Frozen Key Lime Pie with Crushed Sugar Cone Crust and Macadamia Nut Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

A Passion for Ice Cream

A Passion for Ice Cream

By Emily Luchetti

Published 2006

  • About

Key lime pie, popular in Key West and other parts of Florida, is made with the Key lime that grows in that state. The Key lime also grows in California and Texas, where it is known as a Mexican lime. Nowadays, you find Key lime pie listed on menus all over the United States, but real Key limes are seldom used. Key limes are distinctive, about the size of a Ping-Pong ball. They have a thin yellow-green rind, and the juice is less astringent and more fragrant than that of regular limes. If you can’t get fresh Key limes, use bottled Key lime juice.


Sugar Cone Crust

  • 12 sugar cones, broken up
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

Key Lime Curd

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups sugar
  • 1 cup Key lime juice (see Sources)
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Macadamia Nut Cream

  • ¾ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup (3 ounces) macadamia nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


To Make the Crust

Finely grind the sugar cones in a food processor. Place them in a bowl with the butter and stir until combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Put in the freezer while you make the curd.

To Make the Curd

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and sugar until combined. Whisk in the Key lime juice and salt. Pour into a medium, heavy nonreactive sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula until thick, about 8 minutes. The curd is done when you can briefly see the bottom of the pan as you stir it. Cool over an ice bath. Whip the cream until soft peaks form and fold it into the curd. Pour the Key lime cream into the prepared pie shell. Freeze for at least 4 hours until hard.

To Make the Cream

In a bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until firm peaks form. Fold in the macadamia nuts.

In Advance

The pie can be made and frozen up to 2 days ahead. Cover well with plastic wrap. The cream topping can be whipped and refrigerated up to 3 hours ahead. Just before serving, rewhip the cream slightly until firm and fold in the macadamia nuts.

To Serve

Spread the cream over the top of the pie. Serve immediately.