1 1/4 c finely crushed (coarsely salted) pretzels
1/2 c butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c sugar
14 oz fat-free sweetened condensed milk [not evaporated milk]
3 tsp lime zest (grated lime peel, the green part only, not the white pith)
1/4 c lime juice (I use two whole limes for the juice)
1/4 c orange juice
8 oz container of fat-free Cool Whip topping, thawed
1. Pour about 2 cups (or more!) of small pretzel twists into the bag liner of a cereal box.
2. Fold over top edge of the bag so the crumbs won’t escape, and crush pretzels to get 1-1/4 cups of rather finely crushed pieces. You might have to repeat this step using more pretzels, in order to get the 1-1/4 cups of crumbs. You can do this part in your food processor, or with a food chopper, too.
3. For crust: Combine all crust ingredients in a medium bowl; toss well with a fork to combine all the butter w/ the crumbs.
4. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate. Set aside (I put mine in the refrigerator for several minutes, while I prepare the ingredients for the filling).
5. Remember, the ‘zest’ is only the green outer layer of the lime skin… not the white, pithy part underneath the skin. Don’t go too deep! Before zesting the lime, cut some tiny lime curls to use as garnish on top of the pie later. Using a zester, or the small teeth on your box grater, zest the limes, to get 3 teaspoons. Set aside 2 tsp for the filling and leave 1 tsp out to use for garnish later.
6. Using the same limes, prick holes in each with a fork. Set them in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Roll them gently on the countertop, then cut in half and squeeze the juice into a 1/4-cup measuring cup. Microwaving them will make them yield much more juice! Set juice aside.
7. Pour 1/4-cup of orange juice; set aside.
8. For filling: combine milk, lime zest and juices in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk, to combine while pouring.
9. GENTLY fold in the whipped topping, folding to combine them thoroughly.
10. Spoon into crust. Garnish with your lime curls and a few small pinches of extra lime zest sprinkled on top.
11. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 30 minutes. Serves 8.