This Cooper’s Key Lime Pie Recipe from Trimble Creek Lodge is a simple to make pie and was created for return guest Brian (AKA Coop) when his wife Adrienne wanted to surprise him on his birthday. Lulu had never made this therefore Outside Guy served as taster for many trials before we settled on this one. (Innkeeping can be a hard life indeed.) Brian declared it the perfect combination of tart and sweet. Though some traditional Key Lime Pie recipes call for a merengue topping, this one uses sweetened whipped cream, which is much simpler to make than merengue. We did make a merengue version for Brian too, (and son Tony prefers that version,) but Brian chose this one as his hands down favorite, and therefore we named it “Cooper’s Key Lime Pie.”
Always use real Key Lime juice – we experimented with regular limes and it was not the same! Since key limes are hard to find in our area, we used a good quality key lime juice and that worked well. The Graham cracker crust too is so easy to make and much tastier than prepared ones.
Enjoy, and post your pictures with the cream on our Trimble Creek Lodge Face Book Page! We forgot to take a pic before we ate all the pie!
Graham Cracker Crust – This is simple and so much better than prepared ones!
- 7 tablespoons Butter, melted
- 11 full Graham Crackers (to make just about 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
- ¼ cup Sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350ºF
- Place graham crackers in plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or kitchen hammer until they turn into fine crumbs (I have a treasured wooden mallet I use for this and for crushing peppermints at Christmas for our Trimble Minty Bark).
- Mix in sugar & cinnamon right in the bag.
- Melt butter.
- Put cracker mixture into a 9-inch pie dish, pour in the butter & mix well with your fingertips.
- Pat it down with your fingers to make the crust. Bring the crust up the edges a bit as well.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned.
- Allow the crust to cool slightly while you prepare the pie filling (which is even easier than the crust).
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (Lulu’s Mom always used Eagle Brand for her sweet treats and it’s the brand we prefer for this pie.)
- 4 large egg yolks (Save the whites for sugared pecans or add to your scrambled eggs.)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (almost 2/3 cup) fresh or bottled Key lime juice. Lulu used bottled Floribbean Brand found at a good Liquor store. Regular lime juice is just not the same – you need Key Lime juice for the nice sharpness to go with the sweet whipped cream topping.
Preheat oven to 350°F (or just leave it on – this goes fast!)
- Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly). Or, use an electric mixer – both methods work well.
- Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 8-15 minutes (depending on the size of your pie pan) until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Just do not brown the pie! Cool pie completely on a rack – the filling will set as it cools. Then chill, covered, at least 8 hours or overnight. Don’t let the covering touch your filling or you’ll have to lick it off before adding the topping – voice of experience.
- 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream (whipping cream) plus ¼-1/2 cup sugar (Lulu never measures the cream or sugar, so this is an estimate – taste it!)
- Just before serving, beat heavy cream in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until it starts to thicken. Lulu likes to chill the beaters too. Then add sugar to taste and continue beating until it just holds stiff peaks. If everything is cold, this doesn’t take too long but if you beat it too long you will make sweet butter! Serve pie topped with cream. (And send Lulu a picture!)