Key lime pie is my very favorite dessert, when it is done properly. Real key lime pie, the kind you might find in a Florida steakhouse, only has four ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, key lime zest and egg yolks. It is pale yellow, almost white, in color and has the consistency of thick custard. The crust is important too. For a long time, I tried different combinations with graham crackers, but the results never had the proper balance of butter, sugar and salt. Finally, I tried a crust using English digestive crackers, and I really like the results. I have added some grapefruit zest to this tart, and I think it adds a lot of extra citrus flavor. —Cristina Sciarra
Empty the digestives into a large bowl. Using the heel of a glass, crush the digestives until you achieve the consistency of sand. (I promise, it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes).
Cut the butter into slices, and then use your fingers to incorporate into the crumbled digestives. Add the sugar, and mix with your fingers until you achieve the texture of wet sand. Spoon the mixture into tart shells, and press into a crust.
Empty the sweetened condensed milk into a medium bowl. Add the key lime juice, a bit at a time. (If you can’t find fresh key limes, use Nellie and Joe’s Key West Juice from the supermarket). Mix in lime and grapefruit zest, then mix in the egg yolks; stir until just incorporated.
Pour the filling into the tart shells and cook at 350F for 12 minutes. When they come out of the oven, allow them to cool, and then chill before serving.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.