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Creamy, bright, tangy and luscious, this Key Lime Pie Gelato has all the flavors we love in a great key lime pie, in a scoopable frozen treat!
What’s the difference between regular Persian limes and key limes?
First, it’s easy to see key limes are much smaller than Persian limes. Once sliced you’ll notice that key limes have a lot of seeds like a lemon, where Persian limes are seedless. These tiny key lime fruits have a much thinner rind, higher acidity, a stronger flavor and a distinct aroma that is easily recognized. Persian limes are actually a cross between a key lime and a lemon, which explains a lot! People often use regular Persian limes in place of key limes, and that’s fine too. However, if you’re a key lime fan, take the few extra minutes to squeeze fresh key limes for this recipe.
Can I use bottled key lime juice for this recipe?
Why is this called gelato instead of ice cream?
How long will this Key Lime Pie Gelato keep in the freezer?
Don’t forget the ribbon of crushed graham crackers too!
The crushed graham crackers add a wonderful textural contrast. That crunchy-smooth thing gives this gelato a Key Lime Pie quality that can’t be beat! Try our recipe for Homemade Graham Crackers if you’re in the baking mood. They’re so good, fun and easy to make too! If you’re saving room for dessert – you’ll want to try this recipe for Key Lime Pie Gelato before summer slips away.
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Key Lime Pie Gelato
- Ice cream maker
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup key lime juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup graham crackers, lightly crushed
- Combine 1 tablespoon Key lime zest in a bowl of a food processor with ¾ cup of granulated sugar. Process until the zest is very fine.
- Place the zest and sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add 2 cups of whole milk and cook on medium heat until the mixture reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and steep for 30 minutes.
- While the milk is steeping, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a non-reactive medium bowl. Whisk until the eggs are foamy and slightly thickened. Set aside. Juice the limes and measure to ⅓ cup.
- In a separate clean, large glass or stainless steel bowl, add the heavy cream. Set the bowl over an ice bath and place a fine-mesh sieve over the cream.
- Put the steeping milk and zest mixture back on medium heat until it reaches 170°F stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Temper the eggs by pouring in a slow, steady stream of hot milk while whisking continuously. Once most of the hot milk has been added to the egg yolks, pour the new egg and milk mixture (custard) back in the saucepan. Heat on medium stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula until it reaches 185 degrees or is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon. Take care not to let the mixture boil. If needed, blend or emulsify the custard if it is not smooth.
- Pour the heated custard through the sieve into the cold cream. Stir occasionally until the mixture is fully cooled, about 30 minutes. Add the lime juice and vanilla and stir until combined. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and dry the bottom with a kitchen towel. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Process the gelato in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer directions. Scoop a layer of gelato into an airtight container. Top with a layer of crushed graham crackers, and then another layer of gelato. Repeat topping the final layer of gelato with the last of the crackers. Cover and freeze until set and ready to serve. Sprinkle each bowl with additional crushed graham crackers if desired.
- You will need about 10 juicy limes for 1/3 cup juice. Use 1/4 cup of key lime juice if you prefer a less tart flavor
Here are a few more key lime recipes you might enjoy:
Turn this luscious Key Lime Pie Gelato into homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches! Click HERE to get the recipe.
Coconut Key Lime Meltaways – a light and buttery bite-sized cookie with a big tropical flavor. Click HERE to get the recipe!
Key Lime Icebox Cheesecake – a terrific summer dessert with a light and creamy no-bake filling, a not-too-sweet tart and tangy flavor, and a perfectly crunchy graham cracker crust. Click HERE to get the recipe.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia