Key Lime Pie Recipe

If you’re looking for a refreshing dessert to cool down on a hot day, a key lime pie is the perfect choice. Known for its origins in the Florida Keys, this pie combines a tangy, creamy filling with a crisp graham cracker crust. This simple recipe uses key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and whipped cream to create a delicious and easy-to-make treat.

A graham cracker crust is being pressed into a pie dish. A creamy lime filling is being poured into the crust. Whipped cream is being spread on top

Key lime pie is a favorite for many because it’s both sweet and tart, making it an ideal dessert for any occasion. You’ll love how the smooth filling contrasts with the crunchy crust, while the whipped cream adds a light, airy finish. With just a few ingredients and steps, you can bring a taste of Florida to your kitchen and impress your family and friends.

The key to a great key lime pie is the balance of flavors. Using fresh key lime juice will give your pie the best taste, but Persian limes can also be used if key limes are unavailable. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner, this recipe is straightforward and rewarding. Prepare yourself for a burst of tangy sweetness that will leave you wanting more.

Key Lime Pie Basics

A graham cracker crust filled with creamy green key lime filling, topped with whipped cream and lime zest

Key lime pie is a delicious dessert known for its sweet and tart flavor. It is made with a few key ingredients like sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and a graham cracker crust.

Understanding the Ingredients

You need key ingredients for a perfect key lime pie. Key limes are traditional, but Persian limes work too. Fresh lime juice offers the best flavor, but bottled key lime juice can be a good substitute. Sweetened condensed milk gives the pie its sweetness and creamy texture.

Besides these, you’ll need egg yolks to thicken the filling. For a finishing touch, you can use whipped cream or meringue topping.

Preparing the Crust

You will need graham cracker crumbs for the crust. You can either crush graham crackers in a food processor or buy ready-made crumbs. Mix them with melted butter until it’s like wet sand.

Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a pie plate. Baking the crust for about 10 minutes at 325°F will give it a slight crunch and set it for the filling.

Crafting the Filling

The filling is a blend of lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. Use an electric mixer to combine these ingredients until smooth. The mixture should be thick and creamy.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake in the oven at 325°F for 15-17 minutes. The pie is ready when the center is set but still has a slight jiggle.

Finishing Touches

Once your pie has baked, let it cool to room temperature. You can add a whipped cream topping by whipping heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Another option is to make a meringue topping using egg whites and sugar. Garnish with lime zest for extra flavor and a beautiful look. Ensure to chill the pie for at least 2 hours before serving.

Storing and Serving Key Lime Pie

A hand placing a freshly baked key lime pie on a rustic wooden table next to a pile of fresh limes and a vintage pie server

Key Lime Pie is best enjoyed fresh, but proper storage can help extend its freshness. Serving techniques can enhance your enjoyment and presentation of this refreshing dessert.

Proper Storage Techniques

To maintain its flavor and texture, store Key Lime Pie in the refrigerator. Place the pie in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. This prevents it from absorbing odors and keeps it moist. Refrigeration is essential as the pie contains eggs, which can spoil if left out.

If you need to store the pie longer, freezing is an option. To freeze Key Lime Pie, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Make sure it’s well-sealed to avoid freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. When ready to serve, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutritional Information

Key Lime Pie is a delightful treat, but it’s also important to be aware of its nutritional facts. A typical serving (one slice) contains:

  • Calories: Around 300-350
  • Total Fat: 15-18 grams, with Saturated Fat about 8-10 grams
  • Cholesterol: 50-70 milligrams
  • Sodium: 200-300 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrate: 40-45 grams, including Total Sugars around 25-30 grams and Dietary Fiber less than 1 gram
  • Protein: 4-5 grams

Key Lime Pie also provides small amounts of Iron, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Potassium. Despite its higher sugar and fat content, occasional indulgence in this refreshing pie can be a delightful treat when balanced with a nutrient-dense diet.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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