How Do You Make Key Lime Pie

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How to make Key Lime Pie

If you love tangy citrus-infused desserts like this one, be sure to try our Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie, Cream Cheese Lemon Bars, Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars, or our super easy Orange Pineapple Cake! Or try these luscious desserts:

  • Coconut Cream Pie Coconut Cream Pie is a dreamy island dessert with a flaky crust, coconut filling that is made from scratch, and toasted coconut sprinkles.
  • Creamy Lemon Pie This Creamy Lemon Pie is packed full of tart, lemon flavor and creamy goodness. This recipe is super easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser!
  • Butterscotch Pie This creamy butterscotch filling is spread into a flaky pie crust and drizzled with butterscotch topping then sprinkled with butterscotch chips. Its basically a butterscotch lovers dream.
  • Island Pecan Pie Loaded with coconut, pecans, and pineapple, this pie is creamy and full of flavor.
  • German Chocolate Pie This pie recipe comes straight from Amish country. The rich, gooey, chocolate filling is to die for!

Homemade Key Lime Pie

One word of advice: Do not put lime rinds down the disposal. If you do, the result will be:

  • 1 day of dirty dishes drying with caked-on, day-old food.
  • $67 rental for snake at Home Depot.
  • 1 argument with the husband.
  • $234 fee for Roto Rooter to clear the drain.
  • 17 minutes of scrubbing caked-on, day-old food from plates.
  • But an awesomely delicious key lime pie.

Weve learned our lesson the hard way. Dont put lime rinds down the garbage disposal. My sister-in-law learned it too. But with potato peels right before everyone showed up for Thanksgiving dinner.

There are a lot of things that seem indestructible. Garbage disposals arent one of them.

Last summer Smudge went on a bender. A key lime bender. She made this recipe for Key Lime Pie at least 9 times. Not bad for a 10-year-old who has a penchant for drawing henna tattoos on her hands and taking some pretty cool selfies akin to fine artists self-portraits of yesteryear.

Now, shes the grand old age of 11 and I am one proud mama when she kicks me out of the kitchen so she can set to work at baking pies.

For Pi Day this year, she took two pies to school as part of her math assignment. Now thats some math I can wrap my head around. She made a key lime pie and she and her friends requested her Birthday Cake Pie, normally reserved for, you guessed it, her birthday. I was more than happy to oblige to make that one.

But at least well always have pie.

How To Make Easy Key Lime Pie

The filling is super simple to make, and it only has three ingredients: cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice + zest. I just add the softened cream cheese to a mixing bowl and pour everything over top.

You want to use about 1/3 cup of lime juice. This was the juice of two large-ish limes for me.

Plus, you will want the zest of one of them. I added about 2/3 of that zest to the mixing bowl , and I reserved a little to sprinkle on top later.

Once you have everything in there, you are going to beat it with a mixer.

Itll look lumpy at first. Like this.

No worries, though! A few minutes with the mixer will make it creamy like this. This is where softened cream cheese is key!

Then you pour your creamy filling into the shell, and spread it around to even things out.

And sprinkle the remaining lime zest on top.

Then you refrigerate for a few hours to let everything firm back up. Mine took about 3 to 4 hours.

And you are left with the yummiest dessert. Nobody will suspect how little time and effort you put into it either. This is summer recipe jackpot, my friends.

Garnish with lime slices if you want to fancy things up a bit. Honestly, I did this for the photos. We dont have patience for that in real life.

Enjoy the best easy key lime pie you will ever make!

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Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe

Key lime pie is uniquely tart, sweet and made with a graham cracker crust. The rich custard filling includes egg yolks to make for an authentic key lime pie recipe!

Im just going to come out with it. This key lime pie is amazing. Seriously, you will love it. Im not one for custard pies , but this pie got me. This filling is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet while the graham cracker crust is buttery and thick.

My dad always begs me to make key lime pie for him because its his favorite. Now I understand why. When a key lime pie is done right, its pure bliss. Lets break it down, shall we?

