How Brown Butter Can Take Your Key Lime Pie To The Next Level

Key lime pie's origins might be mysterious but there's no mystery around how a simple tweak to the butter can elevate the popular dessert. Many recipes, like this five-ingredient recipe, give you the opportunity to put your own spin on the sweet treat.

Culture Trip says while there's no hard evidence to support the story, many credit a woman from Key West called Aunt Sally with creating key lime pie in the 19th century. Timoti's said written recipes for the pie didn't start emerging until the 1930s and the debate mostly revolves around whether Aunt Sally actually invented the first recipe or simply elevated a dessert that was already popular on the island.

Regardless of who invented it or when, the creamy, sweet, and tart dessert can get monotonous if there's no innovation in your recipe. That's where brown butter can provide an effective but simple assist.

Make your pie 'butter' than all the rest

Brown butter might not be the unexpected ingredient that will majorly upgrade your key lime pie but that doesn't mean integrating it isn't worth a try. MyRecipes breaks down the qualities of brown butter, highlighting its nutty and toasted flavor notes. As MyRecipes points out, brown butter is simply butter that has been browned, or simmered until it starts to change color.

Real Simple says those elements make it a winning upgrade for your key lime pie. Real Simple notes that you will know your butter is ready for use when a foam begins to form on the butter's surface in the pan. As Food Network points out, the browning will happen quickly, so keep your eye on the pan. The second you get a whiff of a nutty aroma and see the coloration you want, Real Simple says, take the pan off your heat source and transfer the butter to a bowl in which it can cool.

From there, you can use that brown butter in an easy graham cracker crust recipe or create your own pastry crust to put your key lime pie filling in. MyRecipes explains that while both crust types can make for delicious pies, graham cracker crusts are ideal for custard-type pies like key lime pie. Either way, the brown butter will add an extra depth of flavor to the finished product that will put your pie high on people's lists.