Key Lime Pie Recipe

July 22, 2012 11 Comments

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key Lime Pie is my favorite dessert so this is one of my favorite recipes.

My family and I were in sunny Florida around the time of hurricane Irene and even she couldn’t dampen the wonder of Disney. We were at the resort because my wife was attending a business conference and wanted us to join her for some rest and relaxation.

We had a blast, especially my daughter Nell whose eyes were wide open from the moment we stepped off the plane. She did have a little trouble when meeting the Disney characters at the park, but who wouldn’t have trouble with a 7 foot Pluto when you’re not even two years old?

Last time I was at Disney was back in the 80’s when I realized my folks were never going to take me there so I decided to take them. How Disney World has changed since my last visit.

New parks and resorts have sprung up faster than you can say Donald Duck. Besides the Magic Kingdom and Epcot (which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, by the way), there’s Disney’s MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, three water parks, Downtown Disney along with new resorts like the Dixie Landing, Port Orleans, Coronado Springs, Wilderness Lodge and the Polynesian.

What do all these resorts have in common? They all include restaurants that serve my favorite dessert, Key Lime Pie. Yes, Key Lime Pie whose filling is made up of only three simple ingredients but when properly combined produce a wonderful pungent flavor. Poured into a homemade Graham Cracker crust and voila you have a dessert that even Cinderella’s wicked Stepmother couldn’t resist.

Quick and easy to prepare, just 30 minutes, this delicious Key Lime Pie recipe would make Winnie the Pooh forget about honey for a while.

How are Key limes different

Let me start out by explaining the difference between Key limes and your everyday supermarket variety, the Persian lime. Key limes come from the Florida Keys, thus their name, and are smaller, more yellow and contain more seeds than the green skinned Persian lime. The bad news is they’re impossible to find fresh at your local supermarkets but the good news is Persian limes work just as well in this recipe.

I was recently told that key limes are yellow when ripe, not green, but the green ones will work for key lime pie. I have also been told that you can make a very good pie using key lime juice available at most supermarkets. Although it may not be quite as tasty as using real lime juice, it is a perfectly adequate substitution.

Graham Crackers – What Are They?

I remember back when I was in kindergarten, we were served Graham Crackers with Milk as a snack just before we had to pull out our sleeping mats for a nap. Originally created by Reverend Sylvester Graham back in 1830, these crackers or cookies in my opinion are made from whole-wheat and sweetened with honey or molasses. Originally though of as a health food because the coarsely ground wheat flour was high in fiber.

If you don’t have graham flour available to you, try substituting a mixture of white flour, wheat bran and wheat germ.

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 1 pie

Key Lime Pie Recipe


1/2 cup fresh lime juice (12 to 15 key limes or 3 to 4 common limes)

4 teaspoons grated lime zest

4 egg yolks

1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

11 graham crackers 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

How To Prepare At Home

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Zest the limes and then juice them.

Process the graham crackers in a food processor or blender and then melt the butter and have it at the ready.

Whisk the egg yolks and lime zest together in a bowl until tinted light green. This takes about 2 minutes

Beat in milk, then juice and set aside at room temperature till it thickens.

Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar in another bowl.

Add butter and stir with a fork until well blended.

Pour this mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and press over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Try using the bottom of a measuring cup to make sure the graham cracker mixture forms a firm crust on the bottom of the pie pan.

Bake on the center rack for about 15 minutes until the crust is lightly brown, remove and let cool to room temperature.

Pour the lime filling into crust, spread evenly, and then bake for 15 minutes until the center sets, but still wiggles when shaken.

Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate for at least three hours until well chilled.

Some of you might like to serve it with a whipped cream topping or a meringue topping, but I prefer keeping it simple. If the pie seems to be sticking to the pan when serving, try dipping the pan into a bowl of warm water to loosen it.

Last modified on Tue 9 January 2018 2:17 pm

Filed in: Dessert Recipes

Comments (11)

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  1. Nadine says:

    Can this be made early and freezer

  2. Jenni says:

    Nadine–I have successfully frozen key lime pie filling made with gelatin, but I have not done so with a dairy-based filling. I wouldn’t risk it, especially as a special Thanksgiving dessert, but the good news is that the pie should keep just fine for 3 days in the fridge before serving. Just make sure it is well wrapped, and as added insurance, get a new box of baking soda for the fridge to ward off any off flavors.

  3. Shirley Corkle says:

    All the Graham Crackers I find in the grocery store have been polluted with high fructose corn syrup. Do you have a recipe for Graham Crackers? LSC

    Hi Shirley, I don’t but my good friend Chef Jenni does at

    I hope this helps. – RG

  4. normalatukiban says:

    This receipe is very easy..TQ. Excuse me… can I substitute the pie crust with digestive chocolate cream biscuits and exclude sugar?

  5. michelle says:

    i love key lime pie its like the best pie in the world. You rock key lime pie.

  6. Katy DeVille says:

    How did you get your crust around the top edge? Look wonderful I am very anxious to try. Thanks, Katy

    Hi Katy, try building up the buttery crumbs by pinching them all around between thumb and forefinger. Press a 1/4 inch layer of crumbs across the bottom, up the sides and onto the rim of the pie pan. Than, go back and add more on the rim, building them up as seen in the picture. – RG

  7. Sarah says:

    I meant to give this five stars…finger error and gave it one star and then could not re-rate…excellent pie!

  8. Andie says:

    Paul’s key lime pie recipe

  9. victor Gibson says:

    it would be nice if she mentioned WHAT temp to bake it on the middle rack.

    Hi Victor, the recipe starts with preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Hope this helps.

  10. JDSC says:

    Maybe a bit too much zest……and by “a bit too much” I mean our pie is now in the garbage………

    Sorry to hear that JDSC. I have made this pie many times and had no problem with too much zest but I can change the recipe to 2-4 teaspoon, to taste for those of you who don’t like it that zesty. – RG

  11. Tom Lindsey says:

    I used the zest of 6 key limes and 3/4 cup of key lime jucie.
    The pie came great. I am lucky to have a key lime tree in the back yard

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