What You Need To Make This Key Lime Pie

Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe
  • Pie Plate I made this pie in my 9.5 inch Pyrex pie plate. You can use a smaller pie plate no problem. Youll either have a little extra crust or just make it extra thick. The filling does not expand when baking so go ahead and pour as much of it into your crust as you can.
  • Key Lime Juice or Key Limes I used key lime juice. I actually order mine on Amazon. Im a big fan of reading reviews to make sure I get the very best product. This is the one Im currently crushing on. Truth time. This pie can be made with regular limes if you cant find key lime or key lime juice. Just sayin.
  • Youre going to need a zester for this pie. The key lime zest adds SO much flavor to this key lime pie and looks so pretty on top!

The truth is, Im not much of a decorator when it comes to pies and cakes. Im all about simple, easy, get-it-in-my-mouth-as-quick-as-possible. You too? Good. Then youll like my no-nonsense whipped cream topping.

If you are in a hurry, and I mean, a BIG HURRY, I would perhaps allow you to use a store bought pie crust and a can of whipped cream. This pie would still be heavenly. No doubt.

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Can You Substitute Key Lime Juice With Lime Juice

Yes, you can. You can only use Lime Juice, the pie will taste great or you can mix of 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup fresh lime juice.

How do you store Key Lime Pie?

Freshly baked pie can be kept in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days, cover it loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

How long can Key Lime Pie be left at room temperature safely?

Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F. Therefore it is best to discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

How Many Key Limes Make A Cup Of Juice

Even though key limes are juicier, due to the size difference you need to squeeze about 20 limes to get ½ cup of juice. It would only take about 3 Persian limes to get the same ½ cup quantity. Both limes are acidic with a tangy flavor, but Persian limes lack the floral bouquet that accompanies key limes.

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Graham Cracker Macadamia Nut Crust

Key lime pie is traditionally made with graham cracker crust. Its the most wonderful crunchy, sweet, and buttery bed for the fresh key lime filling. But hey, how about getting a little nutty? You wont believe the difference macadamia nuts make. I use about 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts in place of some of the graham cracker crumbs and the result is pure bliss. Macadamia nuts are a gem and, as it turns out, often overlooked in the baking world. Why though? Theyre so good.

You only need 4 ingredients for this awesomely thick crust.

  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Graham Crackers
  • Melted Butter
  • Sugar
  • Pulse the macadamia nuts with graham crackers, then mix with melted butter and sugar. Because key limes are a little sweeter than regular limes, you will love the sweet/tangy key lime filling with the salty graham cracker macadamia nut crust.

    How To Make A Graham Cracker Crust

    How to make an easy Key Lime Pie

    image via Stacey Spensler/Flickr

    To prepare an authentic Key lime pie with a homemade graham cracker crust you’ll have to make the crust ahead of time.

    Ingredients for graham cracker pie crust:

    9 sheets of graham crackers 1/4 cup sugar1/2 cup melted butter


    In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they resemble bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar. Pulse until mixed well.

    Spread the mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before filling.

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    The Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

    I got this Key Lime Pie recipe when I was visiting Savannah, Georgia with my friend, Amie. Savannah has got to be one of the most beautiful and charming cities ever. We had so much fun touring the historic city squares, walking along the river, and eating! We went to Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room for a southern style dinner that was incredible. Although we had to wait in line for a while to get in, but, it was totally worth it. Ah! Southern cooking and hospitality at its best.

    When we were shopping downtown, I found this recipe on a magnet. Key lime pie has got to be my favorite kind of pie so I bought it and tried it out as soon as I got home. I made it for my family and we cant get enough of it! I love how tangy and sweet it is. This is a super easy recipe . Thanks to my trip to the South, we now have another favorite family recipe!

    More Citrus Desserts You Are Going To Love

    The Best Lemon Curd < < Have you ever spread your morning toast with lemon curd? SO good.

