Key Lime Pie

My recipe is the usual.

Graham cracker crust
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. Lime juice + at least 1 Tbsp grated lime zest
1/2 c sour cream
Mix and bake for 8-10 minutes until tiny pinholes appear. Cool.

But the other day I saw mention of a “custardy” type KLP that got rave reviews. 4 egg yolks in the mix and baked for 15 minutes.

No big deal but trying to decide if I want to make the custardy version or not…

Your favorite recipe?


Mine is the Florida traditional…

3 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Key Lime juice …1/3-1/2 cup…to taste AND enough to thicken the filling without cooking (not Persian lime juice)

Mix, pour into a crust made from Ritz crackers, and refrigerate.

Sometimes I’ll put a lightly-sweetened meringue on it, so a few minutes in the oven to brown the meringue, but mostly yes, raw egg yolks. The acid cooks the yolks and eliminates bacteria.

(And never whipped cream…and no green food coloring. Key limes are usually yellow)


Here is Andrew Zimmern’s recipe. I’ve made it, and you have to tamp down the pie crust really tightly to get all the filling in there. I think I use a 10 inch pie pan. I also always do an egg white wash when the crust comes out, the insure a nice crispy crust for as long as possible.

Andrew says: I think this is the most perfect Key Lime Pie recipe I have ever tasted. The ratios are spot on and the custard turns out perfectly every time. Make this recipe with lemons, Meyer lemons, grapefruits, sour oranges…any citrus that is super tart. I serve this with whipped cream, not meringue. As an alternative, for those that don’t like a sweet pie, you can use a little less sweetened condensed milk and use condensed (evaporated) milk to make up the difference.



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (8 ounces)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

8 large egg yolks
Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups fresh Key lime juice
Pinch of kosher salt
Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
Key lime slices, for garnish (optional)

Make the Crust
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk the graham cracker crumbs with the brown sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of a 10-inch metal pie plate to form the crust. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until just set. Brush with an egg white to keep the crust crisp. Let cool completely.

Make the Filling

In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with the condensed milk, lime juice and salt until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and transfer to the oven. Immediately lower the oven temperature to 325°. Bake the pie for 30 to 35 minutes, until set around the edge and slightly jiggly in the center. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Mound the whipped cream decoratively on the pie and garnish with Key lime slices. Cut into wedges and serve, passing additional unsweetened whipped cream at the table.

MAKE AHEAD The key lime pie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Speaking of green food coloring, here is my mother’s KLP recipe.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. lime juice
4 drops green food coloring

Mix and pour into a regular baked pie crust. Chill.

It doesn’t sound very good now, but fifty years ago the New England crowd went wild.:slightly_smiling_face:

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Gosh, pineapple and lime sound like a refreshing combination! That’s certainly food for thought!

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I’m sure it’s really tasty!

But with pineapple, Persian lime juice, and green food coloring it’s not Key Lime pie…

Zimmerns recipe looks good…and other than the blasphemy of whipped cream isnt all that far from The Real thing.

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My favorite KLP is a version from JOC, and my favored additions. I don’t claim it to be traditional.

For Crust: Sleeve of graham crackers, but leave 3 whole ones in the package, as it makes too much crust. Whirl gc’s in food processor until finely ground. Set aside.

Meanwhile measure 1/3 cup macadamia nuts and 1/3 cup coconut, then toast in a skillet until lightly brown. Pulse in FP, but leave some texture. Mix half of coconut/Mac mixture in with gc’s, and add 1/4 cup melted butter, mixing well. Put into a 9” pie plate and gently press the crust into the pan, building up the sides a bit.

For Filling: 1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
5/8 cup key lime juice
1T key or Persian Lime zest
Mix well and pour into the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until filling is lightly set. Let cool, then refrigerate.

Top with whipped cream, and garnish with the toasted coconut/macadamia nut mixture. I will then put a few Persian lime slices on too.

I have other recipes I sometimes use, including an eggless one that goes into the freezer, and is served frozen. Refreshing in the heat. Up here, what heat?? So I don’t make it much.

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Here’s a key lime pie mystery book I’m currently reading. Really enjoying it, but I may need to make a KLP!,tsunami%20of%20tourists%20and%20snowbirds.

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Yes, you must make one @TheLibrarian28! Think it’s our all time favorite family dessert.

Well, at least I have these recipes to try!

I thought the whole idea was to not turn on the oven, so whipped cream – not meringue – is traditional. In any case, I’ve made this version many times, but only once did I get the filling to set. Hope to tackle it again some day, before science officially tells us we will die from the bacteria.


The whole reason it was made with sweetened condensed milk is because refrigeration was unavailable in the Keys…so no cream. Floridians argue over what to use for crust, how many eggs, and whether or not to bake the filling for safety, but most of us agree that whipped cream is to be scraped off and ignored (or dropped in your after dinner coffee)

Meringue can be browned with a blow torch…and only takes a few minutes in the oven.

I have yet to hear of a single case of any food related illness from key lime pie…and I wouldnt expect any scientific finding to affect this recipe…its been around since the late 1800s

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Got it, no cream.

As for the meringue, a blow torch or a few minutes in the oven wouldn’t allay concerns over food safety. Do you add acid to the meringue or used one of the cooked meringue methods? (Although, I recall reading recently that even cooked meringues might not be safe.)

It’s just not something I find in my anxiety closet.

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I think this is a good recipe, I will definitely try it!!

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out @sweetums.