Florida Key Lime Pie (2024)

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Updated by Lynne Webb // 11 Comments

This easy Florida Key lime pie recipe features a buttery homemade graham cracker crust with a filling that's bursting with citrus flavor. This fool-proof dessert is surprisingly simple to whip up with very little hands-on time in the kitchen.

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Florida Key Lime Pie (1)

We think Key lime pie is one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make from scratch, and despite its short ingredient list, this classic dessert packs a burst of citrusy flavor in every bite. The authentic Florida version has a smooth, creamy consistency, buttery graham cracker crust, and a simple topping of whipped cream to complement the crisp acidity of the lime.

Notes from the MGC Kitchen

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Homemade desserts are a wonderful way to round out a meal, but our preference is for quick and easy recipes like peach cobbler, apple brown betty or blueberry crisp that turn out perfect every time, even without a lot of baking experience.

This Florida Key lime pie delivers incredible flavor and is surprisingly simple to whip up, making it a winner in our book. One of our favorite kitchen tools is the Zulay manual citrus juicer (shown in photos), which makes juicing limes for this recipe nearly effortless. It has a dual cup design, meaning one cup is sized perfectly for lemons, and the other for limes. This has become a staple in the MGC kitchen because it makes quick work of juicing citrus, and it doesn’t require a lot of hand strength to ensure you get every last drop of juice. Plus, cleaning it is a breeze.

Florida Key Lime Pie (2)

Key Ingredients

Here’s an overview of the essential ingredients for this recipe, along with shopping tips, and possible substitutions. The complete ingredient list is in the recipe card below.

  • LIME JUICE: When it comes to this recipe, fresh lime juice is what’s most important. Whether you use Key limes grown in Mexico (see more about Key Limes below), or more readily available Persian limes, fresh citrus is what you need for the iconic tang of Key lime pie.
  • SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK: As the name suggests, sweetened condensed milk is thicker than regular milk and already has sugar added. The added thickness helps create a richer, creamier texture for the pie filling, and it simplifies the recipe by eliminating the need for additional granulated sugar.
  • EGG YOLKS: This pie recipe only calls for egg yolks because they have a higher fat content than egg whites, contributing to a richer flavor and texture for the custard-like filling.
  • GRAHAM CRACKERS: Graham cracker crusts are about as easy as it gets when it comes to making a pie – no rolling or chilling required. You can also make the switch to a gluten-free crust with store-bought GF graham crackers.
  • SUGAR: A small amount of granulated sugar is necessary to sweeten the graham cracker crust, but you won’t need any for the pie filling.
  • BUTTER: Melted butter is the key to holding together your graham cracker crust. We use unsalted butter, but if you like a mix of sweet and salty, you can substitute salted butter to make the crust.

How to Make Florida Key Lime Pie

Here’s a basic overview of how this dish is prepared. For detailed, step-by-step instructions and a complete ingredient list, please refer to the printable recipe card below.

MAKE AND PRE-BAKE THE CRUST: Place graham crackers in a bag and crush them into a fine crumb with a rolling pin. Combine the crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and press it evenly across the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. Pre-bake in 375°F oven for about 7 minutes and set aside to cool for 10 to 12 minutes.

Florida Key Lime Pie (3)

MAKE THE FILLING AND BAKE THE PIE: Whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until smooth and starting to thicken. Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and bake at 350°F until set but still a little jiggly, 12 to 14 minutes.

Florida Key Lime Pie (4)

CHILL THE PIE AND SERVE: Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 90 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with freshly grated lime zest.

Tips for Success

  • MEASURE YOUR EGGS: We call for 5 egg yolks in this recipe because we consistently find the yolks in the large organic eggs we get at the supermarket to be on the small side. One large egg yolk should equal about 1 tablespoon, so if your yolks meet that criteria, you can comfortably cut the quantity back to four.
  • FINE CRUMBS MAKE A BETTER CRUST: When you crush the graham crackers, it’s important to get a fine crumb (using a rolling pin helps with this) so you can easily press the crust mixture into the pie pan. Fine crumbs pack together more densely, forming a solid base for your pie, while larger graham cracker chunks can cause the crust to crumble more easily.
  • LIME ZEST ADDS EXTRA FLAVOR: Set aside some fresh lime zest to decorate the pie before serving with fresh whipped cream for even more bright lime tartness.
Florida Key Lime Pie (5)

About Key Limes

True Key limes are nearly impossible to find outside of the Florida Keys. Hurricanes and price competition from Persian limes put an end to commercial growing in the state nearly one hundred years ago, so when you find limes labeled as “Key limes” they have almost certainly been grown in Mexico. Mexican grown Key limes are small, not as juicy as the original Florida-grown variety, and slightly more bitter. We did use them in our pie recipe, but substituting the more common Persian limes is perfectly acceptable (if not preferable) and will make a delicious pie.

