Cherry Limeade Pie: New Family Tradition

Due to popular demand (3 friends), I am posting this recipe. It is from the comments attached to Easy Key Lime Pie, and is great for anyone who has less than three to four hours to go from purchasing ingredients to assembly, baking, and serving. Depending upon the city, that includes commuting time.

General Recipe Requirements:

  • Two 8-9″ pie pans (heavier is better for this recipe, but disposable also works.)
  • Oven (Any size, but not microwave.)
  • 3 bowls: one large one for mixing the key lime pie filling, medium for mixing graham cracker crust base (trust me, it’s worth it), small one for melting butter
  • Whisk
  • Trash can or Receptacle w/liner for discarded egg remnants/shell, cherry pie filling can lid
  • Spatula for scraping the bowl
  • fork for mixing up the crust
  • knife for cutting off the butter since you don’t need an entire stick
  • can opener
  • measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cherry pie filling (whatever type or style suits you best; I prefer the most cherries I can get and typically buy generic versions on sale, with sugar added) Enough to top at least one 8-9″ pie +/-. It is more as a garnish that you add after cutting the pie and before serving.
  • 1 can of whipped topping (I prefer the Land O’Lakes heavy whipping cream because it is the real stuff, but if you choose to make literally real whipped cream for this, feel free. One half to one pint should do.)
  • 4 egg yolks; could be five dependent upon the size of the eggs, whites not required.
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz. variety)– you can always add more. This is to start.
  • 1 c key lime juice: Do not bother juicing limes. Go to the store and buy a bottle of Nelly and Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice in the yellow bottle in the juice aisle. It is milder than traditional Persian lime juice and a little less potent. More refreshing than tart. At least use a half cup of the key west stuff and I have put in a 1/4 c of regular lime juice to substitute the other half cup as needed. Same result, less effort.
Crust:
  • 1 box of crushed graham crackers or Nilla wafers. I do not mind using pre-made graham cracker crusts (rub the inside of the crust with the ground cinnamon before adding filling and it’s almost comparable but not quite for substitution purposes). Most boxes of graham crackers will list the needed ratio of sugar, butter and graham crackers for making crusts. For use of this blog, the ratio comes from Graham Cracker Pie Crust. If crushing your own graham crackers, start with cinnamon graham crackers.
  • If using 2 c pre-crushed graham crackers, add up to 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and perhaps a few shakes of ground nutmeg. If using fresh nutmeg, grate off 1/4 -1/2 teaspoons of nutmeg. Mix with the 1/2 c melted butter (I use the microwave for melting this, 5 seconds at a time) and 1/3 c melted sugar. 
Bake crust in a pre-heated 400 degree F oven for 8 minutes if you want. It matters less that the crust bakes ahead for this recipe since it is only butter, sugar and the dry ingredients.
Filling:
Start with the eggs in the large bowl and whisk them to make sure that the yolks break up. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and make sure that all elements blend well. Finally, add the lime juice and continue to whisk. The filling will not ever turn green. If you want the color of fake key lime pie, then add food coloring or grate in some zest (lime peel without the pith). Natural key lime pie is a light yellow color and needs no extra zest. The juice will curdle the milk and egg mixture akin to ceviche. That said, the pie still must cook.
The crust is the sugar, graham cracker crumbs, butter, and spices described earlier and then patted into place on greased pie plates. Recommendations to grease using either butter or spray. Either way is fine. Add filling to the pie plate(s) dependent upon how much there is of the crust base and the filling. Can make up to two pies dependent upon ingredient amount and how deep of a pie.
Bake pie for approximately 15-17 minutes or until the center of the pie does not jiggle much and is smooth. The idea is to cook/set the custard properly before chilling. From oven, take out and allow to cool a little. Place in fridge, covered gently with either dome top, inverted plate or other item that will not touch the nice glossy surface. Can be served from the cooling station fresh, but usually better a little chilled.
When serving, add whipped cream either to the top of the pie or to individual pieces. I added a light layer of whipped cream and then covered over with cherry pie filling when I last did this. When cut, I added more cherries because I wanted to. Serve however you like. Usually best with milk or similar acid-eliminating item. Lemonade is too much citrus for this drink. Water works well.
Eat and enjoy!
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