One Test Kitchen Professional said these Mini Key Lime Pies are “a delicious taste of the tropics and just the right size to not feel guilty!” The coconut crust is crisp but chewy, and the sweet coconut contrasts beautifully with the tart key lime filling, and no key lime pie would be complete without fluffy homemade whipped cream. This mini delight is truly the perfect bite. Tiny Key limes can be a chore to squeeze, but microwaving them for 15 seconds will help them soften and juice more easily. One pound of fresh Key limes will yield about a half cup of juice. If you’re using bottled juice, make sure it is 100 percent pure Key lime juice and not sweetened. Our Test Kitchen recommends Nellie and Joe’s.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 graham crackers)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 12 jumbo-size (3 1⁄2-inch) aluminum foil baking cups in a regular-size muffin pan, and coat with cooking spray.
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, melted butter, and 4 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl until combined; firmly press onto bottom and up sides of each baking cup (about 3 rounded tablespoons of mixture per cup). Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Keep oven set at 350°F.
Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, Key lime juice, egg yolks, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the lime zest in a bowl until combined. Pour mixture evenly into prepared crusts (about 1⁄4 cup per crust). Bake until pies are just set, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Refrigerate 2 hours, and then remove aluminum foil baking cups before serving.
Beat heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add vanilla extract and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar; beat until medium peaks form. Fold in remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon lime zest. Top each mini pie with a dollop of whipped cream, and garnish with a Key lime slice.