Key Lime Pie made with fresh lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and an easy graham cracker crust. It’s perfectly tart, creamy, smooth-the BEST key lime pie recipe!
Key Lime Pie, a classic pie that has everything going for it. It’s sweet, salty, creamy, buttery, tart and tangy! One piece of pie will send you straight to pie heaven! It’s the perfect dessert for summertime or really anytime.
This recipe is SUPER easy to make, made with few ingredients, and it comes out perfect every time. Plus, it has a no-fail graham cracker crust. So if you are afraid of pie crusts, this is the pie for YOU! You are going to love it!
Difference Between Key Limes & Persian Limes
Key limes are smaller, contain more seeds, and have thinner skin than Persian (regular) limes. As key limes ripen, they turn a yellow hue and lose acidity. The juice takes on a sweeter flavor and has a unique aromatic flavor.
Since key limes are smaller, it takes about 5 key limes to equal the juice you will get from 1 regular lime.
Can You Substitute Regular Limes for Key Limes?
Yes! If you can’t find key limes, Persian limes will work. I know it technically won’t be a true key lime pie, but I promise no one will know. The flavor is still amazing!
You can also buy bottled key lime juice, but I don’t recommend it. The processing changes the flavor and it will give your pie an “off” taste.
How to Juice Limes
Here are a few tips to getting the most juice out of your limes.
- Store limes in the refrigerator. Leaving them out on the counter hardens the rind and dries out the flesh. Plus, they will last longer in the fridge.
- Let the limes come to room temperature before juicing.
- Place the limes in the microwave and heat it for 15 seconds. Heating the fruit helps release its juices.
- Before juicing, place your palm on a lime and roll it around on a countertop or hard surface. This separates the individual segments inside the lime, making the lime juicer.
- Use a citrus squeezer, one of my favorite kitchen tools, to juice the limes. Place the limes cut side down in the squeezer and squeeze away! Make sure you put a bowl underneath to catch the juice.
How to Make Graham Cracker Crust
This easy key lime pie recipe has a sweet graham cracker crust, which is SO easy to make. For the crust you need, crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter. That is it!
- To make graham cracker crumbs, you can use you can use a food processor or blender to grind up full graham cracker sheets. You can also crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork. Mix until graham cracker crumbs are moist.
- Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or dish. Press down firmly with the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to make sure graham cracker crumbs are in there tightly. Pat down the bottom and sides.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Let the crust cool completely before pouring in the filling.
How to Make Key Lime Pie
When the pie crust is almost cooled, prepare the filling. For the rich key lime filling, you only need three ingredients:
- Sweetened condensed milk (use full fat, not fat free)
- Egg yolks
- Limes (zest and juice)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Add in the lime zest, and lime juice.
- Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the center is set, but still slightly jiggly. Place the pie on a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well-chilled, about 2 to 3 hours before cutting.
- Serve the pie chilled or at room temperature. The pie is good plain, or you can add a dollop of fresh whipped cream. You can also add a lime slice for garnish to make the pie extra pretty!
How to Store
Key lime pie will keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge, covered loosely with foil or plastic wrap. For presentation purposes and to keep things super fresh, we recommend waiting to top your pie with whipped cream until you are ready to serve it.
Best Key Lime Pie Recipe
The filling is tart, creamy, and smooth. The graham cracker crust is the traditional crust for key lime pie and it is the best! It’s easy and the sweet graham cracker crust crunch is perfection with the creamy lime pie filling.
This is Josh’s all-time favorite dessert! It is the perfect pie for any occasion! It is a especially delicious dessert during the summer months. It basically screams summer! Enjoy!
More Lime Recipes:
- Blackberry Lime Bars
- Key Lime Pie with Coconut Macaroon Crust
- Key Lime Tart
- Coconut Lime Sugar Cookie Bars
- Lime Coconut Snowballs
Key Lime Pie
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- Zest of 1 large lime
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork. Mix until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate or dish. Use a measuring cup or glass bottom to make sure the crumbs are pressed in firmly. Pat down the bottom and sides. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let the crust cool.
- While the crust is almost cool, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Add in the lime zest, and lime juice. Whisk well.
