no-bake key-lime pie using other citrus

Joined Dec 20, 2009
i frequently make key-lime tartlets using a no-bake method as follows:
1/2 cup key lime (fresh if possible, if bottled i add a bit of fresh persian lime)
1 14oz. can condensed milk
4 egg yolks room temperature (use pasteurized from the carton)

in mixer yolks are beaten for 4-5 minutes, then condensed milk added for another 4-5 minutes mixed until well combined, then lime juice until "just combined" (usually done with spatula by hand), poured into ready graham cracker shells, and chilled for about 4 hours.

i understand this method uses "souring" to set the yolks, working similarly to Ceviche....
my question is could i use another type of citrus either in place of or in addition to the key-lime while continuing to use this no-bake method?
i had thought grapefruit or perhaps yuzo juice (which i can find easily in bottled form) might work in terms of taste, though, wasn't too sure how safe it is.
i'd be selling them from a cafe, which like the standard key lime, posted with a raw-egg warning.
should i assume that so long as they set firmly like the key lime that the acid has sufficiently "cooked" the eggs?
would the addition of either ascorbic or citric acid have any effect?
i'm probably going try it for my own consumption, but thought seeking some expert guidance before possibly unleashing "salmonella" pies upon the public...
much thanks, mojoe:thumb:


Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
Is there some reason it has to be no-bake? I make key lime pies/tartlets a lot, and my recipe is similar (yolks, condensed milk and lime juice) but I bake them. For pies the bake time is only 15 minutes and for tarts, much less. I think it's preferable to bake them, because I really don't want to have to post "warnings" about my food. Even though we all know the actual incidence of any type of food-borne illness is very low from raw egg yolks in a key lime pie, best to cover your butt in a litigious society. 

That said, to truly answer your question, I'm pretty sure it's the acidity level that makes the difference. If, say, a grapefruit tart sets up exactly the same as your key lime, then there's nothing to worry's set, and you're good to go. If you try Yuzu and it doesn't set, then maybe adding more acid, like ascorbic or even some lemon juice to it will make it set, but it may affect the overall taste negatively, and might not be the end result you're looking for. 

If it were me, I would just bake the pies/tarts. It makes everything much simpler, you don't have to post warnings, and you have more latitude to be creative with flavors.

Also, I see the OP posted this 6 years ago......we may be a bit late with the replies here./img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
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