Summertime is when most people take vacations. One of my favorite vacation destinations is Key West. You can not think of Key West without thinking of the Key Lime.

The Key Lime is smaller than the traditional lime. It also has a stronger acidity and aroma, which gives it the unique flavor that it has. Key limes are not often found locally. However, there is a great product you can use in its place.

Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice can be found in local grocery stores. This Key Lime Juice got its start being bottled on the tiny island of Key West. It can easily pass for freshly squeezed juice. It’s a perfect ingredient to add a Key West flair to your dishes.

This is the first thing that you think of when you hear Key Lime. It is a simple dessert to make. I can’t think of a more refreshing way to end a wonderful summer meal.

Key Lime Pie

1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/2 cup Sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Butter, melted
2 cans (14 ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup Key Lime Juice
2 large Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
2 tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1 tablespoon Lime Zest

Preheat oven to 375℉.

In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325℉.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, combine the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the sour cream and serve chilled.

This is a great dessert for any dinner party. The addition of the strawberries and kiwi makes for a great presentation. This dish is a wonderful ending to any meal from a back yard cookout to a 5 course meal.

Key Lime Parfait

1 can (14 ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Egg Yolks
4 Ounces Key Lime Juice
8 ounces Pound Cake
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 teaspoon Powdered Sugar
6 whole Strawberries
1 Kiwi, peeled, sliced in 6 slices

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, combine milk and egg yolks and blend at low speed. Slowly add lime juice and continue mixing until well blended. Slice pound cake into 1-inch slices and cut to fit inside of a stemmed glass. Pour Key Lime filling over pound cake and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Whip heavy cream with powdered sugar and top each glass. Garnish with a fresh strawberry and a slice of kiwi. Serve.

Cheesecake is a dessert that has always been a favorite in my family. I thought that I would combine the tart Key Lime Juice with the creaminess of cheesecake. It was a hit. I know you will enjoy it too.

Key Lime Cheesecake

2 cups Graham cracker Crumbs
1 1/2 cups Sugar, divided
1/2 cup Butter, melted
24 ounces Cream Creese, softened
6 Eggs, separated
1 cup Sour Cream
1 1/4 teaspoons Lime Zest
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Combine crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter in a small bowl. Mix well. Press mixture in the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a buttered springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool in pan.

Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in sour cream, lime zest and lime juice. In another bowl, beat egg whites into stiff peaks. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour batter into prepared curst. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off. Partially open oven door. Let cheesecake cool in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately run knife around the edge of pan to release sides. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cover and chill for 8 hours before serving.

The next time you are planning a summer meal, thing about including Key Lime Juice in your dishes. It will bring a little part of the Keys to your home.