Re you ready for the BEST Key Lime Pie recipe? This prize-winning Key Lime Pie recipe is easy to make (you can make & enjoy the same day). AND its so creamy and refreshing!
Guess what?? I won a trip to the Florida Keys in the Philadelphia Florida Keys Cook-Off a few weeks ago! Pinch me! The competitors had to cook in 2 challenges and I won! I wanted to share my Prize Winning Key Lime Pie Recipe today and tell you a little bit about what went down! It's long, feel free to hit the jump to recipe button 🙂
I LOVE hearing in the comments below, comments and images on Instagram and Facebook as well as in emails just how many of you have made this pie! And how it has become a part of so many special occasions! Thanks for letting me know! This pie really is SO easy, creamy, refreshing and delicious...Plus you can't mess it up!!
First the story...then I will show you how to make the BEST Key Lime Pie...So many people have now made my Prize-Winning Key Lime Pie recipe! It's just so cool! Hope you enjoy it as well!
24 Philadelphia-Area Influencers were invited to The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College on Walnut Street in downtown Philadelphia for the 2nd Florida Key's Cook-Off. The first was held in 2015 in Montreal.
I was thrilled to be invited to cook! As a food blogger, when I make what I share here on Souffle Bombay, it's just me (me and my mountain of dishes) alone, at home doing what I do.
So imagine just how fun it was to get out with other foodies and have some fun in the kitchen. Even if I wasn't the winner, I would have loved the whole experience!
This was my first trip to a culinary school. I was super-impressed with The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia. From the many kitchens for the students to learn and work into the themed rooms for dinner service and the overall look and feel of the place. it is something special!
Chef Bobby Stokey was our host and one of the three judges. Chef Bobby did a couple of culinary demonstrations before we all got down to it. He showed us a couple of delicious Key West Style seafood dishes. So fresh and simple!
Chef Bobby owns a number of restaurants in the Florida Keys (Marker 88, Sundowner, Ballyhoos and Senor Frijoles) so he sure knows his way around a kitchen as well as the flavors of the Keys!
I found it interesting that traditional Key Lime Pies down in the Keys are topped with meringue, like a lemon meringue pie. My husband loves Key Lime Pie and orders it out when he comes across it, yet I never saw one in-person with meringue in the Philadelphia Area, it's always whipped cream.
Going into the challenge we all knew we had to make a Key Lime Pie.
We each were allowed to bring a secret ingredient to make our Key Lime Pie. My first thought was tequila, so I made one in my test run with that. My second thought (because I know what my husband likes in a dessert) was sour cream.
I let my family and a couple of friends blind test both Key Lime Pie Recipes and the result was down the middle! SO...the night of the competition, I brought both thinking, I would decide which to use in the moment.
Marissa from the Preston & Steve Morning show brought chocolate, Alex Holley from Fox News brought grits (yes grits for her crust...it's a thing down South), my food blogger bestie, Linda, brought Key Lime Liquor, another food blogger friend, Lisa brought Candied Pecans and on and on it went.
It was just like an episode of MasterChef or Top Chef, we all had to stand in our places...Ingredients were set up and Chef Bobby yelled Ready...Set...GO!!! And we were off! It was a little bit crazy!
This easy Key Lime Pie Recipe came together quickly, so since I had extra time, I decided to use leftover limes and make some candied lime peel.
While our pies chilled, we got down to our second challenge...the mystery ingredient from the Florida Keys which turned out to be beautiful Yellow Tail Snapper fillets. I had never worked with or eaten it before, however, I am pretty familiar with halibut, so I figured it was similar to cook with.
Ingredients were set out for us to choose from. I quickly decided to do something I thought no one would do. A curry sauce, similar to one of my favorite ways to prepare halibut...Take a look at my recipe (image below) for Pan Seared Halibut in Thai Curry Sauce.
I grabbed tomatoes, ginger, onion, etc. I cooked them down and finished the sauce with coconut milk and seasonings. Whatever I could find in that kitchen to give it the flavors I was thinking of in my head, I grabbed. As far as the fish, I simply pan-fried it with seasonings, then sat it atop the sauce I made.
Judges came around and tried each of our dishes as we raised our hands once complete (we had 45 minutes for the pie and 45 for the protein).
I kept hearing Gordon Ramsay in my head. "Stick to one thing...do it well, taste, taste, taste" so that's what I did. Each judge independently tasted and scored our yellow-tail snapper entrée as well as our pie. Then the scores were merged.
Imagine my surprise when the called out the top pie, then the top entrée (who each won a nice gift basket). Then suddenly they called out the overall winner...The winner of the title "Honorary Florida Key's Chef"...The winner of the week-long trip to the Florida Keys And...it... was... MEEEEE!!!
