Easy Key Lime Pie

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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!

overhead view of a key lime pie

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Takes only about 15 minutes to mix up.
  • Bakes in just 30 minutes.
  • Makes a nice, thick, 9″deep dish pie. Or you can make two smaller pies.
  • Perfect sweet and tangy for summer!

What is key lime pie?

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.

a slice of lime pie on a plate with limes

Key Lime vs Lime

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.

How to Make Key Lime Pie

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.

  • Combine the beaten egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in a medium bowl. Whisk to mix well. This will thicken as you mix it.
  • Pour into baked graham cracker crust. I used a 9″ deep dish pie plate.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Check the pie at 15 minutes to make sure the crust isn’t getting too brown. If it is, place a piece of foil over the top of the pie (don’t press down because you don’t want it touching the filling which might mess it up. If your pie is very full, I’d skip this step for that reason.)

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.

a slice of pie on a plate with a bite out

You may also like our mini key lime pies and our creamy lime pie with a pretzel crust.

a pie with two slices missing
a pie with two slices missing

Easy Key Lime Pie {The Best!}

4.75 from 8 votes
Servings 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the beaten egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in a medium bowl. Whisk to mix well.
  • Pour into unbaked graham cracker crust. *We used a 9" deep dish pie plate. If you use a smaller pan, you may need two pie crusts*
  • Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Check the pie at 15 minutes to make sure the crust isn’t getting too brown. If it is, place a piece of foil over the top of the pie (don’t press down because you don’t want it touching the filling which might mess it up. If your pie is very full, I’d skip this step for that reason.)
  • The pie is done when the top looks set, but it is still jiggly. The internal temperature should be about 145º Fahrenheit.
  • Allow to cool completely at room temperature.
  • Top with whipped topping and garnish with lime slices if desired.
  • Refrigerate until serving.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword easy pie recipe, fruit dessert

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze key lime pie?

Yes! Seal it well in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months.

How long does key lime pie last?

Store the pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, freeze it.

Is key lime pie cheesecake?

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.

Does key lime pie have dairy?

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.

Is key lime pie gluten free?

If you use a gluten free graham cracker crust, then yes, it can be gluten free.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Shweta
1 year ago

5 stars
This look soooo good. I’ve already pinned it and printed the recipe. Making it this weekend.

Karen Warner
1 year ago

Looking forward to trying this – looks delicious!
Question: I have some egg yolks in the freezer – can they be used for this recipe?