Our key lime pie popcorn recipe balances the sweet and tart flavors of actual key lime pie along with the satisfying crunch of popcorn.
We love the classic key lime pie with its creamy, citrus filling, graham cracker crust and thick meringue topping. Just enough sweet and just enough pucker. It’s ideally made with key limes which are smaller and more fragrant than the Persian limes we commonly find at the grocery store. But while fresh key limes are not always easy to find, most supermarkets do carry the bottled key lime juice.
If key lime pie reminds you of Florida, it’s with good reason. It’s that state’s most famous dessert. Key limes used to grow in the Florida Keys and are known for their thin rinds and tart flavor. These days they are most likely imported from South America but are still heavily associated with Florida.
Turning the pie into a popcorn flavor meant making sure that we covered all the flavor elements. For the crust we used actual crushed up graham crackers mixed in with the popcorn to create the taste. The sweet and tart center meant cooking a simple syrup with sugar, key lime juice, a little butter and lime zest. Sweet and tart, just the like inside of the pie. Melted white chocolate gets drizzled over the top for a sweet, creamy finish reminiscent of meringue. You don’t need to add sprinkles but why not? When faced with the question of whether to sprinkle or not sprinkle, we’re probably going to sprinkle. It’s fun to look at and adds a tiny extra bit of sweet crunch. All the citrus lovers are going to love this one!
Add the granulated sugar, water, key lime juice, lime zest and butter to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring often. Boil for a couple of minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and season with salt.
Add the popped popcorn to a large bowl and pour the cooked lime syrup over the popcorn. Stir to coat thoroughly. Spread the coated popcorn on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and allow it to cool.
Add the cooled popcorn to a large serving bowl and toss with the graham cracker crumbs. Melt the white chocolate chips in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Drizzle over the popcorn and top with decorative sprinkles and slices of lime, if using.
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container on the counter.
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