I was like OMGosh and walked up to the balcony where Chef Bobby, Pat Croce, and others were waiting to congratulate me.
And I gave Chef Bobby a BIG kiss!!!
II hope you make this Key Lime Pie, you will love it!! It is light, crisp, cold and delicious. Bring it to BBQ's and graduations (keep it in the fridge until serving). Make it for Mother's Day, a new neighbor, someone who needs a smile put on their face...or make it just for you and eat the whole thing!! Report back and tell me what you think!!
- graham cracker crumbs
- sweetened condensed milk
- sour cream
- key lime juice see key limes
- egg yolks
- lime zest
- heavy cream
- powdered sugar
- Bake pie ON a baking sheet, this way when you pull it out, you don't accidently put a finger or oven mitt print in your pie. Trust me, I speak from experience lol!
- Allow the key lime pie to cool completely before placing in your refrigerator.
- Allow the pie to chill for at least 3 hours.
- To chill your pie the fastest, place it on the very bottom shelf of your fridge. Cold falls, so this area is the coldest.
- Don't put they whipped cream topping on until shortly before you plan to enjoy. It does hold up well, I just do this so it doesn't get messed up.
- Either don't cover the pie if you have topped it or keep it in a domed container to protect it.
This pie actually holds up great. You can make it a day ahead of time and put the whipped cream on top the day of. It will taste good for days! If you have a pie or cake carrier to store it in that's the best way to keep it fresh without messing up the whipped cream.
Other recipes to try
If you enjoy making desserts (or eating them) as much as I do, you need to try one or all of the following: If lime is not your thing, try my Easy Lemon Pie, just like Key Lime Pie but with lemon.
Homemade Apple Fritters. Just a handful of ingredients yields a memorable dessert or breakfast treat! Everyone loves an Apple Fitter!
When cranberries are in season, this "pie" will get rave reviews! It's different and delicious! Get the recipe for this vintage Nantucket Cranberry Pie.
Post updated March 5, 2020...Originally published May 12, 2017.
Prize Winning Key Lime Pie Recipe
- 1 ½ - 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs*
- ¼ cup sugar
- 4 TBS butter. melted
- 3 cups 24 oz sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup key lime juice I use always Nellie and Joes Key Lime Juicesince I rarely see key limes
- 2 egg yolks
- Zest from 1 lime or key lime
- Whipped Cream
- 8 oz heavy cream very cold
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 3-4 TBS powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse graham crackers in your food processor until they become crumbs (or buy crumbs).
- Add in sugar butter and pulse until combined.
- Press crumbs onto your pie plate, across the bottom and up the sides.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow crust to cool completely.
- For Filling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in your mixing bowl and allow them to beat on med-high for 2 minutes.
- Scrape filling into your prepared (and cooled) pie crust)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until filling only wiggles a bit in the center when you gently shake the pan back & forth a bit.
- Don't allow pie to brown.
- Cool on your counter for at least 30 minutes, then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Whipped Cream
- In your mixing bowl, whip the cream on high until stiff peaks begin to form.
- Add in vanilla and powdered sugar and whip until firm whipped cream happens.
- Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and when ready (an hour before serving or so, decorate your pie.
- Sprinkle a little fresh lime zest over-top.
- Keep pie chilled until serving.
I like a little bit of a crumbly crust for this. If you want it held together more firmly, add in an additional TBS of melted butter or two.
If you want a thicker crust, use 2 cups of crumbs (or if using a larger pie dish).
When pulling the pie from the oven...don't put your thumb in the pie...Trust me, I have done this more than once with pies! You may want to bake it on a baking sheet...Just in case.
Keep your whipped cream chilled until ready to use.
Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
Congratulations!!! And now I want a massive slice of that delicious pie! 🙂
This sucks go to key west and figure out what a great key lime pie is
I've made this recipe a few times now and everyone has loved it, used bottled lime juice. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Sounds like Becky is having a bad day😓I’m a native Floridian and I think it’s wonderful!
Becky must be a joy at parties.
This is my go-to recipe for key lime pie. Delish!!
Yay! Love that!
Peg Owens says
Wow... maybe Becky needs something to change her mood other than a key lime pie... I think you get the idea, let’s just leave it at that lol 😂! Although not a native Floridian, I did live there for 10 years and have eaten and baked many a key lime pie - it’s one of my faves. This pie is a bit non-traditional with the addition of sour cream - but that intrigued me to try it. I did use fresh key lime juice ... I agree with others that have said bottled juice doesn’t compare to fresh squeezed. I thought the crust a tad dry/crumbly... I will add a bit more butter next time (I think 5-6 T is more standard).... but beyond that, the pie was creamy, smooth, packed with wonderful key lime flavor, and the sour cream gave a wonderful texture - very light with an incredible mouthfeel. The pie was gone in a flash, and I will definitely make it again... possibly making a nut crust by substituting some macadamia nuts (which go wonderfully with key limes) for a portion of the graham crackers. Congratulations Colleen on winning the contest - and thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us!
