This easy homemade Key Lime Pie recipe is made with a buttery graham cracker crust and a flavourful creamy key lime filling. You won't believe how simple this Key Lime Pie is to make!
It's Pi Day on Sunday, March 14! Yes, Pi. As in 3.14159265358... Pi. Obviously, we have to celebrate with PIE! Might I suggest this Banana Cream Pie that I posted last year for Pi Day? Or my Fudge Brownie Pecan Pie. Or even my homemade Pumpkin Pie!
Are you a fan of Key Lime Pie? I don't think I had ever tried it myself until I was in Victoria last summer and my friends and I shared a slice after dinner at a restaurant one night. It was so delicious that we came back to the restaurant for breakfast the next morning and ordered a slice to share again after our breakfast! I was obsessed.
Of course, I decided that I would need to recreate it myself for the blog sometime. I assumed that it would be a very complicated recipe to make, let alone develop a recipe for. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find out how simple it really is when I researched the recipe!
Ingredients Needed to Make Key Lime Pie
This key lime pie has 8 simple ingredients: 3 for the crust and 5 for the filling.
- Graham Crumbs
- White Sugar
- Melted Butter
You can, of course, use a store-bought pre-made 9-inch graham crust instead.
Sweetened Condensed Milk -- I personally cannot stand the flavour of sweetened condensed milk on its own or in most recipes and was a little reluctant to use so much in this recipe. Don't worry though, I can confirm that you cannot detect any off-putting canned milk flavour in this recipe. The acidity of the lime juice completely cancels it out.
Egg Yolks -- Some recipes don't call for egg yolks but I decided to add them for extra richness and to give more structure to the pie.
Vanilla Extract -- Just a little, just because! I seldom bake a dessert without adding a splash of vanilla (which I never measure, by the way! 😉).
Key Lime Juice -- Fresh is best, of course, but if you can only find jarred that is fine too. You can also make this recipe with regular lime juice. It won't be quite as flavourful as key lime juice but it will work in a pinch.
Sour Cream -- Just ½ cup of sour cream makes this pie perfectly creamy and amazing!
To Zest or Not to Zest
You may have noticed that I did not include any lime zest in this Key Lime Pie recipe. Why not? Well, the first time I tested this recipe, I added the fresh zest of several key limes. The result: a very off-putting bitter flavour in addition to the amazing creamy tart/sweet filling*. When the lime zest is baked into the liquid filling and then allowed to steep as it cools, even the smallest amount of pith (the white part under the lime skin) will flavour the filling with a terrible bitter flavour. If you really feel that this pie needs more lime zestiness, I recommend simply zesting some fresh lime zest on top after it bakes for a garnish or you could add some lime zest to your whipped cream! Please do not add it to the filling before baking!!
*Please note that this result came from using "key limes" grown in Mexico. I cannot buy authentic Floridan Key Limes where I live, so I was unable to test this recipe with real key limes (yes, according to my research there is a difference!). I now dream of traveling to the Florida Keys one day and making an authentic Key Lime Pie while I'm there!! One day.
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Key Lime Pie
For the Crust:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- ⅓ cup salted butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 2 ½ cups sweetened condensed milk (approximately 600 millilitres or 20 ounces)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup fresh key lime juice*
- ½ cup sour cream
- whipped cream
- lime zest**
To make the Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until combined. Pour the crust mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and press firmly onto the bottom and sides of the pan to form a crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Leave the oven on while you prepare the filling.
To make the Filling:
- Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add the key lime juice and continue whisking until combined. Lastly, whisk in the sour cream until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the still-warm graham cracker crust and smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature before covering and refrigerating for at least 6 hours (overnight is best). Serve with whipped cream on top. Enjoy!
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