Quick: name your top three favorite fruits of Spring!
I’m going to take a wild guess and say most of you chose one (or more) from the berry family, cherries and grapes. I’m even willing to bet there are a few of you who said asparagus, even though it’s not a fruit.
I don’t blame you though, asparagus is my personal favorite Spring vegetable too. I mean, who can resist the deliciousness of browned butter lemon pepper asparagus? And the fact that it’s ready in 5 minutes or less? That’s a no-brainer side dish that’s become a staple in our house for as long as those beautiful stems show up at the market.
There is one fruit though that makes a very short appearance during the later Spring/early Summer months that deserves some love and attention. Introducing, the key lime.
Key limes are small, yellow citrus fruits that are extremely tart, and “extremely” is putting it mildly. Lemons and limes have got nothing on these babies!
The key limes you see in supermarkets are usually green and tend to be sold in 2 lb bags or so… but unfortunately, those aren’t really key limes. They’re a different breed called Persian limes, and they’re tart too, just to a lesser degree.
For all intents and (most recipe) purposes, Persian limes will work just fine unless you’re baking for someone who is a key lime fanatic. Then you may want to seek the real ones.
Since Persian limes just isn’t as catchy as key limes, I’m calling the green ones key limes anyway (plus the bag says so 😉 ).
Key limes are most famous for their flavor in key lime pies, although I must warn you – any key lime pie that is actually green has artificial color added. And while this is a recipe for an easy key lime pie – there is no substitute for hard work! Remember that key limes are yellow, so pies should be more yellow than green. Remember the crayon color yellow-green? It’s kinda like that.
Most people either hate or love the tang. As you may have guessed, we’re lovers and ever since we realized how stinkin’ EASY they were to make, Sara Lee and Edwards haven’t earned one penny from us. Plus this easy key lime pie tastes WAY better. The two can’t even be compared! And the green food dye certainly didn’t help the issue. Not to mention all the other additives and icky stuff. Eew!
The first time we made this easy key lime pie, we quartered the limes and tried squeezing the juice out with our bare hands.
Big mistake. HUGE!
Name that movie!
We’ve since splurged on a key lime squeezer – similar to the green one in this picture. We found ours at a local Hispanic supermarket for $5 I think? Hands down, the absolute coolest little gadget we’ve ever randomly purchased. We seriously thought it was going to be a flop, but we purchased it anyway and lo and behold – it totally works! Instead of investing two hours into squeezing key limes, we now have all the juice needed in 5 minutes. Absolutely amazing! Why yes, I AM easily amused. 😉
By the way, I’m recommending this tri-colored set in case you’re in the citrus squeezing business too. Those things will save you EONS of hours in the long run! Worth the investment!
With tools in hand (or using your hands if you have no tools), here’s this wonderful easy key lime pie recipe. Skip the traditional red, white and blue desserts this week and go yellow. I promise you’ll love the results!!
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- In a large bowl, combine lime juice, zest, egg yolks and milk and whisk well. The mixture will thicken as the citrus reacts with the milk.
- Pour into a baked pie crust and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the center is set but still jiggly (think thick Jell-o).
- Allow to cool on a rack for 1-2 hours, then store covered in the refrigerator.
- Serve with whipped cream.
Additional Recipe Tips
- Save time by preparing the pie filling while the crust is baking.
- Using coconut oil instead of butter enhances the tropical flair of the pie. There I go again trying to pina colada-ize everything!
- If you have extra limes, go ahead and squeeze the juice out of them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Store in a ziploc bag for a super-fast pie later on.
- The more zest, the better in my opinion. Zest 4-5 limes at a time and then squeeze for juice. Continue until you reach 1/2 cup and toss in all the zest!
We love this easy key lime pie. Do you have a favorite summer dessert?
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