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Transport yourself to the tropics with this easy key lime pie! You’ll be surprised how quick this sweet & tangy baked pie with graham cracker crust is.
I love escaping the Ohio winters and heading South to Florida for some sunshine. There’s not much better than feeling the warm sun and breathing the fresh sea breeze when you know it is a frozen tundra back home.
There’s only one thing other than the sun needed: Key Lime Pie. The first stop we make in Florida is the grocery store, and the first thing that hits my cart is that sweet & tangy pie. But did you know it is crazy easy to make at home? It’s dangerously easy. And you’ll transport yourself to the tropics with each bite!
Key lime is a popular American dessert made of lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. It is usually baked in a graham cracker crust. It was made popular in the 1930’s, from a recipes printed by Borden’s (source), but became Florida Famous in the 1950’s.
Many early recipes do not tell you to bake the pie, leaving many wondering whether key lime pie is safe to eat. We bake our recipe to a safe temperature so that you don’t have to worry about raw eggs.
Although they are both green citrus fruits, there is a big difference between key limes and regular limes.
Key limes, also known as Mexican limes, are yellow when ripe and smaller in size than the kind you’ll find in most U.S. stores. They are about the size of a golf ball. By the way, the larger limes are commonly known as “Tahitian limes” or “Persian limes”. If you can’t find key limes, use Nellie & Joe’s. It’s my favorite key lime juice.
Can you use regular limes in key lime pie? I’ve heard that if you want tart key lime flavor, you DO NOT use Persian limes. Key limes are small but have big, bold flavor. So yes, officially you can use regular limes, but the flavor may not be as you’d like.
I cannot stress this enough. This filling recipe fits a deep dish pie plate (we use Emile Henry). If you buy small pre-made graham cracker crusts or have a small pie pan, you may be able to fill two pie plates. The filling doesn’t expand much as it bakes, so it shouldn’t overflow as long as you don’t overfill the crust.
How can you tell if the pie is done? The pie is done when the top looks set, but it is still jiggly. The internal temperature should be about 145º Fahrenheit. This probe thermometer is the best.
Yes! Seal it well in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months.
Store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, freeze it.
No, although it may look like it! It is more like a custard pie. Although you can make a key lime cheesecake and they are amazing.
Yes, this pie has sweetened condensed milk. Some have said you can use sweetened condensed coconut milk and it will work great. I have not personally tried this.
If you use a gluten free graham cracker crust, then yes, it can be gluten free.