Key lime pie has got to be one of the very best and most loved pies in the world. It must! I mean, I haven't conducted any kind of scientific research on this topic. I'm just assuming based on my own deep-rooted love for it. Sweet but tart and then a little crunch from the crust – Mmmm!
I decided to experiment and turn one of my very favorite pies into an ice cream. And man, this ice cream tastes EXACTLY like key lime pie to me. It's got plenty of bright, tart flavor from lime juice and zest, a little crunch from graham crackers, and the sweetness comes from adding sweetened condensed milk. Bonus point that this is one of the absolute easiest ice cream batters to make. The only drawback is you're probably gonna want to freeze this unless you prefer the soft serve texture most at-home ice cream makers produce. So, there's some waiting involved. Biggest drawback. 🙂
8 oz. (one package) softened cream cheese
14 oz. (one can) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
2 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
big pinch of salt
4-5 graham crackers
In mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the softened cream cheese for a few seconds. You want the cream cheese soft and very spreadable so that your final ice cream batter will be smooth and free of any small lumps of cold cream cheese. I set the cream cheese out on the counter for a few hours before I made this, much like softening butter before making cookies.
Follow the manufacturer's directions on your ice cream maker to turn the batter into ice cream. I have a KitchenAid stand attachment that I use, and it usually takes about 30 minutes to chill and stir that batter into a soft serve texture. During the last 5 minutes is when I crumble the graham crackers and add them to the ice cream so they distribute throughout but don't get overly soggy like they might if I added them in the beginning. Then I remove it to my container (a loaf pan works well) and freeze overnight. The next day I have that thicker ice cream texture that I'm looking for.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.