A couple weeks ago my husband and I and the girls were driving in the car. We were headed home after a long day in town running errands and my husband casually mentioned stopping by Coldstone creamery for a little treat. I was really craving key lime pie and had to think whether or not they had a lime ice cream creation there. So I looked and sure enough, they didn't!
Then I started brainstorming how *I* could make something of the sort. That's when the search began and I came up with this tasty recipe for Key Lime Baked Alaska. If you've never heard of a Baked Alaska, it's basically a mini ice cream cake covered with toasted meringue. My recipe has a graham cracker crust, key lime ice cream, and meringue on top. It is absolutely amazing!!!! Marcia (my sister) said I need to get this recipe copyrighted. LOL ( I might have to think about that one)
This is a recipe you're going to need to begin the day or night before you actually want to eat it. The ice cream needs plenty of time to harden after it comes out of the ice cream maker. And unless you have a blast chiller, give yourself plenty of time on this one
In a saucepan, put 1 1/2 c. cream. Heat over medium heat until a skin forms on top. Do NOT let the cream boil otherwise the ice cream will curdle. If it comes to a boil, you'll need to dump and start again.
Separate 4 eggs. Put the yolks in a bowl and put the whites in another container and put them in the fridge. Leave yolks out because you're about to use them.
While whisking yolks, add a little cream to "temper" them. This means the heat from the cream will cook the eggs. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan into the rest of the cream.
Whisk and cook over medium heat until it gets thick.
You want it to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add 1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup key lime juice. The juice can be from fresh key limes or from a bottle.
[NOTE: Key limes are smaller and sweeter than regular limes. You don't want to switch them out.]
Transfer the custard to a bowl. Cover with saran wrap and put in the fridge for half hour to an hour.
Set up your ice cream maker and put the custard in the frozen cylinder.
Make the ice cream according to the directions that came with your machine.
When it's done. Cover and put in the freezer.
While the ice cream is in the machine, make the graham cracker crust. Put 1 package graham crackers in a large ziploc and use a rolling pin to crush them. Add 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) melted butter. Shake to mix and smoosh the outside of the ziploc to get it all worked in. Divide the crust into four ramekins and press into the bottom and up the sides. Put in the fridge to set.
After about half an hour, remove from fridge and take the ice cream out of the freezer and spoon into the ramekins and fill all the way to the top, using a knife or spatula to smooth the top. Cover each ramekin well with saran and put back in freezer. Freeze overnight.
Just before serving, make the meringue.
Put the egg whites you held over from the ice cream and put in a large mixing bowl. Put the bowl on top of a saucepan with some water in it. Turn the burner to medium.
Whisk until the whites get hot. Add 1/4 cup sugar. Whisk for another minute and then remove from the double boiler.
Put the kitchen aid bowl on the mixer and use the whisk attachment. Turn to a medium speed.
Whisk until you get stiff, but not DRY peaks.
Stiff peaks are when you stick the whisk in and pull out, the peaks stay firm and won't sag or fade away.
Pull your key lime filled ramekins out of the freezer. Sit in a bowl of warm water or carefully put under the faucet. This will loosen the ice cream and crust from the sides of the ramekin.
I had to use a knife and insert it in until it was loose enough to pop out.
Set it on a dessert plate.
Put an extra large star tip in a piping bag and fill with meringue. Pipe in a circular motion starting from the outside of the ice cream and work your way in, building up as you go.
This is what you want it to look like.
Kind of looks like a cupcake. ;)
Now it's time to "bake" the meringue. I have a blow torch for making creme brulee. You can just as easily put these under a broiler and brown the tops.
Once they're baked, put a wedge of key lime on top and hold in the freezer if you're not quite ready to eat them.