Easy Key Lime Pie

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If you’ve been craving a delicious key lime pie then you’ve arrived at the right place!

This easy recipe is perfect for first time bakers and pie lovers alike. Our recipe includes a yummy graham cracker crust and fresh key lime juice. And we show you how to use bottled key lime juice that you can get at your grocery store.

Key Lime Pie was invented by a Key West, South Florida cook, called Aunt Sally and there are many recipe variations out there. This one is sure to be a family favorite!

So let’s gt started with your Key Lime Pie!

easy key lime pie recipe

Ingredients

Before starting, head to the grocery store and get all the ingredients you need. For equipment, be sure to have a large mixing bowl. 

  • Fresh Key limes
  • Graham Crumbs
  • White sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whipping Cream

How to make the best Key lime pie

This yummy pie is usually made with a Graham cracker crust, and our version includes a stove-top style filling that includes egg yolks, condensed milk, and fresh Key lime juice – for a great tangy flavor. 

Did you know that Key lime pie is the official state pie of Florida? So the next time you are visiting, be sure to order up this perfect dessert for your whole family to enjoy. 🙂

It is possible to use a convection oven, but I wanted to see if I could create a Key lime pie filling the same way I make my lemon meringue pie – on the stove top.

Tips

  1. The ingredients for this recipe are similar to my lemon pie recipe, however, instead of using cornstarch as a thickener – we use sweetened condensed milk. It’s the combination of this and the lime juice that causes the filling to thicken nicely.
  2. Mix the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks first until they are really creamy, then gradually add the Key lime juice.
  3. Cook the filling on medium to low heat and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Double the recipe and enjoy one pie now and freeze the other! 

FAQS

What’s the difference between Key limes and Persian limes?

It seems to be more about color and size than taste, although some will say that Key limes are more tart.

According to Southern Living: “Limes grown in the Florida Keys tend to be small with a distinctive lime flavor that is tart, but not too acidic with a very distinct aroma. Grocery store limes, generally speaking, are Persian limes, which are larger and tarter than their Florida cousins.”

Does lime juice thicken condensed milk?

Yes, it’s the combination of the two ingredients that thickens your Key lime pie filling.

How do you thicken Key lime pie?

Using a wire whisk, or the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, keep stirring the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks in a saucepan over medium to low heat while gradually adding the lime juice. Your filling mixture should slowly thicken. 

Why did my Key lime filling curdle?

Using whole fresh milk instead of sweetened condensed milk will cause the filling to curdle.

Should I use fresh Key limes or bottled Key lime juice?

It’s really up to you. I’ve used both and don’t really see a difference, but it’s also what’s available in your local grocery stores. Typically you can find Key limes in the produce section, and you want to use fresh Key lime zest for the whipped topping.

How to serve Key lime pie

Always use a sharp knife to cut your Key lime pie into slices. 

You can add a couple of lime slices as a garnish. 

key lime pie side view slice of lime on top with slice of pie on white plate, easy key lime pie recipe

How to store pie

Once cool, store your pie in an airtight container, or use plastic wrap.

In a refrigerator, your pie should last about three days.

Key lime pies freeze really well for about two months.

Recipe variations

If you’re looking to mix things up a bit, you can change the topping. 

We use whipped cream, but others have had success with a meringue topping.

We give you instructions to make your own Graham cracker crust, which is easy to do, but you can also use a ready made pie crust.

If you can’t find bottled Key lime juice or even Key limes, you can use regular limes. Make sure to add plenty of sugar as they tend to be more tart. 

key lime pie side view slice of lime on top, easy key lime pie recipe

Wrapping up

I wish I could share a piece of this melt-in-your-mouth real Key lime pie right now. 

OMG it is so good! 

Here is the recipe, with step-by-step instructions. 

In my opinion, It’s the best Key lime pie recipe ever! 

If you love it as much as I do, please give it a 5 star rating.

Enjoy!

THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the Pie Lady Bakes community where you will find vintage recipes like Mom and Grandma used to make, but that are so easy!

If you haven’t already joined, here is the link where you can sign up for my weekly e-mail newsletter. This way, you won’t miss any of my new recipes and it’s absolutely free! 

See you soon!

Judy

★★★★★ 

If you have made this delicious Key lime pie, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to give it a 5 star rating! 

★★★★★

Want more delicious easy desserts?

key lime pie side view slice of lime on top, easy key lime pie recipe

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

5 from 1 vote

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Judy
a delicious and easy key lime recipe that is quick to put together and cooks on top of the stove. Perfect for RV life and travel!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Pies and Tarts
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 large eggs - room temperature
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream - whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp key lime zest

Instructions
 

Graham cracker crust:

  • Put the graham crackers in a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Or if you have a food processor crush them in seconds!
  • Mix the melted butter, sugar and graham cracker crumbs together
  • Spray your pie plate with Pam Baking Spray
  • Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the pie plate and bake at 350F for 8 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let it cool on a wire rack

To make the stove top key lime pie filling:

  • Separate the eggs into a medium bowl, (TIP: put the egg whites in the freezer!)
  • Beat the egg yolks in a large saucepan until thick with medium speed on your mixer.
  • Stir in the condensed milk and key lime juice
  • Cook on the stove on medium-low, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Don’t leave it or it will stick to the pan and we don’t want that to happen!
  • Once the filling has thickened, remove from heat and let it cool just a bit. Pour it into the graham cracker crust pie shell and set aside to cool.
  • Garnish with Whipped Heavy Cream, Lime Zest and thin slices of fresh lime. This is the very best key lime pie you will ever make!

VIDEO

Notes

Garnish: I use thin slices of key limes, along with a sprinkle of lime zest.

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment, star rating or post your photo on Instagram and tag @pieladybakes

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Judy Kahansky is an experienced writer and baker, creating delicious desserts (including pie!) for over 40 years. She loves to take classic and vintage recipes and update them to fit the busy lives of her readers. When not baking, Judy and her husband Mark are passionate golfers, travelers and dog lovers, spending as much time as they can with their sweet pup Millie.