This pie is surprisingly easy, and so very impressive!  Key lime pie is named after the Florida Keys, the home base of these limes.   They have more acidity and a stronger aroma than traditional (Persian) limes, and the juice is tangier and more intense than regular limes.  Their tartness play beautifully against the sweet richness of the condensed milk.  Not to mention the traditional billowy meringue topping and the crunchy sweet graham cracker crust.    But don’t worry – you can also use bottled key lime juice or regular fresh lime juice with terrific results!

Key Lime Pie

Substitutions for Key Limes

First of all, there is bottled key lime juice that can save the day in terms of time and effort, unless you are just determined to juice your own limes.  Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice is the brand to reach for.  Some folks prefer this bottled juice over using regular fresh limes juiced yourself.  It really depends on accessibility, time, and energy.

The filling of this pie contains a mere three ingredients!  Lime juice, condensed milk and egg yolks – deceptively simple!  And the crust also has only three ingredients!  And the meringue only has two, with one being the egg whites from the same eggs that were used to make the filling!  Love this pie math (not to be confused with Pi math).

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients in Key Lime Pie

Limes – you can use key limes (also called Mexican limes) and squeeze them yourself, regular Persian limes (the kind you see every day in the grocery store) or even bottle lime juice (not from concentrate, preferably).  Key limes are commonly sold in mesh bags or little crates Key limes will have a greenish yellow, fairly thin skin.  Their season is winter to  early spring.  

Eggs – the eggs should be a t room temperature.  You will separate them, and the yolks will go into the lime filling, while the whites will be beaten until billowy and become part of the meringue topping.

Sweetened condensed milk – make the filling sweet and creamy and rich

Key Lime Pie

Confectioners’ sugar- adds sweetness to the meringue topping

Crushed graham cracker – for the crunchy comforting crust

Granulated sugar – adds a bit of sweetness to the crust

Unsalted butter – melted, this is what holds the crust together

Key Lime Pie: The classic pie, with its sweet-tart rich filling, the billowy meringue topping and the crunchy graham cracker crust. 

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How to Make Key Lime Pie

Heat the oven for 350 degrees.  Place the graham cracker crumbs in a pie pan and stir in the granulated sugar.  Add the melted butter and combine well.  With your fingers spread the crumbs and press them evenly into the bottom of the plate and up the sides.  Bake for 8 minutes, then remove the crust and cool completely on a wire rack.  Leave the oven on.

While the crust is cooling, make the filling.  In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then beat in the condensed milk.  Beat in the lime juice gradually, whisking all the while until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is thick.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust (it doesn’t have to be completely cool).  Pour in the filling and bake for 15 minutes until almost set.  

Key Lime Pie

While the pie is baking, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy, using an electric mixer or a standing mixer.  While the motor is on, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar one tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks.  Cover the filling with the meringue all the way to the crust (having the meringue touch the crust prevents the meringue from shrinking as it bakes.).  

Key Lime Pie

Use an offset spatula or a butter knife to make swoops and peaks.  

Key Lime Pie

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned and firm.  Cool the pie on a wire rack until completely cool, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

Key Lime Pie

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Key Lime Pie

The classic pie, with its sweet-tart rich filling, the billowy meringue topping and the crunchy graham cracker crust. 
Yield: 8 People
Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers (about 24 squares)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • unsalted butter , melted

For the Pie Filling:

  • 4 eggs , separated and at room temperature
  • 1 can (14-ounce) sweetened condensed milk
  • cup key lime juice (or fresh lime juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  • Heat the oven for 350°F. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a pie pan and stir in the granulated sugar. Add the melted butter and combine well.
  • With your fingers spread the crumbs and press them evenly into the bottom of the plate and up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove the crust and cool completely on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
  • While the crust is cooling, make the filling. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then beat in the condensed milk. Beat in the lime juice gradually, whisking all the while until it’s all incorporated and the mixture is thick. Pour the mixture into the pie crust (it doesn’t have to be completely cool). Pour in the filling and bake for 15 minutes until almost set.
  • While the pie is baking, beat the egg whites with the salt until foamy, using an electric mixer or a standing mixer. While the motor is on, gradually add the confectioner’s sugar one tablespoon at a time, until the egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks. Cover the filling with the meringue all the way to the crust (having the meringue touch the crust prevents the meringue from shrinking as it bakes.). Use an offset spatula or a butter knife to make swoops and peaks. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned and firm.
  • Cool the pie on a wire rack until completely cool, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 254IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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