Scarily Tangy Mini Key Lime Pies
These scarily tangy mini key lime pies just have a touch more lime juice and they are gluten-free. They’re also super simple to make. And if you love tangy flavours you’ll love this.
And if you don’t just add less lime juice.
What is a Key Lime Pie?
Oh, don’t pretend like you don’t know already… OK, there are a few different versions of it. It can have a pastry or a biscuit base. The filling is made by whipping together some lime juice, zest, condensed milk with some other form of fat like sour cream or egg yolks. And the topping can either be meringue or whipped cream.
Key Lime Pie hails from America where it’s much easier to find key limes (from Florida). Reading online, it seems key limes are more aromatic and a touch more like lemons. The limes in most supermarkets here are Persian limes, I think. That’s what I used. And they work great too.
I love these little pies. I want to try all the different variations of key lime pie too. You can use lemons instead of limes for a lemon meringue style pie. And the filling here is foolproof. So I’m definitely tempted to do that.
Where did I get the recipe?
I searched for Key Lime Pie recipes and took a look at the top three:
- Key lime pie recipe – BBC Good Food
- Best Key Lime Pie – Mom On Timeout
- A proper key lime pie – Jamie Oliver
The Mom On Timeout’s recipe uses sour cream. So I was very tempted by that. But I didn’t have any so I went with the condensed milk and egg yolks method.
The biscuit base
For the biscuit base I used my go-to biscuit base recipe from the Bitter Toffee Pecan Pies which is 75 grams of salted butter, 10 – 12 gluten free ginger biscuits (depending on how dry and dense the biscuits are), 150g pecan nuts, ground cinnamon and maple syrup. And this time around I also added a big pinch of salt. The cookies I used this time are especially sweet so I felt it needed more salt than was in butter. But I still added in the maple syrup – because bizarrely it needed that too.
These ginger cookies also have little chips of stem ginger in them. I removed most of these because I was worried it would be strange to have that in the crust. In case you’re wondering why I used these cookies, I really like them. Especially with cream cheese.
Reading the comments on the BBC Good Food recipe a few people were complaining about the amount of butter in the recipe. I use a lot of butter in my biscuit base. Not as much. About half that. But still more than the average biscuit base. I find this gives the biscuit base a toffeeish kind of quality.
But after reading the comments complaining about it and how they had to use kitchen towel to soak up the extra butter. I decided to put the pies on kitchen paper while they chilled in the fridge. And yes, you can see from the photo below, they definitely leave a little butter behind them.
I like them like that. But if you would like a biscuit base that is less buttery just use 6 tablespoons of salted butter. It won’t be as nice though. Well, not to my taste.
Why are these mini key lime pies so tangy?
I’m going to be honest. I thought I was using one more lime than is in the recipes above. I thought it said to use three limes. And these are big juicy limes I used here so I figured 3 of them weighed a pound.
Did I weigh the limes? Why would I do that? Who weighs limes? – Oh, people who want to make sure and follow a recipe correctly, eh? Well, I … where’s the fun in that?
Anyway, I thought the recipe called for 3 limes. I had 4 limes, but the fourth was going to be for decorating the top. So I tasted the whipped up condensed milk, egg yolks, juice and zest of three limes. I decided it wasn’t tangy enough and added in another lime. I’m telling you this because if you do the same thing, you need to know that the tangyness develops and deepens after baking and chilling.
So these tasted much tangyer later. Also the limes I used were very large and bursting with juice. Got them in Dunnes. Juiciest limes I’ve seen in a while. But if you want to make your key lime pies that bit “scarier” than the average, just add in the juice of one more half a lime than the recipe calls for.
OK. I’m without a car now so for the Christmas period, to make things easier, I bought my groceries online. It works great actually. Doing that I discovered that the type of limes in this recipe are called Mexican Limes if you’re buying them from Dunnes online. I used BuyMie. This isn’t sponsored – what kind of business would sponsor this blog?
I’ve since made this with regular limes, Persian limes I think they’re called. You need 6 regular limes to get the same sort tangyness from the smaller limes.
So I’ve now updated the recipe to reflect that.
Are Mexican Limes Key Limes? I suspect they are but I don’t know.
- Baking tin for 12 mini cakes
- 12 larger paper cases
- 12 smaller paper cases
- baking beans
- 150g pecan nuts
- 12 gluten free ginger cookies
- 75g salted butter, melted
- good pinch of cinnamon
- maple syrup
- 4 Mexican or Key limes, or 6 Persian limes, zest and juice
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 can (397g) of condensed milk
- 200ml double cream
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1 lime, optional
- Put the pecan nuts in food mixer and mix until they are reduced to a crumb-like texture.
- Add in the cookies and mix until they too are crumbs.
- Next pour the melted butter over the cookie-nut mix. Add in the pinch of cinnamon as well and mix until it is all well combined.
- Taste and mix in some salt and maple syrup to your taste. I added about 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and a good pinch of salt.
- Turn the oven on to 180 C
- Place one of the larger paper cases in each cup of baking tin. Divide the cookie-nut mix into the 12 cases and shape each one into a mini pie crust. There is a lot of butter in these biscuit base so you might find it's oily to shape them - don't worry, this is to be expected.
- Next place one of the smaller paper cases inside each pie crust and weigh it down with some baking beans.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Take out and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing baking beans - because they are very hot! Leave the oven on.
- Once cool enough take the baking beans out with a spoon. Remove the smaller paper cases and discard. Leave the baking tray aside until ready to fill the biscuit bases.
- Pour the condensed milk, lime juice and zest, and egg yolks into a deep bowl and whisk until well blended.
- Use a ladle to carefully fill each of the biscuit bases with the creamy lime filling.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Take out and leave to cool for an hour before transferring to the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.
- Add the double cream and icing sugar to a deep bowl and whisk just until soft peaks form. Divide the whipped cream among the pies and spread over them.
- If you have want to decorate with lime slices or zest do so. But sprinkle the slices and zest with icing sugar for a sweeter tangy burst.
- The pies can be served immediately or when you're ready. Or you can freeze them. Freeze for 2 hours or so they are solid and then cover in cling film and and place in suitable container. They will keep good for a month or so. If freezing, do let them have chilled for 8+ hours. And don't sprinkle the lime slices with icing sugar before freezing.