Mini Key Lime Pies

Our boy got home this past weekend. Have you ever had five weeks off from parenting? Oh my gosh, it’s like it never happened. One day he left, the next day he was back. I could swear there was never any five weeks in between. Not that we’re not happy he’s home safe and sound, and no worse for wear. :) But wow…who knew that much time could pass in the blink of an eye?! I guess that means we had fun, right? Time flies and all that… :) And he had an amazing time. We were thrilled that he got the opportunity to spend time with his best friend. It’s tough being a military family when you see your kids make such great friends and have to leave them behind, but the kiddo handles it great, and even though he had a blast, he is happy to be home again. :)

I made some sweet little pies to celebrate our family being all together again, but…well, first…

Okay, so…do you guys wanna hear something exciting? Well, something that I’m totally excited about anyway? Yes? Alright, you may already know this if you follow me on facebook or twitter, but I totally got an early access account on Pottermore yesterday. Yep. I did. I can’t even try to hide my excitement that I get to be a beta Pottermore user! So don’t ask…it ain’t gonna happen.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I set my alarm to go off at intervals throughout the night, and that I was up and at ‘em at 5 a.m. yesterday, heart thumping and hands shaking, solving the clue for Day 2. If my previous Harry Potter posts haven’t alerted you to how big of a fan I am, perhaps this finally brings it on home for you. I’m totally that girl! :)

When I first tried to access the site, it was too busy and they had it refreshing every 15 seconds, trying to connect me, so I got out of bed (I was using my iPhone) and headed to the restroom. The site connected right when I was about to brush my teeth. I flung my toothbrush into the sink, whirled around, and BOLTED through the house to my iMac so that I wouldn’t have to fight my phone’s crappy refresh. And what did I find? My computer was shut off! And so was the wi-fi!!

I eventually got everything up and running (all the while still trying to connect with my phone), finally connected to The Magical Quill site, and was redirected to…a Deathly Hallows, Part II promo page…? My first thought was, “Crap. I screwed up…I didn’t make it. They redirected me because I was too late. I missed it.” But then, in a small gallery of thumbnails, I saw it. The Magical Quill!! Quickly, I clicked it and  was taken to the registration page! I had done it!! I got into Pottermore! Once I registered, I waited about five minutes before I got my authorization email. I clicked the link and…

…I made it in!

If I said that I got accepted to Pottermore with class and dignity…

I’d totally be lying.

So… *shuffling feet and kicking imaginary dirt* …yeah. Moving on…

…how bout those cute little baby pies up there? They’re pretty yummy looking, huh? Pay no attention to Darla flipping the heck out. They were pretty yummy tasting, too. Seriously, just ignore her…the excitement will fade…a little…eventually. Let’s just keep going with the pies.

I think I’ve told you before about our fruit trees… We actually have an actual key lime tree in our actual back yard. Fer rillz. Actually…I’m not sure if it’s a key lime tree or a regular lime tree. I’m pretty sure they’re key limes, cause they’re pretty small…but I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen. Not very often (I’m pretty smart), but sometimes. ;)

It’s amazing to me that we have real fruit trees right in our back yard. I’ll never get over it. Besides limes, there are some banana trees (real banana trees!), coconuts (of course), and mangoes. Plus, I’m pretty sure there’s a star fruit tree, or carambola fruit. I must have fruit trees in all of my back yards from now on. Preferably fully grown and producing by the time I arrive. Who can make this happen for me? Anyone?

Well…until then, we’ll stick with the limes and make some pie.

Place lime zest and egg yolks in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.

Next add some sweetened condensed milk…

…and finish off with fresh lime juice (hopefully from the actual key lime tree in your actual back yard). Once everything is well combined, set the filling mixture aside to thicken for about 30 minutes while you make the crusts.

For the crust, crush graham crackers until they’re fine and sandy, add some sugar, and melted butter…mix, mix, mix until you have a mixture that resembles wet sand.

Firmly press the graham cracker mixture into mini pie tins. I used tiny little tart pans, which worked great, even the grooves were a bit of a pain. They were pretty, and sometimes that makes the little annoying things totally worth it. The crusts only need to bake for about 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

Once the crusts have cooled completely, put about one tablespoon of filling into each one and bake for another 10 minutes or so at 325 degrees. They’re done when the filling has set, but still jiggles slightly.

While the pies bake, whip up some whipped cream (recipe below), and slice up a little lime.

After drying the thin lime slices lightly with paper towel, dredge them in a small bowl of sugar to coat them.

Set aside to use for garnish. They’ll liquefy a little bit, but I think that makes them even better.

Once the pies are completely cooled, top them off with some of the lovely whipped cream you just made, and garnish with a sugary sweet lime slice.

