Key on Caye Lime Tart

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Luscious Lime Tart

Luscious Lime Tart

I have already confessed that I love birthday celebrations, but my husband feels otherwise. He pretends that he is not really a year older, finds birthdays annoying and begs and pleads to have the day pass without mention of his birthday or advanced age.This is pretty hard for me and I usually get him a small token (i.e. a book) and give it to him a week earlier than his actual birthday. And I only sing the birthday song once or twice during the day…a huge feat for me when my modus operandi is to break into song throughout the day or night for both relatives and friends.

Because we are usually in Belize during his January birthday and our daughter is often down here with us, “the birthday” gets celebrated with a special dinner and dessert – despite his protestations. Rachel ignores her dad’s pleas for non-celebration and singlehandedly makes a wonderful dessert – usually a lime tart. Funny, this is my son-in-law’s absolute favorite. I’m a chocolate girl all the way but something about the tanginess of lime in a warm weather tropical setting is pretty great. And this delightful dessert inevitably gets dear old dad to crack a smile on his special day!

This recipe is super dooper simple and foolproof. I think it should be part of your repertoire, too. I don’t have a pie plate in Belize so I make this in a 8-inch deep cake or flan pan and have a pretty thick crust. You could fancy it up with a little dollop of whipped cream and a mint leaf or thin slice of lime set on top…we didn’t bother with the aesthetics, and the pie disappeared in two days. Since the crust doesn’t come very far up the straight sides of the pan, I call it a “tart” instead of a “pie.”

Simple Ingredients

Simple Ingredients

Key on the Caye Lime Tart

Crust Ingredients:
  •  2 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ cup (12 Tbsp) melted butter
 Crust Instructions:

Either put graham crackers or graham cookies into a food processor and whirl to get small crumbs or put them in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin to get the same result. Add melted butter (texture should be like brown sugar – moist enough to hold together when pressed against the sides) and distribute evenly, then press crust into the bottom and up the sides halfway of a 8-9 inch cake pan. If you prefer a thinner crust, use less of the mix to press into the pan.

Bake at 300 for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes. While crust is cooling, mix together the filling so it can sit on the counter waiting to go into the crust

Filling Ingredients:
  • ½ cup + 1T fresh squeezed lime juice (about 4-5 limes)
  • Grated rind of 2 medium sized limes (use a microplane grater-should get 2 Tbsp or more)
  • 1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
Filling Instructions:

Combine yolks and beat with a whisk for two minutes. Add the condensed milk and lime juice and rind and mix well. Allow to sit on the counter until the crust is ready to go back into the oven. ( I just dump it all in at same time, adding more zest to top it off)

After the crust has cooled to room temperature, carefully pour the filling (a little less than a quart) into the crust and return to the oven for 17-20 minutes. The pie should jiggle a bit when ready.

Remove to a wire rack and let cool one hour, then refrigerate for three hours or longer before serving.

Garnish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and a few thin slices of lime. This is great with a cup of tea or coffee (including for breakfast!)



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4 Responses to Key on Caye Lime Tart

  1. Lisa Paradis says:

    Marilyn, I just returned from San Pedro and made this recipe while there for a 3 day sailing voyage as the ingredients were so easy to find. I substituted ginger snap cookies (Ginger nuts, sold in all the stores there) instead of the graham crackers for the crust as I love the combination of ginger and lime and learned Elvie’s Kitchen recipe which does this substitution. It tasted wonderful and was so easy. Hope to see you next time we are all down there. Best – Lisa

    • Marilyn says:

      I am going to try your version! Graham crackers aren’t my favorite cookies anyway and I love almost everything with ginger.

  2. After visiting Ambergris Caye for 15-plus years, spending most days chatting with visitors, it’s pretty obvious that Elvi’s Key Lime Pie is still ranked #1. Others imitate, but never duplicate. Having a hand-written copy of her original recipe, I can assure you her recipe is simple, but delicious. Her savory crust is made with Ginger Snaps, melted butter (real butter) and a touch of brown sugar. The filling is a mixture of key lime juice, egg yolks, condensed milk, lime rind and whipped egg white folded. The pie is then frozen for at least four hours before serving.

    Try mixing (or replacing) your Graham crackers with the above. It’s to die-for-good.

    • Marilyn says:

      Thank you for your comments! I actually have used ginger snaps while in Belize and I love that special taste. However, I am not a fan of frozen key lime pie and prefer this basic basic recipe. I wish I had a copy of Elvi’s pie to publish because everyone who visits Ambergris Caye loves loves loves it!

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