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Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches – with homemade graham crackers and key lime gelato for a wonderful frozen treat!
For more summers than I can remember I’ve made a key lime dessert. It’s a thing. Something I need to do. Those little tiny key limes call to me … by name. While I adore key lime pie I thought it would be fun to bring the flavors of a pie to a frozen ice cream (gelato) based treat that even my grandson would like – Key Lime Pie ~ Ice Cream Sandwiches.
These are petite ice cream sandwiches (2.5″ x 1.5″) that can be eaten in two big bites (for my husband) and three for me. But they have BIG key lime flavor!
The homemade graham crackers mimic pie crust and taste wonderful all by themselves. I’ve made them before and posted the grahams as a back-to-school treat. They are easy to make and a perfect compliment to the tart key lime gelato.
The key lime gelato is frozen in a flat baking dish lined with plastic wrap so it can be easily removed and cut with the cookie cutter used for the grahams. If you prefer a thinner dollop of gelato, feel free to spoon it on semi-soft then freeze again before serving.
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- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice, about 8-10 limes
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest, about 4-5 limes
- Recipe for Graham Crackers see below
- Place a large clean glass bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Place a fine mesh sieve over the clean bowl and set aside.
- Combine the milk and cream in a heavy bottom medium saucepan. Heat on medium-low stirring frequently until bubbles start to form around the inside edges of the pan. If using an instant read thermometer, you are looking for a temperature of 170 degrees.
- In a small mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Gradually whisk in the granulated sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is pale and thick.
- Slowly temper the egg yolks by adding a drizzle of the hot milk mixture while whisking constantly. Continue whisking and adding the hot milk until all ingredients are combined.
- Return the custard to the saucepan and heat on medium-low stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mixture reaches 185 degrees or when the custard coats the back of the wooden spoon. Do not boil the custard.
- Pour the custard through the sieve into the bowl in the ice water bath. Allow the custard to cool for about 30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so then when cooled, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to make the gelato stir in the key lime juice and zest. Process according to the manufacturer instructions.
- If making ice cream sandwiches, pour the gelato into a plastic wrap lined flat casserole dish with a 2" side. Depending on the desired thickness, you can use a 13x9" pan or smaller. Cover with plastic wrap pressed on the top of the gelato and freeze until solid. Overnight works best.
- Once frozen, remove the gelato using the plastic wrap and place on a cutting board. Using the desired cookie cutter, cut out the gelato and place between two graham crackers. Freeze in an airtight container until ready to serve. Remove the ice cream sandwiches 10 minutes before serving.
Special Equipment: Ice Cream Maker and an Instant Read Thermometer
Adapted from a recipe from: The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour, or graham flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting rolling surface
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pulse a few times until combined.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the honey, molasses, milk and vanilla. Process until the dough forms a ball.
- Remove to a large piece of plastic wrap and press into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Seal in the plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice off about 1/3 of the refrigerated dough and place on a lightly dusted piece of parchment paper large enough to fit your baking sheet. Keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator until ready to roll.
- Rub AP flour on your rolling pin and roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Dust with additional AP flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Cut the crackers using a 2 1/2" by 1 1/2" rectangle cookie cutter. Using a fork poke holes on the top of the dough. Place the crackers an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake until lightly browned on the edges, about 10-11 minutes. (Check after 10 minutes as cooking time will vary depending on how thick or thin the dough was rolled.)
- Remove to a rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
(Slightly adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown, 2008, on Foodnetwork)
Looking for more key lime recipes? Here you go!
There’s a specialty cheese shop on Sanibel Island that sells frozen pieces of key lime pie dipped in magic shell. I don’t think I’ll try that next year but key lime cookies are probably in my future. I hope you have a wonderful father’s day weekend. My father has been gone a long, long time and I still miss him so. But if your father is still around – give him a big hug and a great big thank you! One of my favorite fathers in the whole world, just happens to be the father of my children. Maybe he would like a key lime ice cream sandwich and something on the grill for father’s day. We’ll see! Thanks so much for stopping by.