Inside: This quick and easy key lime pie recipe starts with a
graham cracker crust and has a filling consisting of egg yolks,
sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice & zest. Topped with
fresh whipped cream and a lime twist garnish, it’s a super
refreshing pie that tastes like the tropics and is a must-make this
summer!

Individual slices of key lime pie on dessert plates with forks.

Seven years ago, on my 32nd birthday, I was sitting at a
restaurant in south Florida that was situated on the water. It was
an open-air restaurant, and a warm breeze blew as my husband and I
ate our way through conch fritters and coconut shrimp while sipping
mojitos.

When faced with the all-important decision of what to order for
dessert, I was paralyzed with indecision. There was a triple layer
chocolate cake which, if you know me, would normally be my instant
go-to. But there was also key lime pie. Homemade key lime pie. The
restaurant’s name was Old Key Lime House.
There was little doubt that I HAD to order the key lime pie,
especially since I had NEVER eaten key lime pie (what?!).

One bite in and I was a convert. I vowed then and there to eat
(and make!) more key lime pie. And also to spend more birthdays
soaking up the warm Florida breeze.

If you love crazy easy recipes that are light and refreshing,
this pie is for you!

Ingredients for key lime pie prepped.

How to Make Key Lime Pie

After eating it for the first time, I was convinced that the key
lime filling was an elaborate curd/custard that would need to be
painstakingly cooked on the stove, and then baked in the oven. Not
so!

  1. Prepare the Filling: Whisk together the lime
    zest, egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice, then set
    it aside to thicken.
  2. Make the Graham Cracker Crust: Stir together
    my
    favorite graham cracker crust
    , press it into the pie plate, and
    bake it briefly, then let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Bake the Pie: Once the crust cools, pour the
    thickened filling into it and bake until it mostly set, but still
    jiggles a bit.
  4. Chill Out! After the pie cools to room
    temperature, it needs to be refrigerated for at least a few hours.
    This pie tastes best chills and it helps the filling to finish
    setting up properly.

Key lime pie filling poured into a graham cracker crust.

The History of Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie dates back to the late 1800’s in Key West,
Florida. At the time, modern refrigeration wasn’t available, so
fresh milk wasn’t a common commodity. Instead, canned milk was
widely used. As a result, this incredibly easy pie came to be.

Believe it or not, up until recently, this was a purely no-bake
pie. The combination of the lime juice with the egg yolks and
condensed milk creates a chemical reaction that causes the mixture
to thicken all on its own (the acid causes the proteins in the
yolks and milk to bond together).

Nowadays, due to concerns over raw eggs, the pie is baked, which
actually creates a much better filling consistency since it sets
wonderfully and is less droopy than its unbaked counterpart.

A slice of key lime pie with a dollop of whipped cream and lime garnish.

Key lime pies can be made with a meringue topping (more
traditional) or a whipped cream topping (more modern). I am a
whipped cream girl all the way, so there was no question which way
I was going here, but feel free to customize based on your personal
preferences.

You might not be soaking up the warm Florida breeze this summer,
but this pie will deliver a taste of the tropics right to your own
backyard. This is too easy a recipe not to crank out multiple times
this summer!

Looking for more key lime recipes? Try my
No-Bake
Key Lime Cheesecake
and Key Lime Pie
Bars
.

More Fantastic Summer Pies!

There’s a whole summer ahead of us, let yours be full of
delicious, refreshing pies!

An overhead photo of key lime pie with whipped cream rosettes and lime garnishments.

Two years ago: Red, White
& Blue Stained Glass Jello Stars

Three years ago: The Baked
Brownie

Six years ago:
Toasted Almond Fudge Ripple Ice Cream

Seven years ago: Coconut
Cream Pie

Key Lime Pie

Quick and easy key lime pie recipe starts with a graham cracker
crust and filling of egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime
juice & zest.

For the Lime Filling:

  • 4 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs ((approximately 14 full graham
    crackers))
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • Pinch salt

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1½ cups heavy cream (chilled)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Make the Filling: Whisk the lime zest and egg yolks together in
    a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk,
    then the lime juice. Set aside at room temperature to thicken while
    you prepare the crust.
  3. Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the graham
    cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt, ensuring no lumps of brown
    sugar remain. Drizzle the melted butter over the graham cracker
    mixture and toss to combine with a fork, ensuring that the mixture
    is evenly moistened. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom
    and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate, and pack tightly using the
    back of a measuring cup. Bake for 10 minutes; transfer to a wire
    rack to cool to room temperature.

  4. Once the crust has cooled to room temperature, pour the lime
    filling into the crust. Bake until the center is set, yet still
    wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return the pie to a wire
    rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, at
    least 3 hours. (At this point, the pie can be covered directly with
    plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and refrigerated
    for up to 1 day.)
  5. Make the Whipped Cream: Using an electric mixer, whip the cream
    on medium speed until soft peaks form. At this point, add the
    powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whip
    the cream until stiff peaks form. Decoratively pipe the whipped
    cream over the filling or spread the whipped cream evenly with a
    spatula. Garnish with lime slices, if desired, and serve. Cover
    leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Key limes are more acidic than regular limes, which makes them
    tarter and much more aromatic. Key limes can be hard to find in
    some supermarkets, so if you can’t locate them, you can
    substitute standard limes in this pie, or use bottled key lime
    juice
    .

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in May 2012;
updated in June 2019 with new photos and an improved crust
recipe.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]

The post Authentic Key
Lime Pie: An Easy Recipe You’ll Love!
appeared first on
Brown Eyed Baker.