Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie 1 final sm

Mmmmmm, wouldn’t you love a slice of this right now?  I would!  I Love key lime pie.  That’s right, “Love” with a capital “L”.  I have to tell you, I’ve tried several recipes, including more complicated and time-consuming ones, but not one has been better than this one.  Call me shallow, but that’s my verdict and I’m sticking to it.

An entire 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice is used along with a whole tablespoon of fresh lime zest!  Sour cream is added and provides a delicious freshness to the sweet-tartness of the lime juice.  Sweetened condensed milk is substituted for traditional egg yolks.  Factual tidbit of today:  Did you know that condensed milk has been around since at least the 13th century?  Condensed milk is milk that has had the water removed, thus enabling it to have a very long shelf life.  This method of preparing milk enabled children and adults throughout the centuries before refrigeration was invented to enjoy regular access to milk.   World War I revived the market for condensed milk and it has been part of regular food production since.

This key lime pie is as delicious as they come and it is insanely easy to make!

Have you tried key limes before?  Key limes have a higher acidity level than standard, Persian, limes you find in any grocery store.  They’re more tart and bitter.  Key limes originate from the Middle East.  Remember the Chicken Machboos recipe that used dried, or “black”, limes?  That’s right, they’re the same limes and in dried form they are a staple in Middle Eastern cooking.  The “key” in key limes is an American addition and was added sometime after 1926, the year a huge hurricane struck Miami and destroyed most of the lime agriculture, relegating production primarily to the Florida keys.

Florida is very proud of their key limes.  In 1965, Florida State Representative Bernie Papy, Jr. called for a $100 fine against anyone advertising Key Lime Pie that was made with regular limes.  The bill never passed, but Key Lime Pie has since been designated the official pie of the State of Florida.  Florida, I salute your good taste!

Note:  Once you’ve combined the ingredients you’ll note how liquidy the filling is and you’ll wonder if you perhaps did something wrong or the recipe left something out.  Don’t worry, it means you did things RIGHT!  The liquidy filling will miraculously firm up through the baking process – an interesting chemical reaction that occurs between the lime juice and the sweetened condensed milk when heated.

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Key Lime Pie
 
:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the pie crust:
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • For the pie filling:
  • 2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup fresh key lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
Instructions
  1. To make the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 7 minutes. Let the crust cool completely before adding the pie filling.
  2. To make the pie filling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a large non-metal bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice and zest, and the sour cream. Stir until thoroughly combined. Note: Be sure to scoop out every last bit of the condensed milk.
  4. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust and bake for about 10 minutes. Make sure to not brown it.
  5. Let the pie cool completely, then transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least a couple of hours before serving.

 

Key Lime Pie recipe

29 Responses

  1. wrote on

    I don’t even want to think about the calories and carbs in this! It will never make it into my eating plan, but it sounds absolutely wonderful. And thank you for sharing about the history of key limes and where they really come from. I like learning interesting new (to me) facts.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Haha! Just limit it to one slice and you’ll be just fine :) You know I focus “mostly” on healthy cooking with fresh ingredients, but there are occasions, like this one, when I make something naughty. And in those cases, I enjoy a slice and then quickly divvy the rest out to other eager palates ;)

  2. Tori

    wrote on

    i love this! definitely going to try it! i never knew that snippet of history about florida and their key limes. very interesting :) thank you!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Tori! It’s a very “fail safe” recipe – you’re going to love it!

  3. wrote on

    This pie looks heavenly!!! so fresh and summery :) Love it!!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Amy! It’s *very* difficult to stop after one slice (and I have a lot of self-control!). Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. wrote on

    Haven’t had a key lime pie in years. Thanks for the reminder of how delicious one can be. I’m pinning your recipe!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      You are so welcome for the reminder! :) This pie is so quick to prepare and results are phenomenal. Nothing quite like a key lime pie…so creamy and refreshing.

  5. wrote on

    Just came over from mmb. Of course I clicked directly on the dessert category :).I went through a phase of buying frozen Sara Lee key lime pies weekly several years back. Perhaps now I will revisit my old cravbing with this slightly more sophisticated version ;). Looks delicious!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Nancy! No chemicals or trans fats, plus tastes a heck of a lot better…yes, definitely an upgrade from Sara! Yes, I agree it’s time to revisit your past addiction ;) Thanks for visiting and let me know what you think if/when you make it!

  6. Susan

    wrote on

    I made this last weekend. Mmmmm, mmmmmm! A perfect summer pie!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Awesome, so glad you liked it, Susan! Thanks for making it and for your feedback!

  7. wrote on

    Hi, Just wondered if the taste is really altered by using regular limes? Thought it may be difficult to find Key limes in Ohio?

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Sherril! I’ve found key limes in most of the national grocery chains here in WA when in season so I would think they’d be available in OH as well. I will confess, I’ve used regular limes several times and have been just as happy with the results (but shhhh, don’t tell anyone I said that ;)

      • Frederica

        wrote on

        It sound delishious! I am just wondering, why would you have to bake the filling, could you not just chill it since there is no egg or flour in it?

        • The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Hi Frederica! That’s a great question! It has to do with a really interesting chemical reaction that occurs between the lime juice and sweetened condensed milk when heated. Baking it enables the ingredients to become firm and set.

    • Frederica

      wrote on

      thank you! I will try it very soon, it might be exactly the key lime pie I am looking for…

      • The Daring Gourmet

        wrote on

        Wonderful! I really love it – fast, simple, and delicious. Let me know what you think once you’ve tried it! :)

  8. Ambrey H

    wrote on

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this for my husband for Father’s day because he absolutely loves Key Lime Pie but I have always been too scared to make it! Once he got a piece of it he said, and I quote “this is restaurant quality. This is something that you should bring to every family gathering, like at Christmas”. I’m guessing he liked it ;-). Thanks so much for the recipe! The only tiresome thing – squeezing juice out of 40 key limes to get the 3/4 cup!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Ambrey, thank you for your feedback and I’m so happy it was such a success!! And you’re absolutely right about the labor intensive tiny key limes! Which is why I sometimes cheat and just use regular limes ;) Or, if he insists you use the “real deal” you can quote back to that Key Lime Pie-loving husband of yours: “You’d like me to make Key Lime Pie for our family gathering tomorrow? Anything for you, honey! The pile of limes is over there, just let me know when you’re finished juicing them and I’ll do the rest :)”

  9. wrote on

    I made this today for my mom’s birthday and it was a HUGE hit. I had never even eaten key lime pie prior to making this so I had no idea how it was supposed to taste. Everyone LOVED it. Thanks for the great recipe! This one went straight into my recipe binder.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That’s wonderful, Erika! I’m so happy to hear it was such a big success! Thank you for making it and for your feedback!

  10. wrote on

    Hello…not being American, I am wondering….what/ where/ how do you create Graham cracker crumbs??

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Naya! Graham crackers are a rectangular-shaped sweet “cracker”/cookie. They’re crumbled and use as the pie crust in this recipe. I don’t know what country you live in, but there are many alternatives you can use. For example, I grew up in Germany and in England. In Germany you can use Leibniz cookies and in England digestive biscuits are a great substitute. You just pound them in a ziplock plastic bag or put them in a food processor until they become crumbs. This pie is delicious – I hope you give it a try!

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