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My Chocolate Lime Pie with Italian Meringue looks stunning and super fancy but is actually incredibly easy to make! You can create this fab showstopper pie with a little bit of time and just a couple of pieces of baking equipment. All the glory with none of the effort! Go on, try it!
Some of the best recipes take a little from here, a little from there, a little bit more from over there to end up with something new and amazing. I used inspiration from Nigella Lawson (From Kitchen), Lorraine Pascale, and an Australian website this time.
After several different incarnations, I am beyond chuffed with how this Meringue Topped Chocolate Lime Pie has come together. Its rich without being too rich, chocolatey without being too chocolatey, zingy without contorting your face and the holy grail of indulgent desserts; not too sweet.
Testing, Testing & More Testing!
I don’t often go through too many incarnations of my recipes before I write them up as I’m generally quite confident about amending and noting the changes as I go along. This was my first time making anything like this and although I knew what I wanted to achieve, I didn’t have a great wealth of knowledge to draw on.
I’ve rarely been terribly successful with basic meringue and I’d never tried to make an Italian Meringue before at all. And so I made at least 3 versions of this pie to make sure it was perfect! Its now perfect and the recipe is really very simple! You will only need to make it once to achieve perfection!
I created this recipe as part of a sort of series of American inspired bakes including my Chocolate Brownie Peanut Cheesecake, Sesame Bagels and Baked Banana Oatmeal with Maple & Pecan. At some point I intend to host a baking weekend for some of my friends using these recipes – I can’t wait!
Make my Chocolate Lime Pie into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
I’ve included this recipe in my Alternative Americana Feast! This menu makes a star of my Glazed Ginger Ham as a brilliant centrepiece. Other sides include my Classic Caesar Salad, Green Bean Casserole and Sweet Potato Pancakes.
Don’t forget to head over to the Big Americana Feast post for all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my other feast collections and all my Americana inspired recipes.
Ingredients for Chocolate Lime Pie
I have specified Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits for use in the base. I found that using chocolate already attached to the biscuits gave the perfect ratio and texture. But you could use any similar biscuit including milk chocolate digestives or regular digestives and some extra cocoa powder. Bourbon Biscuits or Oreos would also work wonderfully.
Condensed Milk is a key ingredient for the filling and is readily available in tins. But you can make a homemade version. I’ve not tested the recipe but it is certainly on my list of things to do!
I quite often use the kind of lime juice that comes in a bottle for my recipes, especially for Japanese cooking etc. But in a recipe like this where the lime flavour is central to the overall taste, then I would always use fresh limes. You are going to need some fresh limes for the zest in any event.
If you find that you’ve juiced all of your limes and are a little short of the quantity of juice needed, I can’t see any problem with topping up the juice with a little from a bottle.
Cream of Tartar
I know that the quantity of Cream of Tartar is very small but you really cannot leave this out so please don’t be tempted! (Its the kind of thing I’d do!). The Cream of Tartar provide stability to the meringue.
Unusually for one of my recipes, I wouldn’t actually recommend playing with this recipe too much. Some of the flavour ratios took me a good few attempts to get right. There are however a couple of easy swaps you could make.
Switch the lime juice and zest for lemon juice and zest for a lemon pie.
Use plain biscuits and leave out the cocoa powder from the base to remove the chocolate element.
Just don’t add the meringue topping and serve instead with dollops of fresh cream on top for something more akin to a Key Lime Pie. Or if you prefer a fully baked through meringue, bake it like a pavlova and rest the meringue on top of the pie. Just use the same tin to make sure it is the right size!
Use light brown sugar for the meringue instead of white. This does provide a gorgeous nutty flavour to proceedings.
Make it Vegetarian
My Cocoa Lime Pie is already suitable for vegetarians so no swaps needed!
Make it Vegan
I have some bad news. The eggs are really key to this recipe. Whist you can make the meringue with aquafaba and swap out the condensed milk for coconut condensed milk, I can’t see a realistic way to replace the egg yolks in the filling.
I would recommend having a google and seeing what Vegan alternatives Google can provide you with. I like the look of this Vegan Key Lime Pie from Minimalist Baker.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts but is not suitable or easily adaptable for those with an egg allergy.
Dairy Free: Firstly make sure to use a dairy free biscuit in the base. Oreos would be perfect for this. Then switch the condensed milk for coconut condensed milk. I found such a thing in oriental supermarkets. And that’s all she wrote. Dairy be gone!
Gluten Free: By using a gluten free digestive biscuit in the base recipe, my Chocolate Lime Pie would be a great dessert for anyone that is gluten free.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Chocolate Lime Pie
This recipe really does need a deep 9″/23cm springform tin. Loose based would really be preferable. A smaller tin will result in thicker layers and a larger one in thinner layer. The 23cm tin is Goldilocks perfect!
My early attempts at making the Italian meringue were hindered by my lack of sugar thermometer. When I eyeballed it, both of my first attempts at Italian meringue split but my attempt using the thermometer was perfect. I’d highly recommend just getting one. They are really not expensive either.
I have since bought a laser thermometer which as well as being incredibly fun will also really help check the temp. Also silly cheap.
One of the main reasons that I love making any pie topped with italian meringue is that I get to crack out my didi cooks blowtorch. Any excuse to whack that bad boy out and I am there! I recently had to replace the one in the pic with the one from the link. But it has lasted 15 years so I can’t complain.