- When the pie crust has cooled to slightly warm or room temperature, pour the lime filling over the pie crust. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. When cool, chill the pie in the refrigerator. The filling will set up as it cools. Chill completely before cutting and serving.
- Cut into pieces and serve cold or at room temperature. Can serve with whipped cream, If desired.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Photos by Molly
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I’m back and making this today for Mother’s Day – also, yeah, I just “pinned” this. 😉
I’ve made this multiple times and it tastes even better the next day. Much stronger lime flavor! Love this recipe.
This is the recipe I’ve been using for over 20 years and always get raves. A step-daughter requests it every time she visits. I sometimes use a regular crust and always top with real whipped cream!
Any thoughts on how far ahead I can prepare this before serving? Assuming it’s refrigerated is 48hrs too soon?!
It should be fine for 48 hours. Enjoy!
These are great! I just made one for hubby and myself. YUM YOU rock!
Glad you liked the pie!
The key lime pie recipe is a wonderful pie! Not only does it taste good, it is really simple to make. The only thing I would change is to garnish each piece with fresh made whipped cream (don’t tuin it by adding the frozen stuff!).
Glad you enjoyed the pie!
The pie , out of the over looked fantastic! I can’t wait to chill , garnish and fast it. Will post again when it’s ready to eat. Thank you for this simple pie recipe.
I made this recipe a few weeks ago using limes from my grandpa’s farm and it was lovely! Is there anywhere I can upload the photo?
Just made this and it tastes amazing. But mine is a bit runny. Not as firm filling as in your photos. what can I do next time to make sure it’s firm?
Thanks for the recipe, I will try to make pie at home, I hope this will work.
I like its simplicity…I used regular crust and made a merangine…I had to improvise too hot to make a store run so I used what I have. It was a great way to use the whites..hate to waste food..its baking now.proof is in the pudding or should I say pie..lol
Quick question. When you mention 1 1/4 cup of crumbs and 1/2 cup of lime juice, what’s the measurement like for “cup” in measurement like ml ? Is there an international measurement for “cup”?
Sorry first time trying this receipt.
1/2 cup = 120 ml
1 cup = 240 ml
1/4 cup = 60 ml
Thank you for this easy recipe, it was a big hit when my husband and I had dinner with my in-laws!!! Everyone loved it! 🙂
My hubby is also a big fan of Key Lime Pie – thanks for sharing your recipe!
I also add 8 ounces of cream cheese to it! Delicious!!!
I’m a bit confused: does this use Key limes, or the largest Mexican limes more available at the market?
Key limes are harder to find so you can use regular limes. You just need 1/2 cup juice. You can even use store bought key lime juice.
It’s very good — but I prefer to leave out the eggs and use 8 ounces of softened cream cheese instead. If you’re using bottled lime juice and have no limes of any kind, some grated lemon rind will still give you some added citrus sharpness. And, if you’re making the crust instead of using a store-bought one, try it with gingersnap crumbs. Ginger and lime go together beautifully!
Great and easy recipe. I have celiacs and subbed GF graham crackers. Nobody could believe it was gluten free. Thanks so much for sharing!
Easy and delicious recipe. The only thing I would change is to make more filling. It didn’t fill the pie shell very much. I used regular limes and they tasted great!
I have been making this recipe for at least 5(?) years or more and everyone raves about it! So so good! It’s a summer tradition at the lake! I’ve used bought lime juice in a pinch or even store bought Graham cracker crust and you probably wouldn’t notice if you didn’t know – I sometimes even do 50/50 fresh vs bottle lime juice etc. It never fails and it’s a go to for a refreshing, easy summer dessert that impresses anyone that tries it!
Have you or anyone else tried this recipe using liliko’i juice?
Very delicious. I had to double the filling to fill a normal (not a deep dish) 9 inch pie plate. I made the first batch, poured it in and in only filled half. I made a second batch, poured it in and it was perfect. Glad I had two cans of condensed milk on hand.
I live in Miami and key limes are abundant all year round. Unfortunately, they didn’t look so good today in the market. I used bottled key lime pie juice, not regular lime juice.
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