Because Key Limes are more tart and have a higher acidity level than there Persian lime cousins (the larger every day dark green variety seen in the produce section of your grocery stores), they're primarily used in sweet desserts, with plenty of sugar added to tone down their tart taste.
You and your friends will love this easy to make gourmet recipe. One side note; you have the option to use either fresh or bottled lime juice; I would definitely go with the fresh if you can find them. There is a difference in the taste between the two.
For a soft coolant on a hot August day, try a little Key lime pie on a plate with a nice tall iced drink.
For the crust:
1 cup zweiback crumbs or graham cracker crumbs
2/3 cup blanched almonds, toasted lightly, cooled completely, and
ground fine in a food processor
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sugar
For the pie filling:
3 large eggs, separated, the whites at room temperature
a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice (available bottled at specialty food shops) or
fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/3 cup sugar
Make the crust:
In a bowl combine well the crumbs, the almonds, the butter, and the sugar, press the mixture onto the bottom and side of a 10-inch pie plate, and bake the shell in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 10 minutes or until it is browned lightly. Let the shell cool on a rack.
In a large bowl beat the yolks with the condensed milk and stir in the lime juice, a little at a time, stirring to combine the filling well. Spoon the filling into the shell and chill the pie for 1 hour. In a bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks, add the sugar, beating, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat the meringue until it holds stiff peaks. Spread the meringue over the filling and bake the pie in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 15 minutes, or until the meringue is just golden. Chill the pie for 2 hours.
Makes 8 servings.