It’s PI DAY! Where we celebrate the mathematical constant of Pi (3.14…) with PIE, in recent years at least. And since Pi is the “ratio of a circles circumference to its diameter” for any circle, any round pie the perfect tribute to Pi. I’m an admittedly not the best mathematician but my husband Sean LOVES math (he’s an engineer) and I feel like celebrating Pi day is only fitting and also, I mean, we get PIE.
I did a few polls on Instagram stories to gauge what kind of pie I should make and the people spoke and wanted something in the custardy style. It was a pretty even split from there between a cream pie and a citrusy curd pie. I make an executive decision to make a citrus curd pie because this Pretzel Lime Pie idea has been knocking around in my brain (and haunting my iPhone notes) for months. I love a sweet and salty combo and the addition of tart citrus makes the two even more harmonious. I got the idea from Atlantic Beach Pie–which is made with a saltine crust (WUT?!)–and is so delicious.
I actually made a popsicle version a few years ago that is one of my fave popsicle creations to date. I switched out the saltine base for a pretzel crust because it reminds me of this pretzel-jello salad (ahem, dessert) that my grandma always makes and was one of my favorites as a kid. The filling is borrowed from two key lime pie recipes (from Martha and Food & Wine). It has the classic ingredients of condensed milk and egg yolks, subs key lime juice for conventional lime, and adds a few whipped egg whites for a fluffy lightness. The whipped cream topping is fortified with some vanilla bean créme fraîche for both stability and flavor. I piped a cute little border of the whipped cream along the edges but let’s be real…you should probably serve this with even more whipped cream.
Make this pie the night before you serve it so it has plenty of chill time in the refrigerator. I always cover my custard and curds because of the fat content–since fat absorbs fridge aromas. If the plastic wrap touches the top (like mine did) a thin layer will peel off the top, I was a little distraught about it but ultimately it’s totally FINE and doesn’t affect the pie at all. If you’re a plastic wrap ninja and can get it taught enough to hover, well, teach me your magic plz.
This pie is baked to set! So if you are worried about raw eggs–which I actually don’t really worry about on the regular but since I am pregnant, I wanted to take the extra precaution and went with a baked version.
You could totally sub key limes for the conventional limes here! I just didn’t want to mess with those teeny, tiny key limes and figured most of us have access to basic limes all year. I also think lemons would be excellent here.
- 7oz pretzels (198g)
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (3oz/85g)
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 egg whites + 4 yolks, separated
- 14 oz condensed milk (397g)
- ⅔ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- Whipped Cream:
- 1 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup creme fraiche or sour cream(4oz/113g)
- 3 tablespoon confectioners sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Pulse the pretzels in a food processor to fine crumbs, stir in the melted butter and sugar to combine. When pinched the mixture should clump together. If it isn’t quite coming together, add a tablespoon of water and mix well. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie plate. Bake for 10-15 minutes and cool on a rack while you make the filling.
- In a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites to a medium peak. In another bowl. beat the yolks with the condensed milk until well combined. Beat in the lime juice. Fold in the egg whites and the zest. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes–the pie should be just set along the edges and slightly jiggly in the center. Cool completely and chill for at least 3 hours (overnight is great too).
- Whip cream and creme fraiche with the confectioners sugar. Pipe or spread onto chilled pie before serving. Serve with any leftover whipped cream.