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Key Lime Pie with Cashew Graham Cracker Crust

Most key lime pies have the same filling, but this crust takes the cake.


The salty, roasted accent of cashew nuts in the crust is optimally paired with the sweet yet tangy citrus flavor of the creamy key lime custard. Key limes are more acidic and have a yellow, tarter juice than the large, seedless, green citrus fruits we find in virtually every grocery store. They are round and about the size of golf balls, often with a pale yellow-green skin. The key lime season is summer, from about June to August. Key lime juice is sold bottled year-round. But fresh key lime juice is far superior, and the perfect ingredient for this classic American no-bake dessert.


Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; dry and wet measuring cups; mixing bowl; whisk; pie pan; wooden spoon


Key limes are small, round limes that are 1/3 the size of a Persian (conventional) lime.

Ingredients: 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

½ cup ground roasted cashews

¼ cup sugar

5 tablespoons butter, melted

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

½ cup key lime juice

ILOC tip: make this pie gluten-free by using gluten-free graham crackers and grinding them to a fine crumb in the food processor.

1. To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, cashews, sugar, and melted butter. Using the back of a large spoon or your clean hands, press the crumb mixture firmly on the bottom and sides of an 8- or 9-inch pie dish. Chill or freeze the crust for 10 minutes before filling.


"The cashews may be salted, which will work well with the sweet and tart custard-like filling. If you can only find unsalted, that's OK, too. You can always add a pinch of salt to the crumb mixture. As long as the cashews are roasted, the crust will be out of this world!"

2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine the sweetened condensed milk with the yolks before slowly adding key lime juice, using a whisk.

3. Pour the filling into the pie shell and refrigerate overnight (or freeze for one hour and return to the refrigerator if you need to serve it before then), uncovered.


"If you place plastic wrap on the pie it will stick to the custard before it has set."

4. Serve with whipped cream, and lime slices for a garnish.


Makes 8 servings.


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