Key Lime Pie

  • Serves: Makes one, 9-inch pie
  • Views: 7684

Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2008 Sarah Phillips

I love Key Lime Pie! (Try my Healthy Oven Key Lime Bars, if you do, too.) This no-bake recipe is made from key lime juice mixed with a cream filling, poured into a prebaked graham cracker crust, and then chilled. Find out how this pie's filling literally "cooks itself." Variations of it are found across America; Key West (Florida) locals are said to make this recipe. Some dress up the pie with meringue or whipped cream. Although this pie can be made with bottled key lime, I prefer the flavor of fresh.


During mixing of the filling, a reaction between the condensed milk and the acidic lime juice occurs, causing the filling to thicken on its own in the pie crust without requiring baking.
Many early recipes for key lime pie did not instruct the cook ever to bake the pie, relying on this chemical reaction (called souring) to produce the proper consistency of the filling. The acid in the lime juice actually "cooks" the pie.

1 prebaked Graham Cracker Pie or Tart Crust for a 9-inch pie; not deep-dish

4 pasteurized egg yolks; available from the grocery store.
1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (Key limes are available in the grocery store from early winter and late summer months. Bottled is available year round. Can also use limes from the grocery store, preferably the Tahiti or Persian varieties.)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon lime oil (optional)

Whipped cream

1. Whisk the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl; then gradually add the condensed milk, whisking until smooth.

2. Add the lime juice, optionally the lime oil and stir until just combined.

3. Pour filling into prepared crust. The filling will thicken as it sits.

4. Cover the pie with plastic wrap; do not to let it touch the surface of the filling because it will mar its surface.

5. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, decorate pie with large dollops of whipped cream.

Pie filling is perishable, so it must remain refrigerated. Keeps for a few days. The pie does not freeze well.