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Key Lime Meringue Pie

By Paula Deen


Difficulty: Medium

Prep time: 60 minutes

Cook time: 150 minutes

Servings: 8



  • 1 (9-inch) deep dish pie shell, unbaked
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Swiss Meringue

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 egg yolks lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice (use bottled if fresh key limes are not available)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature



Prepare the crust and set aside. Preheat oven to 325 °F.

In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add grits and cook for 4 minutes. Stir contstantly. Add butter and continue to cook and stir for an additional minute. Set aside.

In a small bowl, lightly beat 3 egg yolks. Mix in a little bit of the cooked grits to temper the eggs.

Add the grits and a stick of butter to a bowl. Stir to melt butter, then add 1 cup sugar, flour, egg yolks, buttermilk and key lime juice.

Pour into pie shell and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Remove pie from oven.


Swiss Meringue

Set up a double boiler with water to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to simmer.

Combine 1 1/2 cups sugar, cream of tartar and egg whites in top of double boiler. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 140 °F on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat and pour egg white mixture into a large bowl. Beat with a heavy-duty stand mixer (or hand mixer) on high speed for 10 minutes or until mixture is stiff, glossy and cool to the touch.

Spread over top of pie, sealing edges well. (Meringue should touch the edges of crust. Meringue can shrink up and come loose from crust if it is not sealed well.)

Increase oven temperature to 350 °F and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. This pie is delicious warm or cold.

Once cooled, add the Swiss meringue. You can use a torch to carefully finish off the meringues to give an even, golden color.

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