Oh, I was so lucky to find some key limes at the store! Here is an adaptation of Magnolia Journal's Lemon Pie filling (and of course, you can use lemons if you prefer.) And I just had to add a meringue and crumbled topping.Very simple, very delicious. Hello Spring!
Canola oil, for coating your baking pan
1 3/4 cups crushed whole grain graham crackers
6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
3 cups organic sweet condensed milk (can be found at Whole Foods)
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cups freshly squeezed and strained key lime, lime, or lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 tablespoon Cream of Tarter
1/3 cup of superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip the corner of a folded paper towel into the oil and lightly coat the entire surface of a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan.
2. In a medium bowl use your (clean) hands or a wooden spoon to combine the crushed graham crackers and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir in the melted butter and thoroughly combine, until all of the crumbs are coated with butter and no oily clumps remain.
3. Set a 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs a small baking dish or on a piece of heavy tin foil. Press the rest of the cracker crumbs into the pie pan evenly, pushing the crumbs up the side of the pan but do not spill over. Bake crust and the separate crumbs for 8 minutes.
4. While the crust is baking you can prepare the filling. Using an electric hand or standing mixer, beat together the condensed milk, egg yolks, juice, and salt. Beat on medium speed for a full four minutes.
5. Remove the pie pan and extra crumbs from the oven. Set the pie on a stable surface and set the other crumbs aside. Pour the filling into the crust. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Cool the pie on a rack while you make the meringue.
6. With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on low until they are a but frothy with big bubbles. Add the Cream of Tartar and beat on medium until lighter and frothy with little bubbles. Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time while you beat until all sugar is added. Keep beating the whites until they form stiff peaks but are still shiny. Now, beat in the vanilla just until mixed in and you are done.
7. Pile the meringue on the still warm pie, spread all the way to the edges and then make nice peaks.
8. Return the pie to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and cool on racks completely. Then refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Sprinkle the extra toasted crumbs on top when you serve.