Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is an American dessert made of lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk baked in a pie crust. It is named for the small Key limes that were once abundant in the Florida Keys.

But you don’t have to use the very small Key limes to make this pie.  The regular limes found in your grocery store are perfectly fine to use.  I have only seen Key limes at my local grocery store a couple of times.  The Key limes are very small, about the size of a ping pong ball, and do not look like they would be fun to squeeze juice from. For this recipe, I used regular limes grown in Mexico that are available year round here in the USA.


The first Key lime pie I ever ate was in the Florida Keys many years ago and I have loved it ever since then. It is a wonderful tart and sweet summer pie.

It is generally thought that a cook named Aunt Sally from Key West made the first Key lime pie sometime in the late 1800s, using a recipe created by local area fishermen as her guide.  The other key ingredient in this pie is sweetened condensed milk which was invented by Gail Borden in 1856. For more on the history of Key lime pie read the full article by Linda Stradley found here.

The graham cracker crust recipe is adapted from the one on the back of Keebler’s Graham Cracker Crumbs box. The pie filling is adapted from The Pioneer Woman and her original recipe can be found here.

Key Lime Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1⁄4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime Juice
3 large egg yolks
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust:
Combine crumbs and sugar in medium sized bowl. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly blended. Pack mixture firmly into a 9 inch pie (or tart) pan and press firmly to bottom and sides, bringing crumbs evenly up to the rim. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, or until light brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For the filling:
Mix lime zest, lime juice, and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add in condensed milk and mix on low speed until smooth and thick. Pour mixture into the prepared crust and bake until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged, 15-17 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

key lime pie

1. Bottled Key lime juice is available but I prefer using fresh regular limes.
2. Because of the small amount of filling this recipe makes, it is perfect for a tart pan, but I have used a regular pie pan in the past.
3. This pie is perfect as it is but can be served with whipped cream.

key lime pie


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