I am the youngest of ten children from a large Catholic family. We have shared many things over the years. Here is the story behind this family pie: my late brother, Robert, was a very talented chef. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in NYC, he became the executive chef in a high-end restaurant in Charleston. Later, he opened his own restaurant in Myrtle Beach. This pie was often on his dessert menu, and it’s delicious. Make sure to prepare 4-6 hours before serving.
Graham Cracker Crust (Preheat oven to 375◦)
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, cooled slightly
In a food processor, pulse together dry ingredients until it resembles sand. Pulse in melted butter until just combined (should resemble damp sand). Press into 9-inch glass pie plate and bake at 350◦ until set (about 7-9 minutes). Let cool completely before filling.
Filling (Adjust oven to 350◦)
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 14-oz cans sweetened condensed milk
- 6 oz key lime juice—found in a bottle (Nellie & Joe’s brand is the one I like)
- zest and juice of one lime
Hand whisk only until just combined (do not use electric mixer). Pour into cooled pie crust. Bake 18-20 minutes until just set (middle will be jiggly). You can also bake in a tart pan. Adjust time to 10-12 minutes. Cool on counter before placing in refrigerator. Serve with fresh whipped cream.
Whipped Cream (Make immediately before serving)
- 1 cup very cold, heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whip together all ingredients on high speed until medium peaks form. Watch closely as it begins to thicken—it will all come together quickly.