Key Slime Pie: A Tropical Halloween Treat

The spooky feeling in the air around Halloween doesn’t end at ghosts at goblins.  The history of Key Lime Pie has a mysterious legend of its own.

In the late 1800s, William Curry sailed to Florida from the Bahamas. He became Florida’s first self-made millionaire and had several luxuries, including sweetened condensed milk and a cook- Aunt Sally.  Because Key West never had the acreage for livestock, dairy products were not readily available and would often spoil during transport. With the invention of canned condensed milk, dairy could be substituted and the entrepreneur quickly started bringing large cases to the island. Aunt Sally is said to have used this ingredient to create Key Lime Pie in the Curry Mansion.

After Curry’s sudden death, there were several signs that he never truly left the estate including the sound of heavy footsteps and furniture mysteriously overturning. To this day, no one knows exactly who Aunt Sally was and if William Curry will ever rest in peace.

Not only is Key West a tropical vacation destination, but it is also considered one of the most haunted cities in America. Several ghost tours take curious visitors to the spookiest sites in town… and William Curry’s mansion is one of the stops.

This creepy, crawling twist on our classic key lime pie recipe is both delicious and easy to make! Guaranteed to be the hit of your Halloween party… Thanks Aunt Sally!

Ingredients

  • Baking spray
  • ¼ cup roasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1½ sleeves graham crackers (7 ounces), crushed into crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 lime, zest finely grated
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup key lime juice (preferably Nellie & Joe’s)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or triple sec
  • 1 package of gummy worms

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Spray a 10-inch pie pan with baking spray.

Place the almonds and sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the crushed graham crackers, cinnamon, and lime zest and pulse until everything is finely ground and evenly mixed. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine (the mixture should have the texture of wet sand).

Transfer the graham cracker mixture to the prepared pan and use your fingers or the underside of a measuring cup, along with firm pressure, to press the mixture into an even layer (don’t forget about the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it’s a shade darker and it smells great, 20 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 350ºF. While the oven heats up, let the crust cool.

Place the condensed milk, egg yolks, and key lime juice in a large bowl and whisk together. Pour the filling into the slightly cooled crust. Tap the pie pan on your work surface a couple of times to remove any air bubbles. Bake the pie for 15 minutes and then allow it to cool completely at room temperature.

Once cooled, wrap the pie in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Meanwhile, place the sugar in a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons water. Set the saucepan over high heat and let it come to a boil without stirring. Turn off the heat.

Place the egg whites and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a large bowl and a handheld mixer or a whisk and some elbow grease) and beat on high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and very slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup. Once all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to high and let the egg whites whirl until they’re fluffy and shiny, about 2 minutes. Add the Grand Marnier and whisk just to combine. Meanwhile, place the sugar in a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons water. Set the saucepan over high heat and let it come to a boil without stirring. Turn off the heat.

Place the egg whites and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a large bowl and a handheld mixer or a whisk and some elbow grease) and beat on high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and very slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup. Once all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to high and let the egg whites whirl until they’re fluffy and shiny, about 2 minutes. Add the Grand Marnier and whisk just to combine.

Spoon the meringue all over the pie in big dollops so that the whole thing is beautifully covered with meringue. Pass a kitchen torch over the meringue to toast it and then cut into wedges and serve immediately.

If you’d like, feel free to substitute fresh whipped cream for the meringue or just serve the pie unadorned. Add gummy worms as desired.

Eat, drink and be scary!