Thursday, March 27, 2014

Key Lime Parfaits @LucyBurdette

 LUCY BURDETTE: Here's a dinner party blooper story for you. (The palm trees have nothing to do with this, but I loved the way the photo turned out. And maybe you'll feel like you're in Key West after consuming one of these parfaits...) Anyway, I offered to bring dessert to a dinner--And decided to try to construct this recipe for the outing. But once we arrived with four glasses in hand, I realized there would be 8 people at the table, not the four I expected. Luckily, these parfait servings were enormous, so we could easily divide each in half. (Not as pretty, of course.) Not one bite was left on the table.

Beep! Beep! Beep! There's a calorie alert associated with this recipe. You should not go in with the idea (as I did) that a Key Lime Parfait would be a light dessert because  of the citrus...

With that warning out of the way, here's the story behind the recipe. I've been working on my fifth Key West mystery (DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS) which features a New York chef who's just opened a restaurant in Key West. She wants her new menu to reflect some of the tastes and history of the island. Since a key lime parfait is one of the desserts she offers, I'd thought I'd better make one for you!

Key limes are smaller than regular limes--and here I have to tell the truth--kind of a pain to juice. John helped me and it took all the limes in a pound bag to end up with 1/2 cup of juice. (Next time, I might try the recipe with regular limes.)


5 whole graham crackers, crushed, to make about one cup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice

key lime zest
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Crush the graham crackers. (Easy way--place the graham crackers in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, and roll them to crumbs with a rolling pin.) 

Mix the crumbs with the melted butter and brown sugar. Spread this on a foil-covered baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or until golden. Let this cool, then break into crumbs again.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla. (I used my food processor, which was a snap.) Set half of this aside for the topping.

Mix the condensed milk with the lime juice. The citrus will cause the milk to thicken. Gently stir in one cup of whipped cream. 

Now comes the fun part, in which you layer the parts you've prepared. I chose wine snifters--next time I would try something taller and thinner, as these servings were BIG. Luckily for our waistlines and cholesterol counts, we cut them in half to serve.

Layer in some of the baked crumbs, then some of the key lime mixture, and repeat. When you have distributed all the ingredients, top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with more crumbs and some zested lime if you want a stronger flavor.

Lucy Burdettes Key West Food Critic mysteries are available wherever books are sold!

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And now, the Christine Wenger giveaway results from Sunday!

I printed off the responses to my blog, cut them up, and had my hubby draw three out of a paper  bag.

The winners of a set of my cozies are (drum roll):

Sue Farrell

Fish Mom (don't know her real name!)

Sharon Jesse

All three ladies need to write me with their mailing address, and I'll drop them in the mail ASAP!!

I'd like to thank all those who responded so wonderfully to my blog, my cozy mysteries, and for the trip down memory lane complete with comfort food!

For those who want to take a chance on DO OR DINER and A SECOND HELPING OF MURDER, I'd love to hear what you think.  Write me at: writetochrisw at aol dot com or send real mail to P.O. Box 1823, Cicero, NY 13039.  I respond to each message!

Thanks everyone and congrats to the winners!





  1. Congrats to the winners!

    The very little bit of baking I've done over the years has included a key lime pie (following the recipe in Joanne Fluke's Key Lime Pie Murder). It does take a million of those suckers to get the juice you need, doesn't it?

  2. Lucy/Roberta - That parfait looks amazing--even with the beep, beep, beep warning...that totally cracked me up...are you by chance having a flashback to a Key West tropical storm warning? :) BTW - I'm all for those Key limes. A little extra effort is worth it for that one-of-a-kind tart flavor. Fantastic ingredient and recipe. Enjoy your week (hopefully with no beep, beeps)!

    ~ Cleo

    1. thanks Cleo! The funny thing is (and I hate to admit this) I had never before used key limes. so I blithely bought a pound bag, thinking we'd have lots left over. Used every one of those little buggers:)

  3. I love key lime pie and think you are very brave to make it. Now I want to be brave too ... will hunt for key limes in snow central. Luckily, I can practically taste your pie.



  4. Thanks for picking me as a winner in Christine Wenger's contest. I think I sent the proper message to her with my mailing address---but if not please have her contact me at or
    Thanks again.

  5. This looks and sounds delicious. It may make for a large serving, but the snifters are a great presentation.

    1. thanks, they were pretty Libby:). but I made the mistake of adding up the calories before we left--so I was relieved to cut the servings in half!

    2. Adding up calories is almost always a mistake!

    3. so true Libby, and I don't know what got into me. I think I learned my lesson!

  6. We can get Nellie & Joe's key lime juice in the supermarket now, thank goodness. Key lime pie has been one of my favorites since my first trip to the Everglades. BUT I thought key limes were yellow. No?
    (Won't let me sign as Renee alone, alas.)

    1. Nope, those limes in the pix are Key limes. You'll have to let me know how the key lime juice tastes--I've never dared to use that for cooking or baking!