My friend knows a restauranteur who suggested adding a block of cream cheese to the basic recipe – mixing it with the lime juice first and then adding all the other ingredients. So here is a recipe I adapted from looking at several different ones and taste testing.
- 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
- 4 teaspoons grated lime zest
- ½ cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes (use key limes, if possible)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- Graham cracker crust
I am okay with using a store-bought graham cracker crust here but you can make the crust from scratch if you prefer – use your favourite recipe here separately.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place oven rack in the center position. Zest and juice the limes. If you can find Key Limes, use them, but they are much smaller than regular limes so you will need to zest and juice a lot more of them.
For the filling, begin by beating the cream cheese with a mixer until softened, about 1 minute. Add lime juice and continue beating until well incorporated, at least one more minute. Separately, in a small bowl or measuring cup, mix egg yolks and lime zest, whisking together for about 2 minutes until the eggs take on a green tint. Add egg mixture and the canned milk to the mixer bowl with the cream cheese and lime juice, beating well to combine.
Pour lime filling into prepared pie crust and bake for 20 minutes to set; the center may be a little jiggly when removed from the oven but it will set up when cooling. Remove from oven and move to a wire rack for cooling, until pie has reached room temperature. Once the pie has cooled to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving to fully set.