Aren’t they adorably beautiful? I just love how cute they are! I had a lot of fun putting the whipped cream on each one in a different little design. I just placed the cream in a small decorating bag fitted with a small French star tip and starting swirling it on the pies. So cute.

These were so very easy. I had no idea, and I’m glad I finally decided to make them, because they were so fast, and totally delicious. The filling is super smooth and more tart than sweet, with the crisp darker flavor of the graham cutting the tartness slightly, and the cool, creamy whipped cream adding the perfect amount of sweetness to the whole experience. Wonderful! Plus, being so small, they were fun and easy to eat, with hardly any major clean up. If you have a spare hour this week, whip up this summer classic in sweet, tiny form…you will be so glad you did. Enjoy!

Mini Key Lime Pies [Printable Version]
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen (about 3-inches across)

Ingredients

**To make 1 9-inch pie, cut the crust recipe in half, and leave the filling recipe the same.

FOR THE FILLING
4 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (about 2 larger limes’ worth)
1/2 cup (125 ml) lime juice (3 or 4 limes’ worth)
4 egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

FOR THE CRUST **Divide in half for a single 9-inch pie**
18 sheets graham crackers
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (36 grams) confectioners’ sugar

To make the filling: Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together for a minutes or so. Whisk in the condensed milk, followed by the juice. Set aside to thicken for at least 30 minutes.

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (165 C). Lightly spray several mini pie tins (or one 9-inch pie plate) with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Either crush the graham crackers by hand, until they are like rough sand, or process in a food processor for several pulses. Add the sugar and mix, or pulse, to combine. Add the butter and mix until thoroughly combined and resembling wet sand. Press firmly into mini pie tins, or one large pie plate, being sure to push it up the sides of the pan. Bake until golden and fragrant, about 10 to 12 minutes (15 to 18 minutes for one large pie crust). Allow to cool completely before filling.

Assemble the pies: Put about 1 tablespoon of lime filling in each mini pie crust (or all of the filling into 1 9-inch pie crust). Arrange the crusts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake (at 325 degrees) for about 10 minutes, until set, but jiggly (bake 1 large pie for 15 to 18 minutes). Allow to cool completely before garnishing with whipped cream.

To make the whipped cream: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk the heavy cream on medium high speed until it thickens to form very soft peaks. Reduce speed to low and add the confectioners’ sugar, then increase speed back to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated

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Comments

  1. says

    I know just what you mean about how it feels when your kid’s gone for a while, then comes home. It’s like, uh, was he ever really gone? The time sure flies, especially if you know the kid’s off somewhere, safe and sound and having loads of fun. Very nice-mom of you to make these beautiful little lime tarts to welcome him home. And how lucky are you to have those exotic fruit trees in your own yard??? Pretty dog-gone lucky, I’d say. That’s incredible. Nothing remotely like that grows here in Michigan, but we get a lot of apples! :) You need any apples? ;) Ha!

  2. says

    I love me some key lime pie and I’m completely jealous of your fruit trees. I’ve never lived in a place conducive for that. Congrats on the Pottermore… can’t wait until I can check it out, too!

  3. says

    These are absolutely ADORABLE!!! I need to make the immediately. Where did you get such cute little tart pans!? Goodness! And SO jealous of your lime tree–I live in Minnesooooota, limes don’t stand a chance here!

  4. says

    Love these little key lime treats! Key Lime Pie is my little brother’s favorite, so I think I’ll have to make these as a going-away present for him before he leaves for college next month…

    Also very jealous you have early access to Pottermore! Have fun with that while the rest of us muggles have to wait!

  5. says

    What a fantastic picture that first one is! I love it and couldn’t stop looking at it! Your so fortunate to have any kind of citrus tree in your yard, I think that is so cool :D Your little mini pies look delicious. Of course I love mini anything, but key lime pie is one of my favorites :D

  6. Ashley says

    5 am?? I’ve been checking all day. Am I really going to have to get up in the middle of the night? I guess I will. I’m glad to know what time you got on. It helps. Also, your pies are gorgeous. They look so fluffy and yummy.

    • says

      If it helps, tomorrow’s clue will be later in the day. They’re saying on the Pottermore blog that it will be sometime between 2pm and 6pm BST (British Summer (?) Time), which is 9am to 1 pm EST in the US. Not sure where you are, but maybe that’s a little better? Good luck!!

  7. Mattie says

    I solved the clue at 6am EST this morning! I’m glad it came out a little later today, because I definitely didn’t want to stay up until 4 or 5am. The usernames are hilarious, and I’m so excited to try everything out!!