Don’t forget the lighter fluid to refill it. Obviously you need to be careful when working with a hot naked flame. Make sure its turned off properly when you’ve done, don’t put it down when still turned on, be careful where you’re waving it and whatever you do, do not toast your fingers!
I used my basic model Kenwood Stand Mixer for all elements of this recipe. I used the standard ‘K-Beater’ to break up the biscuits and make the filling and the whisk attachment to whip the meringue topping. You could equally break the biscuits up with a rolling pin, mix the filling by hand and use an electric hand whisk for the meringue. Don’t attempt to make the meringue by hand, your arm will surely fall off!
To get the most out of my limes I use a lemon reamer. My favourite is this particularly pointy one from Typhoon but that is no longer available.
You could alternatively squeeze by hand or use many of the other multitude of gadgets out there like the attachment on my food processor. My reamer creates minimal washing up with maximum juice extraction!
The second lime related gadget I use is a fine Microplane grater. Total Game Changer! They are not cheap but do go for the branded version. Like GHD’s they’re the premium brand for a reason.
Put one on the Christmas list like I did – you won’t regret it. Also useful for grating Parmesan, garlic, ginger, etc. Do watch your fingers!
You could alternatively use the fine side of a regular box grater.
A couple of years ago, I invested in a set of these metal piping nozzles. Nothing fancy. I also bought a pack of disposable piping bags. Whilst I still cannot pipe anything fancy, this was such a good investment! I used to use a sandwich bag with the corner cut off which is quite frankly ridiculous!
However, if you don’t have a piping bag or simply can’t be bothered, don’t panic. You can dollop the meringue on the top of the pie however you fancy and use the back of your spoon or spatula to create peaks. It will look great either way.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
You need to make the base and bake the filling several hours before you plan to add the meringue. You can do this a day or two before and just keep covered in the fridge.
I wouldn’t want to add and blow torch the meringue topping too far in advance of serving the pie. But it doesn’t have to be immediate either. I’d just say do it the same day. I’ve taken this pie to other houses and its travelled surprisingly well!
Leftover Chocolate Lime Pie
There will be no leftovers.
Chocolate Lime Pie Tips
One of the tricks for a perfect meringue topping is to make sure that the main filling layer is totally cold before trying to top it. Otherwise the meringue will just weep and melt all over the shop.
Don’t be worried about the meringue being uncooked. As you add the hot sugar mixture to the egg whites, it cooks them – they are not raw when you eat them!
I really do hope that you won’t be put off by the equipment list for this recipe and give it a go! It is so worth it!
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Chocolate Lime Pie with Italian Meringue
- 400 g Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits
- 4 tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 100 g Salted Butter
- 5 Eggs
- 2 397g Tin Condensed Milk
- 3 tbsp Lime Zest – Use the juicing limes before you juice them!
- 240 ml Limes – (240ml = circa 5 limes)
- 250 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 100 ml Water
- 5 Large Egg whites left over from the Filling
- 0.25 tsp Cream of Tartar
- Line the base and sides of a loose-based deep-fill 23cm/9” tin with grease-proof paper.
- Preheat the oven to 160c or equivalent.
Make the Base
- Whizz 400g Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits with 4 tbsp Cocoa Powder in a food processor or blender until it is of a vaguely sandy consistency.
- If using a stand mixer, you may wish to use your fingers to break up any larger chunks remaining.
- Melt 100g Salted Butter in a small bowl (microwave) or pan (hob).
- Add the melted butter to the broken biscuits and and whizz again.
- Tip the base mixture into the lined tin and press into the base and as far up the sides as you can manage. Try to make the base as even as possible.
- Place in the fridge to chill whilst making the filling.
Make the Filling
- Separate 5 Large Eggs and put the egg yolks into a mixing bowl (I used the stand mixer again but it isn't necessary). Put the whites aside for the time being.
- Add 2 x 397g Tin of Condensed Milk to the egg yolks and whisk until well combined.
- Zest enough limes to get 3 tbsp Zest and and juice enough limes to get 240ml Lime Juice. Add to the egg yolks. Don't let this sit without mixing as the lime will start to 'cook' the egg yolk.
- Stir for a minute to combine. You only need to mix this together, not whip it.
- Put the crust-lined tin onto a baking sheet and pour in the filling.
- Place the pie in the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes, until the filling is just set but has not changed in colour.
- Leave to cool thoroughly in the fridge (at least several hours).
- The pie can then be removed from the tin. Peel off the greaseproof paper carefully before decorating.
Make the Meringue Topping
- Combine 220g Caster Sugar and 80ml Cold Water in a small pan.
- Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat to bring it to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and brush down the sides of pan with a clean, wet pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals.
- Boil until the syrup reaches 121°C. This will take about 10-15 minutes. This is where you will ideally require your sugar thermometer.
- Meanwhile, start whisking the 5 reserved egg whites with 0.25 tsp Cream of Tartar, ideally in a stand mixer. Whisk until soft peaks form.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches temperature and with the motor of the mixer continuing to run, gradually pour the hot sugar syrup into the whisked egg whites.
- Continue to whisk at medium speed until the meringue has cooled to room temperature and is thick and glossy. This will take roughly another 10-15 minutes so be patient!
- Fill a disposable piping bag with the meringue mix and your choice of nozzle.
- Pipe the meringue onto the top of the chilled pie.
- You can use whatever design you like. I went with a star nozzle and worked my way in from the outside then adding more layers on top of that but working inwards to create a point. I have previously used a round nozzle.
- Using a blowtorch, carefully and slowly caramelise the outside of the meringue to a light golden brown.