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Key Lime Pie

Make a traditional key lime pie using ordinary limes. Bring the tropics home with this pie recipe. It just tastes like summer; however, it is delicious any time of year, even for the holiday table. Make the graham cracker crust, mix the filling, bake 15 minutes, and serve with whipped topping and lime zest. So light, tangy, and refreshing.

Made with ordinary limes, this pie tastes every bit as authentic as the real deal and it is easier to make. There are so many classic recipes like this one here. I am sharing another one of our family favorites with you.

The taste is so creamy and luscious with a bit of tang. It is incredibly EASY to make too. Even if you are new to baking, you can master this recipe. It is simple and fool-proof.

Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie

Lime Juice for This Pie Recipe

While it is nice to be able to use key limes for this pie, if you are not able to find them you can use bottled key lime juice to make this recipe. Unless a person lives in the sunshine state, it might be difficult to get fresh key limes. Therefore, we learn to improvise. You can also use the juice of any time of lime you are able to find locally.

Some people feel that the to get the taste of the key limes you should use equal parts of lemon and lime juice. However, I have not noticed a difference.

Top View of Pie with Whipping Cream and Lime Zest Garnish
Top View of Pie with Whipping Cream and Lime Zest Garnish

How to Get More Juice Out of the Limes

This recipe is perfect for using fresh limes. However, the right tools with help you get the most juice out of the lime. First microwave for 10 seconds. This will help release the lime juices before it is even cut open.

Between the buttery and crunchy crust, tangy custard filling, and the essential creamy topping- no dessert can rival key lime pie!

Creamy and Delicious Taste of Summer Pie
Creamy and Delicious Taste of Summer Pie

What Type of Topping to Use on a Key Lime Pie

Key lime pies can be made with a meringue topping (more traditional) or a whipped cream topping (more modern). I am a whipped cream girl all the way, so there was no question which way I was going here, but feel free to customize based on your personal preferences.

Pie with Meringue Topping
Pie with Meringue Topping

How to Make Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie has a few simple steps. I love making it in the summer when all I want to do is spend time outside.

  • Make the Crust: Use a food processor to get a nice fine graham cracker crumb or get it already done in the grocery. Combine with melted butter and sugar, then press tightly into a pie dish.
  • Pre-Bake the Crust: Pre-bake the crust before pouring in the key lime filling. Pre-baking solidifies the crust and allows for easy slicing once the pie is ready to serve.
  • Make the Filling: Whisk together the few filling ingredients– it will be starting to thicken. Pour into the warm crust.
  • Bake the Pie: Key lime pie bakes for only 15 minutes. Once completely cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
  • Garnish: I like to garnish this with fresh whipping cream and a bit of lime zest.
Using a Measuring Cup to Press in the Graham Cracker Crust
Using a Measuring Cup to Press in the Graham Cracker Crust
Key Lime Pie
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Key Lime Pie

Make a traditional key lime pie using ordinary limes. Bring the tropics home with this pie recipe. It just tastes like summer; however, it is delicious any time of year, even for the holiday table. Make the graham cracker crust, mix the filling, bake 15 minutes, and serve with whipped topping and lime zest. So light, tangy, and refreshing.
This recipe includes directions for both a whipping cream topping and meringue topping.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bakery recipe, copycat, easy recipe, make ahead, restaurant recipe, summer recipe
Servings: 8 pieces
Calories: 456kcal

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Ingredients

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

  • 1 1/4 Cup graham crackers Ground fine
  • 5 Tbl. Butter Melted
  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • 4 Egg Yolks slightly beaten
  • 14 Oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk 1 can
  • 2/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice you could use the lime juice in the container too
  • 1 tsp Lime zest

Whipping Cream Topping (optional)

  • 1 Cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tbl. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Meringue Topping (optional)

  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar preferably superfine
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar, mixing to incorporate the sugar throughout the graham crackers.
  • Melt butter and add to the graham cracker and sugar mixture. Stir to combine. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.
  • Press crumbs firmly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. As I noted, it is easier to use the bottom of a measuring cup.
    Using a Measuring Cup to Press in the Graham Cracker Crust
  • Bake it at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Let cool and add your ingredients.

Key Lime Pie Filling

  • While the graham cracker crust is resting and cooling, in a medium-size mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks until they are a light lighter in color and slightly frothy.
  • Add the lime zest and the sweetened condensed milk, continue to mix until thick. Approximately 3 minutes.
  • Add the lime juice a little at a time and continue mixing at a lower speed until incorporated.
    The Pie Filling is Thickening
  • Pour mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
    Adding the Creamy Lime Filling to the Pie Crust
  • Once the pie has been cooling approximately 20 minutes, it should be cool enough to add the whipping cream topping or the meringue topping.

Whipping Cream Topping (optional)

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the whip cream and mix until the cream is holding its shape. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to mix until stiff peaks form.
  • You can serve on the side, add a dallop on top when serving, use a pastry bag to pipe a fancy design on the pie, or spread it over the top of the pie. No matter which way you decide, it is just one more element that makes this pie taste wonderful.
    Top View of Pie with Whipping Cream and Lime Zest Garnish
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Meringue Topping (optional)

  • In a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt using the low speed on an electric mixer until they are frothy.
  • Add the cream of tartar. Continue beating until the whites are fluffy, with large bubbles forming around the edges. I like to increase the speed to medium at this stage.
  • Add the sugar a few teaspoons at a time, mixing each teaspoon completely before adding the next one.
  • Continue mixing until there are peaks that are firm yet still glossy. Lastly, add the vanilla.
  • Spoon the meringue onto the hot pie filling making sure to spread the meringue all the way to the crust. (this keeps the meringue from shrinking away from the crust). If you are topping a pie that does not have to be baked, have it at room temperature before you top it with the meringue. Again, making to spread the meringue to the crust edge to seal the filling in. Fluff it with the back of a spoon to make decorative peaks across the pie. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes. Until the meringue is turning a golden color.
    Pie with Meringue Topping

Notes

This recipe will make a 9-inch pie.
This recipe includes directions for both a whipping cream topping and meringue topping.

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 238mg | Potassium: 276mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 941IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 1mg

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