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Key Lime Pie

This Key Lime Pie is a huge crowd-pleaser, and sure to disappear quickly everywhere you serve it!

If you were to ask what pie comes to mind when people think of summer gatherings, more often than not the answer is Key Lime Pie. Tangy, citrusy, creamy, melt-in-your texture, coupled with the lovely crusty crunch of the graham cracker crust… what’s not to love about that delicious combination?

This luscious version of the beloved Key Lime Pie features a salty-sweet graham cracker crust, with a hint of caramel from the addition of brown sugar. The deliciously creamy pie filling, always such a favorite, has an intense tangy lime flavor thanks to nearly a cup of fresh-squeezed key lime juice, and a healthy measure of fresh zest for some additional zing.

Key Lime Pie

Get ready, because this pie is a huge crowd-pleaser, and sure to disappear quickly everywhere you serve it!

The ingredients are minimal and easy to come by. You can either make your own crust or use a pre-made one, easily available at the grocery store. Making a homemade graham cracker crust is amazingly simple. If you’ve never done it, here’s my easy graham cracker crust recipe.

Graham Cracker Crust

For this Key Lime Pie recipe, I adjusted my standard graham cracker crust recipe with the addition of a small amount of salt, to add a salty-sweet dimension to the pie. I made the crust in a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. I confess that I was a little bit nervous about it, wondering whether the crust would hold together when I dropped the sides of the tart pan off but, as you can see from the photos, it held together and looks absolutely stunning!

Key Lime Pie

The pie filling couldn’t be simpler, using only four ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, key lime juice, and key lime zest. You can top your pie with whipped cream, but it’s not a necessity. This pie will hold up equally well in the taste department without any whipped cream. In my opinion, though, everything tastes better with either whipped cream or salted caramel sauce… and since salted caramel sauce wouldn’t work well with this recipe, I’m going with plenty of whipped cream!

In case you haven’t noticed, key limes are TINY, and juicing them can take forever… unless you use my little trick. You’ll want to zest a few of the limes first, so you can add some to your filling, and also for garnish. TIP: If you don’t have a zester yet, definitely think about it. I use it for zesting lemons, limes and oranges for at least 80% of my recipes. Here’s the one I use.

Once you’ve gotten enough zest off of those tiny little fruits, rather than trying to juice the key limes by hand with a juicer, just pull your garlic press out of the drawer. Cut each key lime in half (the halves are a perfect fit for the garlic press), and press the juice out. Using this method sped up the process significantly, and eliminated the hand cramps that generally come with hand squeezing an entire bag of key limes!

Key Lime Pie

If you don’t have enough key limes to make the amount of juice called for, don’t have a garlic press, or just don’t want to go through the hassle of squeezing all those tiny key limes, pick up a bottle of key lime juice at the grocery store. Make sure it’s key lime juice, though, and not regular lime juice. The difference between the two will definitely affect the flavor of your finished pie.

If you’re making a homemade graham cracker crust, you’ll want to prepare it first so it has a chance to cool while you prepare the pie filling.

Making the filling (once you have your zest and juice ready), is quick and takes no more than a couple of minutes. Blend the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest together, then pour the filling into your pie crust. Bake it for 10 minutes, take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for a bit, then pop it into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to completely set and chill. 

Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie

Garnish with whipped cream a little bit of extra zest when you are ready to serve and be the hit of your summer barbecue with this luscious dessert treat!

Key Lime Pie

Servings:

10

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook Time:

17 minutes

Difficulty:

Easy

Introduction

About this Recipe

By: Tess

This huge crowd-pleaser features a salty-sweet graham cracker crust, with a hint of caramel from the addition of brown sugar. The deliciously creamy pie filling, always such a favorite has an intense tangy lime flavor thanks to nearly a cup of fresh-squeezed key lime juice, and a healthy measure of fresh zest for some additional zing.

If you are asked to bring a dessert, you can’t go wrong with this Key Lime Pie!!

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust (Salty-Sweet):

  • 1 ½ cups (150 grams) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 sheets of graham crackers)
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Key Lime Pie Filling:

  • 28 oz (2 – 14 oz. cans) (792 grams) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup (114 grams) sour cream
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) key lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh key lime zest (about 2-3 key limes, or substitute with 1 regular lime)

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 ½ cups (360 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4.20 grams) vanilla extract

Notes and Tips

Squeezing Key Limes: If you don’t have a juicer, or don’t have the hand strength or determination necessary to squeeze an entire bag of key limes, cut each key lime in half and pop each piece into a garlic press. It’s magically easy!

Key Lime Juice: You can substitute store-bought key lime juice for fresh-squeezed.

Key Lime Zest: This pie is best with the addition of fresh key lime zest, but if you don’t have any key limes on hand and are using store-bought key lime juice, you can easily make a delicious pie without it.

Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

Step 2

In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie or tart pan.

Step 3

Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let crust cool completely; approx. 30 minutes.

Step 4

In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest. Pour mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until set. Do not over-bake.

Step 5

Let pie cool slightly before chilling. Chill for at least 3 hours.

Step 6

Whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Spread the whipped cream in a smooth layer over the top of the pie, or pipe the whipped cream decoratively on top of the cooled pie. Garnish with additional lime zest, if desired.

Additional Comments:

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
8″ – 9″ pie pan or 9″ tart pan with removable bottom
Medium bowls
Zester
Garlic Press or juicer
Stand mixer for whipped cream

Print
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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie Recipe Card


  • Author: Tess
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 17 min
  • Total Time: 27 min
  • Yield: 10 1x

Description

If you were to ask what pie comes to mind when people think of summer gatherings, more often than not the answer is Key Lime Pie. Tangy, citrusy, creamy, melt-in-your texture, coupled with the lovely crusty crunch of the graham cracker crust… what’s not to love about that delicious combination?

This pie is a huge crowd-pleaser, and sure to disappear quickly everywhere you serve it!


Scale

Ingredients

Graham cracker crust:

1 ½ cups (150 grams) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 sheets of graham crackers)
¼ cup (55 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Key Lime Pie Filling:

28 oz (214 oz. cans) (792 grams) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup (114 grams) sour cream
¾ cup (180 grams) key lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons fresh key lime zest (about 23 key limes, or substitute with 1 regular lime)

Whipped Cream Topping:

1 ½ cups (360 grams) heavy whipping cream
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon (4.20 grams) vanilla extract


Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

2. In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or glass, press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie or tart pan.

3. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let crust cool completely; approx. 30 minutes.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest. Pour mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until set. Do not over-bake.

5. Let pie cool slightly before chilling. Chill for at least 3 hours.

6. Whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream and confectioners’ sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Spread the whipped cream in a smooth layer over the top of the pie, or pipe the whipped cream decoratively on top of the cooled pie. Garnish with additional lime zest, if desired.


Notes

Squeezing Key Kimes: If you don’t have a juicer, or don’t have the hand strength or determination necessary to squeeze an entire bag of key limes, cut each key lime in half and pop each piece into a garlic press. It’s magically easy!

Key Lime Juice: You can substitute store-bought key lime juice for fresh-squeezed.

Key Lime Zest: This pie is best with the addition of fresh key lime zest, but if you don’t have any key limes on hand and are using store-bought key lime juice, you can easily make a delicious pie without it.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED:
8″ – 9″ pie pan or 9″ tart pan with removable bottom
Medium bowls
Zester
Garlic Press or juicer
Stand mixer for whipped cream

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Key Lime Pie, Pie

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