This miniature lime dessert is designed to turn heads at the dinner table.

Pastry Chef Courtney Franke can handle the heat in the kitchen. She is, after all, responsible for baking all the bread and dessert at Salt Traders Coastal Cooking in Round Rock, Texas.

“I like simple, well-executed food,” Franke says of her passion. “I feel that the simplest dishes can be the hardest to execute because it takes a certain level of practice and precision.”

Here, Franke shares her step-by-step process for preparing one of her favorite summertime desserts.


Makes six 4-inch pies


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lime
5 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and lime zest in a bowl.
2. Add the melted butter and stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
3. Press the mixture into six 4-inch pie tins, covering the bottom and the sides.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, then let the piecrusts cool.


4 large egg yolks
Zest of 2 limes
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of lime juice

1. Using a standup mixer, whip the egg yolks and lime zest until the mixture is pale yellow.
2. Stream in the sweetened condensed milk.
3. Add the lime juice and mix until combined.
4. Pour the filling into the piecrusts and bake at 325 degrees for nine to 11 minutes. The center should be set yet have a little jiggle.
5. Refrigerate the pies until chilled, about three to four hours.


6 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar

1. Place a large pot of water on the stovetop and heat it to a simmer.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar.
3. Place the bowl on top of the pot (acting as a double boiler) on low heat, whisking constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites feel warm to the touch.
4. Remove it from the heat and whisk with the mixer until the meringue reaches full volume and is cool to the touch.
5. Spoon the meringue on top of the pies to cover the filling, making a big pile.
6. Use the back of a spoon to create little divots and spikes. Use a torch to toast the meringue or place the pies in the oven and bake until the meringue is browned.

Photos (c) 2017 Stu Smith


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