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Key Lime Pie

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Make this easy, homemade key lime pie recipe for a flavorful dessert. Enjoy the fragrant, silky filling and crisp graham cracker crust.

overhead of key lime pie topped with whipped cream swirls and lime slices

It’s so easy to learn how to make key lime pie. It is composed of 6 basic ingredients and requires minimal baking skills.

Key limes differ from regular limes. Key limes are more tart and fragrant. If you prefer the taste of regular limes, then you should head over to my lime pie recipe! Or if you like cheesecake, give my key lime cheesecake pie a try,

It most notably has sweetened condensed milk on the ingredients list instead of fresh dairy.

This is most likely because fresh milk and refrigeration were not readily available in the Florida Keys until the 1930s.

It has remained popular in Florida and beyond through the present. It was even named the official pie of Florida in 2006.


Why this recipe works

  • Key limes are tart and fragrant, which results in a much more flavorful lime pie.
  • I use yogurt to create a silky texture in the filling.
  • This recipe is completely egg-free. This is helpful for those with food allergies.

This limited ingredient, homemade key lime pie is so easy to make. The flavorful, creamy texture will impress your guests.

angled view of slice of key lime pie with fork taking a bite out

What you need

This is the best key lime pie recipe ever. The combination of ingredients makes all the difference. Let’s discuss just a few of the key ingredients:

Ingredients

This is a short overview of the ingredients I used and why I chose them. The full recipe can be found at the bottom of the post!

  • Graham cracker crust: You can pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Or, you can save time by buying store-bought crumbs.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This ingredient adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the pie and helps the pie to set properly.
  • Key lime juice & zest: You’ll need approximately 25 key limes to get enough juice for this pie. You can zest 1 regular lime for the filling. I find the zest of a regular lime tastes best.
    • If you can’t find key limes, bottled key lime juice will also work. It can usually be found with lemon and lime juices at your local market.
  • Yogurt: I use yogurt, instead of egg yolks or egg whites, to create a silky texture. Plain Greek yogurt works best, but regular yogurt or sour cream works, too.

Equipment

This is a list of tools I used to make the recipe.

  • Pie pan: You need a pie pan to make this key lime pie recipe.
  • Juicer: I prefer a metal lemon/lime juicer to help extract the juice from the key limes.
  • Zester: A microplane zester works best for zesting the limes for the pie.
slice of homemade key lime pie being pulled out of whole pie

How to make the pie

1. Make the crust

This simple graham cracker crust acts as the base for the pie. You’ll construct it from butter, sugar and crumbs.

spreading graham cracker crumbs in pie plate with spoon and pressing crumbs in with a measuring cup
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Then, drizzle the butter over the crumbs. Stir with a fork until crumbs are evenly moistened.
  4. Press the crumb mix tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan of your choice. I like using a measuring cup for this.
  5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  6. Finally, set on a wire rack to cool completely.

It’s important to tightly pack the crumbs together. This is how you get a sturdy crust that won’t crumble when sliced.

2. Make the filling

While the pie crust cools, make the filling for the key lime pie.

overhead of key lime pie filling in glass bowl with whisk
  1. Whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest and key lime juice until well-combined.
  2. Then, gently whisk in the yogurt.

3. Bake and chill the pie

You’ll fill the pie crust then bake the pie for a short 10 minutes.

overhead of unbaked key lime pie in glass pie pan
  1. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Then, bake for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven. Set on a wire rack until cooled to room temperature.
  3. Then, cover and refrigerate the pie for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Prior to serving, top the pie with whipped cream and lime slices, if desired.
How to tell when key lime pie is done?

No one likes an overbaked pie! The easiest way to tell when key lime pie is done baking is the filling should only jiggle slightly in the center. This will take about 8-10 minutes. The filling will continue to set as the pie cools.

Jen’s best tips

  • I highly recommend fresh key lime juice. However, you can use bottled key lime juice as a close substitute.
  • Be careful with zesting! The white part under the green skin, called the pith, will make the pie taste bitter.
  • Don’t overbake the pie. Bake just until the center is no longer jiggly. This will only take 8-10 minutes.
close up view of slice of key lime pie with a bite taken out

Storing & Freezing

To store: A baked and cooled pie can be stored for no more than a week in the fridge.

You can make the graham cracker crumbs crust up to 2-3 days in advance. A prebaked crust can be stored in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

The pie filling works as a made ahead item. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2-3 days in advance. Then, assemble and bake at desired time.

To freeze: You can store a baked and cooled pie for no more than 3 months in the freezer.


Ways to decorate key lime pie

Personalize the homemade key lime pie to your tastes. There are so many options to make it your own:

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overhead of key lime pie topped with whipped cream swirls and lime slices

Key Lime Pie

Yield: one 9-inch pie / 8 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

This quick and easy key lime pie recipe is completely egg-free! The creamy filling is made with fresh key lime juice & zest, sweetened condensed milk, and yogurt. It's nestled inside a crisp graham cracker crust and take just a few minutes to make.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 ½ cups (150 g) graham cracker crumbs, about 9 whole crackers or 1 full sleeve
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 28-ounces (792 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) fresh key lime juice, about 25 key limes
  • ½ cup (113 g) plain Greek yogurt

For garnish

  • whipped cream, if desired
  • lime zest, if desired

Instructions

Make the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar until well blended.
  3. Drizzle the butter over the crumbs and stir with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
  4. Tightly press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pan of your choice. The bottom of a clean measuring cup works best for this. Packing it tight will make sure it holds together and doesn't crumble when sliced!
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Set on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling.

Make the filling

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, and key lime juice together until well combined. Gently whisk in the yogurt.
  2. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack until cooled to room temperature.
  4. Cover and refrigerate the pie for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Garnish and serve

  1. Just before serving, top the pie with whipped cream and lime slices if desired.

Notes

Graham cracker crumbs: You can use store-bought crumbs or pulse the crackers in a food processor until finely ground.

Lime zest: I zested 1 regular for the filing. Be extra careful when zesting and avoid using the white part under the green skin. This is know as the pith and it can be quite bitter.

Key lime juice: I highly recommend fresh key lime juice but if you don't want to spend the time juicing these tiny limes, you can use bottled juice. Just be sure it say's "key lime juice". If you don't like key limes, skip this recipe and make my lime pie instead.

Yogurt: This recipe uses yogurt instead of eggs to create a silky texture. Plain Greek yogurt works best but regular yogurt or sour cream can be substituted.

Make ahead tips

  1. The crust can be prepared and prebaked up to 2-3 days in advance. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
  2. The filling can be made up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate, then assemble and bake.
  3. Baked and cooled pie will keep for up to 1 week stored in the refrigerator. Or store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 645Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 283mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 3gSugar: 85gProtein: 14g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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