One of my fondest memories is of when I took my niece, 13 at the time, to Florida. (This was nearly nine years ago. Where does the time go?)
We went to Disneyworld. We saw the sweet manatees at Homosassa Springs.
And we picnicked at one of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever visited, just north of Clearwater. We took a picnic – a “meal” of exactly one whole key lime pie that we picked up along the way. We dug our toes into the soft sugary sand and scooped bites of pie directly out of the tin with plastic spoons, us rebels us. Quite possibly one of the best dinners ever, if not exactly the healthiest.
I still view key lime pie as perfect picnic fare, but I’ve decided that individual servings in individual-sized jars is totally where it’s at.
As if creamy, cool key lime pie wasn’t delicious enough in itself – especially during these last hot days of summer – there’s just something about individual servings in jars that send it over the top. With each bite, the whipped cream mellows the tart, zesty lime filling, and then you reach that buttery graham cracker layer.
They’re so easy to put together – seriously, 10 minutes, if that. Plus, hello, portable. Perfect for picnics, and a little more classy (if less memorable) than eating your key lime pie with plastic spoons straight from the tin.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (18 crackers, or ⅔ of a sleeve)
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 – 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (juiced key limes [you will need several], bottled key lime juice, or standard (Persian) limes [about three or four] all work
- 3 egg yolks
- Whipped cream
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Four half-pint (8-ounce) mason jars
- Four canning lids and rings
- Baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set jars on a baking sheet.
- Place graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and smash to crumbs with a rolling pin. Add to a medium bowl along with the sugar and pinch of salt. Stir with a fork until incorporated. Drizzle melted butter into the crumb and sugar mixture; stir with a fork until blended.
- Spoon graham cracker crumb mixture into each of the four jars, dividing evenly among the jars. Press very slightly into the bottom and up the sides, but don’t compact the crumbs like you would a normal graham cracker crumb crust, or the crust will compact too much in the bottom of the jar and won’t come up easily with a spoon.
- Zest one of the limes. Add sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, and lime zest to a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk until all ingredients are well-combined. Dividing the mixture evenly, filling into the jars.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the filling no longer jiggles.
- Let cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then cover with lids and bands and refrigerate for at least two hours, until chilled.
- To serve, top with whipped cream, a lime slice, and tall parfait spoons.
- Keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator (add whipped cream and garnish right before serving).