Owing to the fact that every component of this pie (save the buttery, graham crust) is laden with fresh lime flavor, you really need to be a lime lover to appreciate this pie.
You wouldn’t believe the number of times I read comments on recipes that say something like, “Chocolate makes me gag, but I thought I might like this quadruple chocolate cake. I was wrong! Yuck!” or “I was hoping this banana bread would make me like bananas. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.”
To avoid such possible scenarios and spare anyone great pain over dessert, let me say it again: this pie is for lime lovers only.
Now that we have that covered, let me tell you how delectable and wonderful this pie is. That basic, delicious graham cracker crust is only the beginning of good things to come. Sandwiched between the crumb crust and the unbelievably creamy cheesecake layer is a bright pop of luscious, zesty lime curd.
To be honest, and at the risk of offending all English people everywhere and anyone else intensely devoted to curd, I spent years, lots of lonely, wasted years, wishing curd wasn’t named, well, curd. I didn’t understand how something named CURD could be delicious.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m pretty sure 93.5% of my issues were because I always misread it as CRUD and then corrected and associated it with something CURD-led. I know, you guys. I’m sorry I’m even going into all this. Thankfully, I channeled some hibernating maturity, got over the name issues, and one day decided to make it (that was almost a decade ago). You know the end of the story: I haven’t regretted it one day since.
Kind of like a super creamy pudding-like jam, curd can be enjoyed a million ways (not the least of which is a spoon going straight into the bowl or jar). It is terribly delicious.
Don’t be like me. Let curd (not crud) be part of your life forever.
This pie is a weirdly delicious mashup of flavors, channeling desserts like this Sour Cream Lime Tart, my fave Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Cheesecake and this Key Lime Cheesecake. The main difference is today’s pie is mostly no-bake (except for that crust), and the whole thing comes together pretty darn fast, especially since it can be made ahead of time.
Hopefully I can convince my family to stop shoveling rocks long enough to have a mini Memorial Day BBQ next week – just so I have an excuse to eat some of this pie (and also so I can rest my puny arms that aren’t exactly conditioned for wheeling massive loads of rocks around the house; ouchie-wa-wa).
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All said and done, you'll need about two tablespoons lime zest (that includes zest needed for garnishing the top of the pie) and 3/4 cup fresh lime juice for this pie. Depending on the size of limes (I used every day grocery store Persian limes), you may need between 5-8 limes. If you use key limes, you may need upwards of 20 limes for juicing.
DON'T FORGET TO ZEST THE LIMES BEFORE JUICING! By doing this, you can minimize using more limes than you actually need.
The curd can be made up to a week ahead of time and refrigerated. Keep in mind the assembled pie needs to chill for at least four hours so plan ahead (it can easily be made a day in advance).
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (7 ounces, about 13 rectangles)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup, 4 ounces) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces) butter
- 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (see note above)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup (1.25 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 4 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled until no longer warm but still pourable
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest (zest limes before juicing!)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- For the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter in a bowl until well mixed. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch baking pan; bake for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden. Let cool completely while preparing the other parts of the pie.
- For the lime curd, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar, lime juice, eggs and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, 10 minutes or so (depending on how hot the stove is); it should be the consistency of soft pudding. To avoid any little bits of cooked eggs, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Stir in the lime zest. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until no longer warm.
- For the cheesecake topping, in a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), mix together the cream cheese and sugar until very smooth. Add the sour cream and lime juice and mix until combined. Add the white chocolate and whip until creamy and thick.
- In a separate medium bowl with the electric mixer (no need to clean the beaters), or with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (PS: I often use my Blendtec fro whip cream!), beat the cream to stiff peaks.
- Fold the cream gently into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula until evenly combined.
- Spread the cooled lime curd over the crust. Dollop the cheesecake filling over the curd and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle additional fresh lime zest on the pie for garnish and use fresh lime slices, if desired, to decorate the top of the pie.
- Chill for at least 4 hours before serving; the pie can be made a day ahead of time.
Recipe Source: wildly adapted from a Key Lime White Chocolate Pie my Aunt Marilyn gave me in my recipe binder when I was first married