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Today was Valentine’s Day but I’m already thinking about St. Patrick’s Day! Green is my favorite color, so I started thinking about green desserts I could make to help celebrate the next holiday. I went searching for pies that contained lime or mint, which is how I came upon Heavenly Lime Pie.
I found a couple of contenders in my grandma’s recipe book and nothing in my grandpa’s – he was more of a savory cook. Nothing really caught my eye, though. When I was at my mom and dad’s house a few weeks ago, my mom showed me her grandma’s collection of recipes, both handwritten and clipped from magazines and newspapers. I called my mom because I thought there might be something I could use in that collection.
My mom found a recipe for “Heavenly Pie,” which was in my great-grandmother’s beautiful cursive handwriting. It called for lemons so I decided to change it to limes and dye it green to make it a St. Patrick’s Day treat.
In order to make the recipe, I had to do some reading between the lines. A few steps were left out because she probably knew what to do. It said to make a meringue, but not how to make one, for example. A lot of vintage recipes are that way so I’ve gotten used to figuring out what to do or looking things up online.
Ingredients You Will Need
- Cream of Tartar
- Lime Juice
- Lime Rind
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)
Equipment You May Need
- 9″ Pie Pan
- Egg Separator
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Mixing Bowl
- Stand Mixer
- Whisk attachment for stand mixer
- Double Boiler
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make the meringue crust in advance? Yes, you can prepare the meringue crust in advance. Once baked and cooled, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two to maintain its crispness. Avoid storing it in a humid environment.
How can I prevent a meringue pie crust from becoming soggy? To prevent a meringue pie crust from becoming soggy, make sure the crust is fully baked and cooled before adding the pie filling. Additionally, you can brush the crust with melted chocolate or a thin layer of egg white to create a barrier that helps maintain its crispness.
How do I store the Lime Pie? Storing a meringue pie crust with lime filling can be a bit tricky, as meringue tends to lose its crisp texture over time. However, if you need to store a meringue pie for a short period, follow these steps:
- Cool the Pie: Allow the meringue pie to cool completely at room temperature before attempting to store it. This helps prevent condensation from forming inside the storage container, which can make the meringue soggy.
- Cover Loosely: Cover the meringue pie loosely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Be sure not to press the wrap directly against the meringue, as this can cause it to stick and become less appealing.
- Refrigeration: If you plan to store the meringue pie for a short period, like overnight, you can refrigerate it. Keep it in the refrigerator to maintain the freshness of the filling. However, be aware that the meringue may soften slightly during refrigeration.
- Avoid Moisture: To further protect the meringue from moisture, you can place a small piece of parchment paper or wax paper on top of the meringue before covering it with plastic wrap or foil. This helps create a barrier between the meringue and any condensation.
- Consume Promptly: Meringue pies are best when served soon after baking, as the meringue may lose its crispness over time. If possible, enjoy the pie on the day it’s made or shortly thereafter for the best texture and flavor.
It’s worth noting that meringue is sensitive to humidity, so storing it for extended periods can result in a loss of texture.
Substitutions and Variations
- Graham Cracker Crust: Instead of a meringue crust, you can use a classic graham cracker crust for a different texture and flavor.
- Shortbread Crust: A buttery shortbread crust can add a rich and crumbly base to your lime filling.
- Chocolate Crust: For a chocolatey twist, consider using a chocolate cookie or chocolate graham cracker crust.
- Lemon or Key Lime: While lime is traditional, you can use lemon or key lime juice for a slightly different citrus flavor.
- Mango Lime: Add pureed mango to the lime filling for a tropical twist.
- Coconut Lime: Incorporate shredded coconut or coconut milk into the lime filling for a refreshing coconut-lime flavor.
- Toasted Coconut: Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes over the meringue for added texture and flavor.
- Candied Lime Zest: Garnish with candied or grated lime zest for a vibrant and zesty appearance.
- The meringue crust wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. In my opinion, a stand mixer is the best way to make a meringue. Stiff peaks form pretty quickly and you can work on other parts of the recipe while it’s mixing.
- I added green dye to the filling and green sprinkles to the top to make it extra festive. You can leave it plain if you like.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Heavenly Lime Pie
- Egg Separator
- Double Boiler
- 4 Eggs Separated
- ¼ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1½ Cup Sugar Divided
- 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Rind Grated
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Tub Cool Whip
- Preheat Oven to 275° F.
- Grease 9" pie pan, set aside.
- Separate egg whites from yolks. Set yolks aside.
- To make meringue crust, beat egg whites until foamy.
- Add cream of tartar and beat until whites peak.
- Continue beating while adding 1 cup of sugar gradually. Keep beating until stiff.
- Spread the meringue into pie pan, hollowing out most of the center. Be careful not to spread too close to the top of the rim.
- Bake at 275° for 1 hour.
- Set aside to cool.
- While meringue is baking, prepare filling.
- Beat egg yolks.
- Stir in ½ cup sugar, lime juice, lime rind, and salt.
- Place in double boiler and cook until thick – about 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Whip 1 cup of heavy cream and stir into lime mixture. Use this to fill the meringue crust.
- Chill in freezer for 1 hour.
- Spread Cool Whip on top, almost to top of pie shell.
- Refrigerate for 24 hours or freeze for at least 2 hours.
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