Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mini-Mason Jar Key Lime Pies (a review)

NOTE: I am on a mission to try a few recipes in mason jars before The 4th of July and blog about them for you. I want to pack a mason jar picnic this year, so I'll be giving these a shot and letting you know what worked and didn't work. If you have a suggestion or a favorite mason jar recipe, please let me know. I would love to try it out for you. 

Every year the Saturday before Mother's Day, my mother's side of the family has a family reunion. Each branch of the family takes turns hosting the reunion, and everyone is expected to bring at least a dessert and a side. This year my husband decided to make the dessert, which was fine by me, because the reunion fell on a day that I had a ballgame, a birthday party, and a dance recital to go to as well. There would be no time for me to whip up something fancy. My husband used to make desserts (before we got married), worked a short time at a bakery, and his mother bakes cakes and pies to sell for those who know she's awesome at it. I just knew he would represent well.

But, as much as I love him, and his intentions, he didn't make the dessert. I don't think he realized all we had to do, and time was not allowing for something fancy. Luckily, he picked up a box of Key Lime Bar Mix to make a pie. I looked at the ingredients and decided that I could make the bars (not the pies, necessarily) in little mason jars. That way I could pack them up tight, and carry them with me to the ballgame, and then to the family reunion. I must say that it turned out okay. Below I'm going to share with you what I did, and give you tips on what not to do.

Mini-Mason Jar Key Lime Pies


  • A box of Krusteaz Key Lime Bar Mix plus ingredients on box (1/3 cup water and 3 eggs) 
  • 10 (4 oz) Mason Jelly Jars If you have not used these before, you must get them. They are adorable, and perfect for little single serving desserts
  • Powdered Sugar 
  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the jelly jars. 
  2. Spoon 1 1/2 Tbsp of crust mixture into each jar. Lightly press down. DON'T PACK like the instructions say to do. This is where I seriously messed up. The packing was really meant for a brownie pan or pie plate, not mini-mason jars. *See the 2nd picture below to see why. 
  3. Place the mason jars on a large cookie sheet and slide into a preheated oven to bake as the directions say. I needed to add about 10 minutes for the cooking process before it became brown. 
  4. While the crust is cooking, mix the key lime filling mixture. Spoon just below the shoulder of each mason jar. You will not have enough for all of them to go up to the shoulder. 
  5. Place back into the over and cook for 28 minutes. 
  6. Sprinkle powdered sugar over each mini pie. 
  7. Carefully (and with oven mitts on), screw the lids onto each jar and place the jars back into the cardboard box the jars come in to put in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours. If you threw the box away (don't do this, they make great carriers), you can always place the jars into a cool cake pan and put that into the refrigerator. 
  8. Display on a nice tray or on a cupcake tier. Just keep in mind they will be heavy if you put them on the tier and could topple over if everyone grabs a jar from just one side first. (Not that I know from experience or anything). 
Everyone said they were really good, and I had to hoard 2 for my hubby before the rest were gone. Some of my family members actually took them home to finish. So, I'm guessing it was a win. Here's what the finished product looks like: 

*The only problem I had was the crust. Because I packed it in, no one could get it out. Everyone was so kind and said it was okay, but as a cook, I felt it was an embarrassing mistake. My husband and dad pulled out their pocket knives and were determined to finish the crust. Here's a picture of someone's pie crust they failed to get. :( 

So when I make these for The 4th of July this year (unless I find something else I would rather bring), I am going to change the crust or just not pack as much. I am determined to make these again. :) 

And here is a picture of my jars on the dessert table of the family reunion. I took this right before everyone filled the rest of it up. I have a family of wonderful cooks! Everything was incredible! 

Some good stuff, right there! 

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