Friday, March 14, 2014

Individual Frozen Lemon-Lime Pies

Happy Pi {3.14} Day!  I actually made these cute little lemon-lime pies a few weeks ago and didn't plan to coincide this post with pi day, but life has been super hectic lately so I am just getting around to posting these now anyways. I picked up some lemons and limes at the grocery store planning to make a bright and citrus-y dessert to try to cheer up the winter blahs we have all been suffering from.  I hoped that something sweet and tangy would bring us happy thoughts of the spring months yet to come.  Originally I was going to make my super delicious key lime pie recipe but I didn't want to have a whole pie sitting around to eat so I was really excited when I found a frozen version of the pie.  I decided to make the pie into individual servings so I could just keep them in the freezer and have a super delicious dessert snack on hand for whenever the mood strikes.  

The ingredients are basically the same as a standard key lime pie recipe other than the quantities differ slightly.  The only major difference is the preparation of the filling.  In a standard key lime pie, all of the filling ingredients are whisked together and the whole pie is baked in the oven.  In this recipe, you essentially make a lemon-lime curd over a double boiler and then fold that together with the sweetened condensed milk to create a very similar texture to the baked pie version.  This process is very simple and happens a lot quicker than having to bake off a whole pie.  The only down side is waiting for the pies to freeze!  

These individual pies are perfect! They have a beautiful bright citrus flavor and the frozen texture is fantastic.  You could make this same recipe with any combination or ratio of citrus that you like.  If you prefer lemon over lime, add more lemon juice than lime, or try it with just one citrus.  You could also try this with orange or grapefruit juice too.  The pies don't get so firm that they need to thaw before you eat them; feel free to take a bite right out of the freezer.  The filling is smooth, creamy, and tart just like a lemon-lime pie should be.  Frozen whipped cream has an lovely, intriguing texture with little frozen crystals all throughout that goes wonderfully with the smooth filling and crunchy crust.  I hope you give these a try as the weather turns more spring like and you are looking for a sweet citrus dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Individual Frozen Lemon-Lime Pies

1 sleeve graham crackers (about 8-9 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Crush the graham crackers (I like to use the cinnamon flavor) in large plastic ziploc bag with a rolling pin or mallet or use a food processor, until you have fine crumbs.  Mix the crumbs together with the sugar and then toss well with the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly coated.  Press about 1 tbsp of this mixture into paper lined muffin tins and bake for about 8 minutes.  Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Lemon-Lime Filling:
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and juices together in a medium heat-proof bowl.  Place the bowl over a pan with about 2" simmering water (double boiler) and whisk constantly until thickened and frothy.  This will take between 5 and 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and zests.  Spoon this mixture evenly into cooled muffin cups and level out.  Place the muffin trays in the freezer for about 2 hours.

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl beat the cream until soft peaks form then add the sugar and vanilla.  Continue to beat for about a minute until you have stiff peaks.  Spoon or pipe dollops of whipped cream on top of the filling and return to the freezer for about 2 hours or until completely firm.  Wrap each pie in plastic wrap and store in the freezer in a ziploc bag.


Inspired by: Lick My Spoon