Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

Desserts, Pie, Summer, Tuesdays with Dorie / Tuesday, August 25th, 2009


I knew I was going to take this pie to my sister’s house.

The last time I saw my nephews, they told me they never got dessert. How they couldn’t even remember the last time they had dessert. And then they performed a number from “Oliver!” and ran off to sweep chimneys and pick a pocket or two.

They looked at me with those big saucer eyes, and a day later, I found myself driving an hour to deliver pie to my favorite pie connoisseurs and hear about what happened on the bus.

Oh, and not just any pie. Dorie Greenspan’s Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie.

So, what’s the difference between this pie and a classic key lime?

For a key lime pie, you whisk together the ingredients, pour the mixture into a graham cracker crust and bake.

For this pie, you heat the filling, let it cool slightly, pour it into a blender for processing, add butter, blend some more to make a buttery lime pudding, chill it for several hours, loosen it with a whisk, smooth it into a pre-baked crust (pastry or graham), whip up the meringue, run the pie under the broiler, let the pie cool and then refrigerate it for at least three hours.

Do my nephews own me?

Yes, pretty much.

Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”

Makes 8 servings

    For the Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 3 limes
  • 4 large eggs, preferably at room temp
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 6 limes)
  • A 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 9-inch Graham Cracker Crust, baked and cooled (recipe below)

  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  1. Have an instant-read thermometer, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at hand.
  2. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
  3. Put the sugar and zest into a heatproof bowl that can be set over the pan of simmering water. Off the heat, rub the sugar and zest between your fingertips for a few minutes, until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lime is strong.
  4. Whisk in the eggs, then whisk in the juice, ginger and cornstarch.
  5. Set the bowl over the pan and start stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. Cook the lime cream until it reaches 180 degrees F. As you whisk- you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling – you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as it gets closer to 180 degrees F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Don’t stop whisking or checking the temperature. Depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.
  6. As soon as it reaches 180 degrees F, remove the cream from the heat and strain the cream into the container of the blender (or food processor); discard the rest.
  7. Let it cool until it reaches 140 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
  8. Turn the blender to high speed (or turn on the processor) and add the butter a few pieces at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed as you incorporate the butter. After all the butter is in, continue to blend the cream for another 3 minutes. If you find the machine is getting really hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest in between beats.
  9. Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and refrigerate the cream for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  10. To Finish the Pie with the Meringue: Preheat the broiler. Whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into the pie shell. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet.
  11. Working in a clean dry mixer bowl with the clean whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites at medium speed until opaque. With the mixer running , add the sugar in a slow stream and continue to beat until the whites are glossy and form firm peaks.
  12. Spread the meringue over the lime filling, swirling it if you’d like. Make sure the meringue comes all the way to the edges of the crust, because it will shrink when it bakes.
  13. Run the pie under the broiler until the meringue is golden and the tips are dark brown (Or, if you’ve got a blowtorch, use it to brown the meringue.) Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Graham Cracker Crust

Makes a 9-inch crust


  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Butter a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. Turn the ingredients into the pan and use your fingers to pay an even layer of crumbs over the bottom of the pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack.
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24 thoughts on “Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie

  1. dear god, if i'd known what it took to make that pie we would have had a gourmet dinner. That took every culnary skill and cooking application known to man, save a toaster oven. Heavenly though, just heavenly.

  2. Oh, you are funny…both about the recipe (i loved that!) and the nephews. I love being the aunt who bakes, but I use my powers only for good.

  3. Isn't it cheating if you call it "meringue" but you didn't even use it? SHEESH! Then again I'm a sucker for my godson's saucer eyes so… Hello my name is Black Kettle. :P Love the little pops of green against the whipped cream from the zest. I'm jacking that idea for Thanks giving. PS-Where you been on Twitter? I'm having EP tweet withdrawals…
    CB @ iheartfood4thought

  4. It looks delicious! I'm a sucker for tangy flavours like lime, lemon and gooseberries. My aunt's lemon meringue pie is fabulous. I used to get my own jar of homemade lemon butter (aka lemon curd) at Christmas and I'd eat it by the spoonful, rationing it to make it last but not wanting to adulterate it with bread. From your description, Dorie's lime pie sounds a lot more work than key lime pie. Is that the case?

  5. My guys pull those stunts on me too. The other day one of the Twins told me his buddy, that was spending the night wanted to know if I was baking? Which of course lead to yes, give me an hour.

    How's you sweet niece doing? Kathryn (I remember the spelling being different)?

  6. My niece has the same effect o me, every time I see her, I must have treats with me! I loved whipped cream with this, yours looks lovely

  7. Aw, you old softie. Much as I loved the appearance of the meringue peaks and swirls, I think whipped cream would have tasted better on this pie. Yours looks lovely.

  8. ah so you have saucer eyed boys in your life too, eh? mine is my little brother. although, he doesn't SAY much (unless its about dinosaurs) those eyes say enough :)

    beautiful pie!

  9. My brother has two boys, and as their auntie it is my mission to spoil them every opportunity I get! Your beautiful pie was the perfect way to indudge your little nephews.

    Rebecca, thanks for baking along with me this week!

  10. I would have been a sucker for cute eyes and an "Oliver!" number as well! Yours looks great, and I bet those boys appreciated it like none other :)

  11. […] Lime meringue pie. David Lebovitz has this recipe for lime meringue pie – I’m a sucker for lemon meringue pie so I bet this is just as good, if not better! Rebecca Crump from Ezra Pound Cake also has a version, only with cream instead of meringue. […]

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