Wild Thistle Kitchen: No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Creating ice cream recipes and flavors is my favorite thing. Nothing gets my creativity flowing like ice cream. I literally lie awake at night thinking of ideas and adding them to a never-ending note on my phone. I have even dreamt of ice cream flavors. This is a flavor idea I’ve had on my ever-growing list of recipe ideas foreverrrrrrr. And I’m finally sharing it just in time for summer. Turning key lime pie into a no-churn recipe just makes sense as sweetened condensed milk is a staple ingredient of both. I didn’t just want a lime flavored ice cream base though, oh no. I wanted a tart swirl of lime curd running throughout. And a buttery, slightly salty graham cracker crumb, of course. This is just the perfect summertime treat!

Inspiration Behind This Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

My dad didn’t make a ton of desserts, but key lime pie was one of his specialties. He used the recipe on the back of Nellie and Joe’s bottled key lime juice and it was perfect every time. There’s a lot of snootiness regarding the use of bottled citrus juices, and I’ll admit I almost always prefer freshly squeezed (especially for cocktails or drinks), but when it’s being mixed with sweetened condensed milk and eggs, you’ll hardly notice the difference and nobody wants to squeeze that many key limes. Anyway, this dessert is an ode to my sweet and sometimes tart daddy-o and his signature pie as well as a necessary outlet for my ice cream obsession.

I do call for lime zest as it adds an additional layer of lime flavor as well as some pretty green flecks, but if you want to skip it that’s fine by me.

Ingredients

For the Ice Cream Base

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Zest from one large lime or from about 3 key limes *see notes
  • ½ cup lime juice, Nellie and Joe’s bottled Key Lime Juice or freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

For the Graham Cracker Crumb

  • 1012 full graham crackers (or 1.5 cups crumbs)
  • ½ stick softened butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the Lime Curd

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup lime juice, Nellie and Joe’s bottled Key Lime Juice or freshly squeezed
  • 3 whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cold and diced
  • Zest from one large lime or from about 3 key limes *see notes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

For full recipe and instructions go to Wild Thistle Kitchen.

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