During my first test run of making these, I struggled with getting the graham cracker crusts to hold together well. They kept crumbling apart as I was pressing them into the paper lined tins and it was eating up way too much of my time. My solution was to add an egg white to the mixture and it worked like a charm. It made the mixture so much easier to press into the tins and it made the baked crusts more stable.
The filling calls for Key Lime juice but if you don't have that you can use lime juice mixed with a bit of lemon juice. Key limes are more tart than regular limes and the substitution works just fine.
Here's the recipe:
Mini Key Lime Pies
(makes 18 to 22)
1/2 lb. graham crackers, crushed into fine crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
pinch fine sea salt
1 egg white
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. I crushed the graham crackers using a food processor but you could also put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and sea salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the melted butter and egg white and mix very well until the mixture holds together when pressed between your fingers.
Line a muffin pan with papers. Place a few tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture into each paper and press it firmly and evenly on the bottom and up the sides.
|The crusts before baking.|
Bake the crusts for 5 minutes and then set them aside to cool.
2 tablespoons lime zest
1/2 cup Key Lime juice (if you don't have Key Lime juice, substitute a scant 1/2 cup ordinary lime juice mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice)
2 egg yolks
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
In a large bowl with a whisk, mix together all of the filling ingredients. Whisk for a few minutes to make sure they are well-combined. Fill the prebaked graham cracker crusts 3/4 full. I used a 1-inch cookie scoop for this task and it worked well with minimal drips.
|Adding the filling.|
Bake the pies in the 350-degree oven for 10 minutes. Let the pies cool at room temperature and then place them in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.
|All done. The crusts held together so well that the pies were easy to remove from the papers.|
Before serving, garnish the tops with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of lime zest.