. Even when we haven’t been together for her actual birthday, I’ll make a pie in her honor, and of course make another to enjoy together whenever we’re able. Needless to say, that adds up to a good amount of key lime pie! No one has ever complained. 🙂
I’ve long used a very dependable Cook’s Illustrated recipe for classic key lime pie, and never felt the need to stray or experiment until I spied this beauty – a pie with a graham cracker macadamia nut crust. Whoa. Does that sound delicious or what!?
Cool, creamy key lime pie is always in style! Especially w/ a graham cracker macadamia nut crust!Click To Tweet
I almost didn’t write a post on this because I made so few adaptations, essentially just combining this incredible crust concept with elements of my old favorite recipe. But, the more I thought about it, for whatever reason the more I also thought about how summer is passing us by at lightning speed, not to mention my belief that everyone’s summer should include a slice of this before we turn the page to apples and sweet potatoes and pumpkin-spiced everything.
Somehow all this brought me around to feeling that a pie this good deserves to be shared as widely as possible. Even if I take no credit for personally developing it.
This pie is super simple to make, making it even more of a summer hero. Excellent homemade dessert that requires very little time spent in the kitchen? Pretty sure we can all get behind that!
To make the crust, macadamia nuts get pulsed right in with the graham crackers, so it’s really no extra trouble over and above a regular graham cracker crust. If you aren’t feeling the macadamia nuts, or just don’t have them on hand, you can certainly leave them out and add two extra full-sheet graham crackers instead. (Basically follow the crust instructions that go with this lemon cream pie. Mmm, lemon cream pie… )
The most laborious part of the process is squeezing the lime juice out of the limes. I used to do this by hand – ugh! – and then one day I spent the $10 at the grocery store to buy a small manual juicer. Amazing. This little thing has literally put hours back into my life.
Obviously you could also use a fancier juicer, if you have one, or if not, buy a bottle of lime juice from the store. If you do buy pre-squeezed juice, I would recommend getting the highest-quality you can. It still might not have quite the same taste as fresh, but I’m guessing your pie will disappear pretty darn quickly all the same. 🙂
Confession: I have never once made this pie with actual key limes!! I feel like such an imposter! But I have never ever found key limes at my grocery stores. Perhaps I’m just not looking in the right place at the right time? That said, I’ve made it at least a dozen times with regular old limes, and been very satisfied. One day I’ll find key limes, buy them all, and rush home to put them to good use!
Go forth and make pie! Enjoy!
Classic Key Lime Pie
Yield 8-10 slices
Cool, creamy, classic key lime pie with a buttery graham cracker macadamia nut crust. Summer's not complete without one, and this recipe is no-fail!
For the Crust:
- 9 full-sheet graham crackers (135 grams)
- 1/2 cup (62 grams) salted macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (72 grams) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) key lime or lime juice
- 4 teaspoons lime zest
- 4 large egg yolks
- Lime zest, lime slices, macadamia nuts, and/or whipped cream as desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
- Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and macadamia nuts together into fine crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl, add sugar and melted butter, and stir well to combine. Press firmly across the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (Using the bottom of a juice glass or flat measuring cup really helps pack the crumbs into a solid crust.)
- Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Leave the oven on.
- To make the pie filling, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest, and egg yolks. Pour mixture into warm crust.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the center is mostly set but wiggles slightly when you jostle the pie. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once the pie is room temperature, cover it and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Garnish as desired, and store in the fridge.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated and Sally’s Baking Addiction