    Creamy Lime Bars< < this is an oldie but a goodie!

    Meyer Lemon Tart< < If youve never tried Meyer lemons, do it! Such a great flavor.

    The Best Lemon Bars< < Lemon Bars are probably my favorite dessert. This is the BEST recipe!!

    Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars< < Cheesecake ftw. These are very pretty, great for serving guests.

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    How To Tell Key Lime Pie Is Done

    One of the most common and easily remedied key lime pie problems is over-baked pie. Its tricky to know when the pie is done, but heres my secret: bake the key lime pie until the filling is only slightly jiggly in the center . It should be firm to the touch, but not completely liquid or totally solid. The pie will continue to solidify as it cools.

    Cool the pie completely on a wire rack, then cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. I recommend garnishing your key lime pie prior to serving.

    Cool Whip Key Lime Pie

    Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe

    An short cut to making a key lime pie is to use Cool Whip as a base. The biggest advantage of going this route is that you won’t have to bake your key lime pie. That means less time in the kitchen and no hot oven to pester you on a hot summer day.

    Nellie & Joe’s, makers of the famous Key West Lime Juice, offer a simple but delicious recipe for Cool Whip Key Lime Pie:

    1 can sweetened condensed milk1/2 cup Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice8 oz. container of Cool Whipone prepared graham cracker crust

    Simply whisk together the juice and condensed milk. Then gently fold in the Cool Whip. Pour the mixture onto a graham cracker crust and refrigerate. The pie ready to eat whenever you need it.

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    Do Key Lime Pie Bars Need To Be Refrigerated

    The bars are baked to perfection, chilled, and topped with a generous dusting of powdered sugar and even more key lime zest. I like to zest a lemon too for some additional color.

    Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

    And then finally, when the pictures are taken, its time to dive in. These bars are not only gorgeous but utterly delectable as well. If you prefer a thicker bar, bless you, just use an 8×8 inch baking dish instead of the 9×9 inch I used here.

    Take these delicious Key Lime Pie Bars to your next BBQ, picnic, or family gathering you wont regret it!

    What Is In Key Lime Pie Filling

    Now lets get to the filling. Its a whole lotta lime juice, lime zest, sour cream and a couple cans of sweetened condensed milk . You just whisk it all together, pour it into your pie shell, bake for 10 minutes and voila youve got a key lime pie that will blow your family and friends away.

    • Key Lime Juice
    • Sweetened Condensed Milk

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    How Do You Make Lemon Pie

    Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the Crust: Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray. For the Pie Filling: Using a mixer, mix the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice ans salt together. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. For the Whipped Cream: Mix the cream, sugar, and vanilla.

    Can Regular Limes Be Used Instead Of Key Limes

    How to make Key Lime Pie

    Yes, it can be done, but the flavor wont have that distinct key lime flavor. If you have no other choice, it will still turn out to be a very good pie and most people wont even be able to tell a difference. If you cant find key limes or key lime juice, you can substitute common limes. You can swap out 6 fresh key limes for 1 large regular lime. As far as the juice goes, you can swap it out at a 1:1 ratio .

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    What Are Key Limes

    Key limes are smaller and more acidic than the regular limes you see at the store They are picked when green but turn yellow when ripe. There were groves of these fat and juicy limes in the Florida Keys back in the early 1900s, but a hurricane wiped them out and many farmers planted regular Persian limes in their place.

    The Key limes you buy today are usually from Mexico or Central America. They are tiny, seedy, rather bitter, and a pain in the neck to juice

    Key limes are uncommon in most grocery stores and usually very expensive To read more about Key Lime history, read this article from Serious Eats called Key Limes? More like Key LIES.

    Bottom line is this: if you really love the flavor of key limes, hunt them down and spend the money. Otherwise, use the regular Persian limes that you can get at the grocery store. You are going to get a fabulous Key Lime Pie that will taste fresh and delicious. Use the same amount of zest and juice that the recipe calls for, whether using key limes or regular limes.

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