So last week, I had to cook for 19 people. NBD. I’ve done it before in much worse conditions. The key to cooking mass quantities of food for mass quantities of people is utilizing your time. Anything that can be made ahead of time, should be made ahead of time. Desserts are usually a sure bet in the ‘make ahead’ category.
Key lime pie seemed like the perfect solution to all my problems. Make ahead, light, fruity, summery. I was actually inspired when I was going through a pile of cookbooks my mom is sending to cookbook heaven (aka the thrift store). We have a stack of cookbooks that have been lurking around for years, but haven’t used in ages and decided to give them one last glace before they were gone. We stumbled across a little gem! The original recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Savoring America had a great sounding crust, but the filling was a bit too fussy. I wanted this to be able to make this ahead of time and have everything be ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy’ not ‘difficult, difficult lemon difficult’. Or lime, I guess I should say. (I am going to venture a guess and say only one person reading this got the difficult joke… (Hey Lauren!) If you would like to get the joke, go watch this movie and thank me later.)
The end result was perfect. The crust had a little bit of a ‘spicy’ bite to it from the ginger and it complemented the cool, sweetness of the lime perfectly. Everyone wanted some…
Key Lime Pie with Pecan-Gingersnap Crust
Pecan-Gingersnap Crust (Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring America, p. 218)
- 28 gingersnaps (we used Trader Joe’s GF Gingersnaps)
- 1/2 cup (2 oz/60g) chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp chopped candied or crystallized ginger
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 cup (2 oz/60g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup lime juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Butter a 9-in pie dish.
- In a food processor, combine the gingersnaps, pecans, ginger, sugar and cinnamon if using. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground crumbs, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until the crumbs are evenly dampened and the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Press the mixture in an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
- Place the crust in the oven and bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer crust to rack to cool.
- Lower oven temp to 325F/160C.
- Combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Beat until blended and pour into cool pie crust.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until the pie is just firm.
- Transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Before serving, mix sour cream and powdered sugar and spread on top of pie before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!