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Key Lime Pie

November 28, 2022

There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a perfectly sweet and tart bite of Key Lime Pie. The good news is, this classic dessert can be made with a handful of easy to find ingredients.

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a slice of homemade key lime pie with graham cracker crust and topped with whip cream and slices of key lime
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Key Lime Pie Is Coming Soon To Your Dining Table

You’re probably wondering what is the difference between lime and key lime. Meet the Key lime, smaller and more tart than a regular lime, whose juice is definitely worth the squeeze for our homemade Key lime pie recipe. With a custardy sweet condensed milk base, balanced with the tartness of Key lime juice, you can make this easy Key lime pie in no time flat. Bonus points for a buttery graham cracker crust and whipped cream for topping.

graham crackers, butter, sugar, egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice & zest & whipped cream for key lime pie
graham crackers that have been blended in a food processor into fine crumbs
graham crackers, melted butter and sugar in a food processor for making crust for key lime pie
graham crackers, melted butter and sugar  combined in a food processor for making crust for key lime pie

Key Lime Pie Ingredients You Might Already Have At Home

In fact, the authentic Key lime pie recipe likely originated from bakers who relied upon shelf-stable ingredients when refrigeration was less prevalent. Today, condensed milk is still a trustworthy pantry item, and plays a starring role in Key lime pie filling. Key lime juice (and lime juice in general) is highly acidic, which means it has a long shelf life in your refrigerator and is great if you can’t find Key limes at the store. The last part of this pie equation is graham crackers, which you’ll crumble up with butter for a perfectly crunchy crust.

raw homemade graham cracker crust in a glass pie pan made with graham cracker, butter and sugar
raw homemade graham cracker crust in a glass pie pan being pressed down with a measuring cup
sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks in the base of a stand mixer for making key lime pie
lime juice being poured into a stand mixer containing sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks and key lime zest

Ready To Learn How To Make A Traditional Key Lime Pie?

You’ll need an easy peasy half hour of time in the kitchen, and about three hours to chill (and Netflix!). The rest is key lime pie history.

  1. Make a crust by blending graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter (yum!). And bake the crust without filling for 15 minutes.

  2. Mix condensed milk and eggs until thick and fluffy, and gently stir in lime juice and zest.

  3. Pour the filling into the pie crust, and bake for another fifteen minutes.

  4. Stick it in the fridge and let it chill for 3-4 hours.

  5. Serve straight from the fridge with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of lime zest!

sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime zest and juice beaten together in a stand mixer
key lime pie filling being poured into a pre-baked homemade graham cracker crust in a glass pie pan
a homemade key lime pie in a glass pie pan on the counter
a homemade key lime pie topped with whipped cream next to bowls of extra whipped cream, lime zest and sliced limes

Tools You’ll Need

So You’ve Made The Best Key Lime Pie Recipe, What’s Next?

We’ve gathered together some more of our favorite classic desserts for you to add to your recipe box.

a homemade key lime pie in a glass pie pan topped with whip cream and sliced key limes

The Key (Lime) To Our Heart?

We love to see your key lime pies! Share your pics by tagging us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

a homemade key lime pie in a glass pie pan topped with whip cream and sliced key limes with a slice cut out
slices of homemade key lime pie on plates with graham cracker crust and topped with whip cream and slices of key lime
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Key Lime Pie

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  30 min
  • Calories: 594

Ingredients

  • 15 honey flavored graham crackers
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh or bottled key lime juice, from about 16-20 key limes
  • 1 cup whipped cream, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the center position.

  2. In the base of a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form, about 20 times. Add in butter and sugar and pulse until combined, about 10 more times. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Use the back of a measuring spoon, firmly press the crumb into the bottom of the pan and up the sides a little, until smooth.

  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk until thickened and almost doubled in volume, about 3-4 minutes. Carefully fold in lime zest and juice.

  5. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 3 to 4 hours.

  6. Top with whipped cream and garnish with lime zest. Serve chilled.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories594
  • Protein10 g
  • Carbohydrates82 g
  • Total Fat26 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol34 mg
  • sodium191 mg
  • Total Sugars72 g

Key Lime Pie

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Kristin

    This looks so good! Curious how this holds up if made the day before a party?

    Yep! will last fine. Just store the whip cream separate and add it before serving. Hope you enjoy!

  • Annie

    Love making lime pie. Have just made my first lime pie with gluten free ginger biscuits (crushed) in a loose bottom 24cm X 3.5 m tin. Cooked the shell for 15mins. The sides shrank a little so had to push the mixture back up. Cooled the crust, put in the filling and cooked the pie for 20 mins. But the dish leaked so much oil during this period. Luckily there was a tray on the rack underneath which caught everything. The crust was almost impenetrable when it came to eating it. My question is: why did the pie leak and did that have an affect on the crust ? Would appreciate any guidance here. Thanku.

    I'm not an expert on GF baking, but I'm thinking it has something to do. with how the butter cooked into the GF ginger biscuits.

  • Carole

    Where can I purchase “key” limes and “key” lime juice?
    Thank you.

    Key limes should be at any grocery store. They are usually sold in a netted bag. You will just the key limes to get the key lime juice. Hope you enjoy!

  • Dani

    Can this be made into a bar?

    Not similar to a lemon bar if that is what you mean.

  • Christine

    Hi love all your recipes. I am making this pie for Sunday dinner tomorrow. My question is do you mean honey flavored graham crackers or are regular honey maid brand graham crackers okay?

    The honey flavored. Hope you enjoy!

  • Jennifer

    I made the key lime pie. However the 15 crackers is not a clear measurement. I had ground graham cracker so i had to guess at it.
    It would be significantly more helpful if you used kitchen measurements and imperial measurements. I am a Canadian so get metric but my kitchen does not....lol

    Thanks Jennifer! We are so happy you loved it! Thanks for letting us know about the measurements we will discuss this with our team.

  • Nicole

    Delicious! Everyone LOVED this recipe- you guys made me look like a rockstar. Thank you

    YES! That's what we are here for, so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Jenn

    Incredibly easy, incredibly delicious. Thanks for this recipe!

    Thanks Jenn, so glad you enjoyed it!