Key Lime Meringue Pie

This Christmas Shay and I kept everything simple and enjoyed the holiday together at home. Holidays always feel so complicated when your family life isn't picture perfect so instead of making due with a bad situation, we just created a better one. Growing up, we always celebrated Christmas on the night of the twenty-fourth. Shay did as well so on Christmas Eve we settled into our home and made a massive dinner for two. Shay cooked up four different assorted pizzas for us while I attempted to bake during the day. After finally figuring out how to make a meringue, I feel silly writing this but I had such a hard time baking this pie. I spent four hours trying to get everything right and after tossing the topping out twice, my meringue wasn't set and didn't cook. Shay came home to a jello type pie that was shortly after tossed in the trash. We went out and bought ingredients for a Chocolate Smores Pie and I thought I'd just never perfect a lemon meringue. 
Fast forward to Christmas Day and with Shay's help, we're both determined to make this citrus filled sugar basket a reality. We went to two different pharmacies (because that's the only place open Christmas Day) and found some key lime juice. Here's the idiot proof recipe we ended up whipping together to get this beautiful Key Lime Meringue Pie:

- 12 Graham Cracker Sheets Crushed
- 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter 
- 1 Tablespoon Key Lime Zest
- 14 Ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 1/2 Cup Key Lime Juice
- 5 Eggs Room Temperature (Yolks & Whites Separated)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1/2 Cup Sugar

1. Preheat the Oven to 350 Degrees. Combine your crushed Graham Crackers & Melted Butter to create and lay down the pie crust.
2. Combine the lime juice, zest, egg yolks, and condensed milk for the filling in a separate bowl. When mixed properly, fill the pie shell and bake for 15 minutes or until set all the way.
3. While pie cools, beat the remaining egg whites with your electric mixer. THIS STEP WAS KEY FOR ME. Beat only the egg whites first. (Tip: place your mixing bowl in the freezer before mixing, it helps!) 
4. Slowly add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing and add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract. If it's your first time making a meringue, don't worry! It's supposed to take a while until you start seeing the mixture create peaks. If you're mixing for twenty minutes and there still aren't peaks, you've done something wrong! 
5. Preheat the over to Broil and top the meringue mixture onto the set cooled pie. Place in oven for roughly five minutes. WATCH YOUR PIE CAREFULLY. Broilers work fast but if you don't have a kitchen torch because honestly, who does?, they're perfect for the meringue textured burnt tips!
6. Serve and Enjoy! 


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