Key Lime Pie
This Key Lime Pie is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. A buttery and slightly crunchy crust is the vehicle that carries the most delicious, creamy, and refreshing tart filling to your mouth. This is the most perfect Key Lime Pie and it takes no time to make. Add dollops of freshly whipped cream on top for a perfect finishing touch!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t let Summer slip by without indulging in the mouth-watering taste of at least one homemade Key Lime Pie.
So what’s not in real Key Lime Pie?
- Artificial green food coloring
- Regular (Persian) limes
- Cream cheese
- Artificial key lime flavoring
To make a real Key Lime Pie, you must use real key limes, not regular (Persian) limes. There is a difference. Key Limes have a high juice content and an intense aroma. They have very thin skins and are smaller than the bigger Persian Limes. They are also a little sweeter than regular Persian limes. Persian Limes have a lower pH balance and are therefore more acidic.
Never use bottled lime juice. Trust me, I’ve tried it. The juice is bitter tasting and doesn’t even come close in comparison to the juice from fresh key limes. Don’t use it…even in a pinch! Besides, you’re gonna need some grated lime zest for that Key Lime Pie, and it doesn’t come in a bottle of juice. Don’t let anyone tell you that it takes forever to squeeze enough juice from key limes for a pie either. It takes about 5 minutes to squeeze about 1/2 cup of juice from a few key limes.
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
The crust is made with 3 easy ingredients…
- Graham cracker crumbs
- Melted butter
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like a graham cracker crust that is too thick and hard. I feel you shouldn’t have to force your fork to break through the crust. I prefer a thinner crust that is just slightly crunchy, holds together well, is buttery, and easy to cut through with a fork.
I use whole graham crackers for the crust. I place them on a piece of wax paper and crush them with my heavy marble rolling pin. It takes about 3 minutes. However, if that’s too long for you, feel free to place them in your food processor or grab the box of crumbs on the grocery shelf.
I mix the graham cracker crumbs with some melted butter and a little bit of sugar and press it into a pie dish. I like to start with a measuring cup to press the crumbs in the dish and I use the back of my fingers to press in the sides. I press the crumb mixture all the way up the sides and once the filling is added, I use the tip of a spoon to fold the top edge of the crumbs back onto the edge of the filling. Then I bake it for 10 minutes just to set the crust.
In case you didn’t know, back in the day many refrigerator pies contained raw eggs. That’s right, raw eggs. Nowadays, most people are afraid to eat anything containing raw eggs, therefore, many old recipes have been converted to eggless recipes. But no worries here. This Key Lime Pie has cooked eggs!
The filling is made with 5 easy ingredients…
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Key lime juice
- Key lime zest
I simply mix everything together and bake it for about 15 minutes until the eggs have time to cook and the filling is almost set. It will still be jiggly in the center.
This tangy pie pairs perfectly with dollops of freshly whipped cream and it takes less than 5 minutes to whip up the cream. You need 3 simple ingredients…
- Heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
I whisk the cream until it forms medium-stiff peaks and I place dollops all around the edges of the pie, just before serving it.
This pie is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. A buttery crunchy crust holds the most delicious, creamy tart filling that simply melts on your tongue. Oh yes…and a dollop of whipped cream sure doesn’t hurt anything either.
This recipe was originally posted in July 2018, and reposted today with updated pictures and tips!Print
This Key Lime Pie is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. A buttery crunchy crust holds the most delicious, creamy tart filling that simply melts on your tongue. The perfect dessert to put you in the Summer mood!
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
FOR THE FILLING
- 4 large eggs
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounce
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh key lime juice
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon key lime zest for garnish, optional
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
FOR THE CRUST
- Place the butter in a medium bowl and microwave until melted.
- Add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar and mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.
- Using a small measuring cup, press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9″ pie dish. There should be an abundance of crumbs at the top edge of the pie dish. This is okay.
- Bake for 10 minutes to set crust. Let cool for a few minutes to ensure crust is set. Meanwhile, make filling.
FOR THE FILLING
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or use a hand mixer, mix the eggs until they are lemony in color. Add the condensed milk and mix to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice and sugar and mix for about 1 minute on medium speed until filling is well combined.
- Pour filling into the cooled graham cracker crust. Using your finger or the edge of a spoon or knife, gently rake some of the heaped up crumbs along the top edge of the crust into the filling.
- Bake pie for 15 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Place pie in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before garnishing with whipped cream.
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- Add the whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer. Whisk on low speed for about 1 minute until cream begins to thicken slightly (or it will splatter everywhere). Add the powdered sugar and whisk on medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add the cornstarch and beat on high speed until cream forms stiff peaks.
- Place dollops of whipped cream around the top of pie next to the edge, or use a piping bag and tip to pipe dollops.
- Grate about 1/2 teaspoon of lime zest over the top of pie, including the whipped cream if desired.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If using a store bought crust, it is not necessary to pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.
- If you prefer a more soft whipped cream, simply whisk it until soft peaks form and stop. Place dollops on pie when you are serving it. However, if you are piping it on the pie before refrigerating (if you want it to look pretty), you will want it to form stiff peaks.
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