Florida Key Lime Pie

4.4 from 89 votes

This easy Florida Key lime pie recipe features a buttery homemade graham cracker crust with a filling that's bursting with citrus flavor. This fool-proof dessert is surprisingly simple to whip up with very little hands-on time in the kitchen.

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Chill Time : 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Cook Time : 20 minutes mins

Total Time : 2 hours hrs

Author: Lynne Webb

Course: Desserts

Cuisine: American

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Ingredients

  • 5 egg yolks, see notes
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, (1 can)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, (from about 1 lb of limes)

For the crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, (from 10 to 12 crackers)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

For serving:

  • Whipped cream, (homemade or store-bought)
  • Lime zest, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the graham crackers in a large zip-top bag and crush them into fine crumbs with a rolling pin (see tip below).

  • Transfer the crumbs to a small mixing bowl, add the sugar, and pour in the butter. Combine with a fork, then transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.

  • Use your fingers to press the crumbs evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

  • Bake until golden, about 7 minutes, remove and reduce the temperature to 350°F. Set the crust aside to cool for 10 to 12 minutes.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice until smooth and starting to thicken.

  • Pour the mixture into the partially cooled crust and bake until the custard is set but still a little jiggly, 12 to 14 minutes.

  • Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 90 minutes before serving.

  • Serve topped with a little freshly whipped cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

MEASURE YOUR EGGS: We call for 5 egg yolks in this recipe because we consistently find the yolks in the large organic eggs we get at the supermarket to be on the small side. One large egg yolk should equal about 1 tablespoon, so if your yolks meet that criteria, you can comfortably cut the quantity back to four.

FINE CRUMBS MAKE A BETTER CRUST: When you crush the graham crackers, it’s important to get a fine crumb (using a rolling pin helps with this) so you can easily press the crust mixture into the pie pan. Fine crumbs pack together more densely, forming a solid base for your pie, while larger graham cracker chunks can cause the crust to crumble more easily.

LIME ZEST ADDS EXTRA FLAVOR: Set aside some fresh lime zest to decorate the pie before serving with fresh whipped cream for even more bright lime tartness.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 308 kcal | Carbohydrates: 36 g | Protein: 6 g | Fat: 16 g | Saturated Fat: 9 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0.3 g | Cholesterol: 161 mg | Sodium: 171 mg | Potassium: 226 mg | Fiber: 0.2 g | Sugar: 32 g | Vitamin A: 565 IU | Vitamin C: 6 mg | Calcium: 164 mg | Iron: 1 mg

Have you tried this recipe?Did you add your own special touch? Leave a comment and a rating to share your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. Annie says

    Florida Key Lime Pie (9)
    This turned out perfect! It was so easy, I’ll never buy a store bought key lime pie again.

    Reply

    • Lynne Webb says

      Hi Annie,
      I’m happy to hear you liked the pie. We love easy desserts!

      Reply

  2. Noriela Corona says

    The MEXICAN Limes worked just fine in June for my pie. Just saying, much love from TIJUANA MEXICO

    Reply

    • Lynne Webb says

      Thanks for sharing that info Noriela. Glad you enjoyed!

      Reply

  3. Cassey pereira says

    Florida Key Lime Pie (10)
    It was really delicious. I served it as a dessert for my husband’s birthday and everyone asked for more.
    I followed the recipe without making any changes..i would give this recipe five stars and encourage everyone to strictly follow the recipe.
    Thanks. I’ve saved this recipe in my diary.

    Reply

  4. Lydia Kirn says

    I love this recipe, thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    • Lynne Webb says

      Hi Lydia,
      I’m happy to hear you liked the pie. Thanks for letting us know!

      Reply

  5. Tommie Rosprim says

    Nellie and Joe’s keylime juice is the same as fresh squeezed

    Reply

  6. Jane says

    Do you think i could use this recipe and instead of the key lime juice, use juice from blackberries or dewberries?

    Reply

    • Lynne Webb says

      Hi Jane,
      In theory, I suppose you could use another type of pure fruit juice provided it wasn’t too sweet, but I have never tried it and can’t speak from experience. If you give it a try, please come back and share your results. I’m sure other readers would be interested.

      Reply

  7. David Morningstar says

    We used less yokes and some zest which was ommitted by the commercial pie maker cause it was too tart for our norther visiters.

    Reply

Florida Key Lime Pie (2024)
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