  8. Megan says

    I have a question about pottermore- at what time was the question posted! You said that you woke up at 5:00 am, I tried to enter at midnight and the question wasn’t posted yet. Congrats on making it in though, I’m a wee bit jelous….:)

    • says

      Hi Megan, I got on out of sheer luck. I happened to wake up at the right time and it loaded (even with an alarm going off regularly, I almost overslept), but since Day 3, they have been posting time frames on Pottermore Insider. They announced yesterday that today’s clue would go up sometime between 2pm and 6pm BST (British Summer Time), which is 9am to 1 pm EST in the US. I believe it ended up going up at about 10:30 am EST. I would keep an eye out on the Insider tonight to see if they give a time frame for tomorrow. I also follow Pottermore on twitter and they make time frame announcements and such on there. Good luck tomorrow, I hope you make it!! There’s still 3 more chances… *fingers crossed*

  9. says

    I absolutely adore your blog and all your super cute desserts! Key Lime Pie is my absolute favorite so I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

    Also, on a geekier note; I’m totally jealous that you got in to Pottermore! I’ve been trying for DAYS! I already have the coffee set to try again tonight! :)

  10. Vickie says

    Hi Darla! These look fantastic. Just wondering how many grams 18 sheets of graham crackers is? We don’t have graham crackers here in Australia – we have similar biscuits, but nothing sold in sheets! Thanks for your help! I love your recipes – I’ve made your Zesty Orange and Cranberry muffins so many times and they are a HUGE hit! YUM!! And YAY for you getting on Pottermore!

  11. Mirjam says

    Hi Darla. I solved the clue and found the quill too.
    YAY! I´m so excited.
    The usernames are apparently language applied.
    I´ve got a german username: SeherSand30

  12. Megan says

    Thanks so much for helping me, Darla! Because of you, I got into Pottemore!!!!!!!!! I am SO excited!!! My username is Leviosafrog136. Thanks for all of the help! :)

  13. Rosa says

    I got into Pottermore today! In celebration, I made this recipe and it was DE-LISH! My soon-to-be one year old looked on so wistfully as I ate them. I can’t wait till she can have sugary treats like these! My Pottermore name is KeyWillow95. I also would like to recommend to your readers to follow someone else on Twitter – “hp_batsignal” – who tweets as soon as the clue comes up, the answer to the clue, and where to find the quill.

    Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  14. Centaurdraconis87 says

    Are you in to the site yet? I registered when you did (5:30 AM EST on day 2!) and am now waiting for my welcome email. Rather-waiting very impatiently for my welcome email. My username for pottermore is centaurdraconis87 :D

  15. Amanda L. says

    I got into Pottermore today (!!) and I would totally have been flipping out, but since I was at work at the time, all of my excitement had to be a bit more contained. My username is NightScarlet184. These pies look so cute – definitely something I’ll have to try.

  16. Meghan says

    I got in too!! I’m DawnGlow37 and I can’t wait to meet you guys inside!! Thank goodness I got in the last day. I was so excited. I got my brother to get in too, so this will be so fun!

  17. Sarah says

    OH! I’m so glad I’m not the only one frantically converting timezones and setting alarms. I am so happy about my early access Pottermore account!! I’d be lying if I wasn’t sitting there during dinner, rapidly refreshing my iPhone waiting for the magic quill.

    On a more…serious note, those tartlets look amazing. :)

  18. Christina says

    Made this last night and we LOVE IT!!!!! This was fantastic I have tried so many and found this one to be THE BEST!!!! It is a for sure for one of my goodies that I will be making for the bake sale for our local Fire Dept. open house for Fire Prevention Week!!! Thank you so very much!!! Next to try is the Smore Cupcakes!!!

  19. Cathy Livingston says

    Hey, we ate some of those at Kutchie’s Key West over in North Carolina. They were the most delicious key lime pies that we have ever eaten. We also had the chance to meet the famous “Kutchie Pelaez” while we were there, he gave us some of his Island T-Shirts…..Awesome…..If you ever get the chance to visit “Kutcharitaville”, make sure you do. Try on of his famous cheese burgers and be sure to try the “The World’s Greatest Key Lime”. Have fun, what a gas!!!……Cathy

  20. Laura(wr) says

    I signed up for Pottermore AGES ago, but never received an email. ): I still check, from time to time, but still… Nothing. It makes me sad.

  21. Cindy Blake says

    Honey, You and Anita Pelaez both have some kind of magical talents when it comes to your fantastic creations with key lime pies. You both put my baking skills to shame any day of the week and twice on Sundays. All I can say is thanks and You girls GO!

    Cindy

  22. Cindy Blake says

    Oh, Anita Pelaez is the beautiful lady from the key lime pie factory in Asheville, North Carolina. Her and her husband Kutchie own the factory together. They are a perfect working husband and wife working team. Hand and hand the two of them work side by side together. And have been baking those heavenly over thirty years.
    Sorry for not getting it right the first time. I guess my mind was drifting off onto you guys pies.

    thanks again, Cindy

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