Thanks so much Peg!
I just got back from Key West and think this pie is just as good as any of the slices I had while there. I should add I had at least one slice a day - all from different places in key west
geez, you don’t have to be so rude with your comment. apparently, you don’t have any manners.
Hmm, I think we know who came in 2nd place. Bwahahahaha!
Becky needs to get laid. Great pie!!!!!
Becky don't be a hater. You probably can't even make a pie to begin with. This pie is AMAZING!
You clearly have not made and tasted this pie. It's better than the ones in Key West.
What size pie plate did you use?
8 or 9 inch.
I made this pie for my dad, who's been eating key lime everything since he was a kid, and he loved it. Were you one of the losing contestants?
Glad he enjoyed it! No, I was the winner 🙂
Can I use lemons in place of lemons
I have made this at least 5 times and it is prize winning. When I made it I poured out the condensed milk as it comes in 14oz cans. I did not think about weighing it, but 3 cups is way more than 24oz. So when my mom made it, she just poured in 2 full cans for 28oz. How do you measure the sweetened condensed milk? Thank you!
So glad you enjoy it!! I usually use both cans as well, I just don't scrape them out.
So you are NOT using 3 cups?
(2) 14 oz cans = 2 1/4 cups as they are measured as weighted oz, not fl oz.
Should I just use (2) 14 oz cans?
(2) cans are 28 oz weighted
(2) cans are 36 oz fl
Thanks! I dont to mess it up
Ho Don, yes I use less than 3 cups because that usually is too much for my pie plate. It will work either way honestly. It's a very forgiving pie.
I’ve only ever measured out 3 cups of sweetened condensed milk, and it’s always been delicious!
Can a store bough graham cracker crust be used instead of making one?
What size pie dish do you use and I used 2 14 oz cans but that does not measure to 3 cups on my glass measuring cup..... was I correct?
2 14 oz cans is perfect for this, it is what I do. I use and 8 or 9 inch deep dish pie typically.
Hi I made this last year and it was loved so much that’s some family missed out can I double or triple it to make it in a cake pan 9x13
Great to hear, I have never made it in a cake pan, I think it would be just fin, bake time may have to be adjusted. Just bake until center is mostly solid. You don't want browned edges. Let me know how it turns out.
Well I made it just now cooling. The crust is 1 1/2 recipe except the butter that is doubled. And the filling is straight doubled . I placed the cooked crust in the oven then poured the filling in to keep from tipping over the edge of the side of the crust. Also only added 10-15 minutes to cooking time but my pan is thin shiny aluminum
Awesome, hope you and everyone enjoy it!
Noooo, just make 2 or 3 pies or how ever many people you are serving. As it would be for any flavor pie.
Jessica @Savory Experiments says
I seriously LOVE Key Lime Pie! This looks delicious!
This looks incredible! I'm drooling! Congratulations!
Yum! Thank you from my belly!
Jennifer Farley says
Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts. I love this version so much!
Isabelle @ Crumb says
Congrats on winning the competition. And I can totally see why, because that looks like a mighty fine key lime pie!
Wow! What a cool experience. Congratulations, Colleen! I look forward to seeing Key West adventure.
Getting to cook with other like-minded people in a fun competition was just SO much fun!!
The Food Hunter says
Congratulations...what an amazing opportunity
Penelope Blake says
Congratulations! Sorry to disagree with you, but there's a huge difference between fresh key limes and bottled. I have a key lime tree and I make key lime cookies, pies, coffee cake and on and on. I also make a marinade for fish using the juice. When I can't bake or cook any more, I freeze the juice by the tablespoon in old ice cube trays and grate the zest, place in baggies and freeze. Good luck finding key limes in the northern states.
It would be nice if you could test the taste of the key limes in the store they come in bags I bought a bag made a pie and they were so bitter it was awful
I was very confused when I made this pie. I had two cans of 14 oz cans of the condensed milk = 28oz which poured out to be 2 cups and a half. According to your recipe you need 3 cups or 24oz of the condensed milk. Is there a mistake for the milk in the recipe? It turned out ok, I used a full cup of sour cream to replace the missing half cup.. I am just trying to figure it out so I can get it right the next time. Thanks!
Hi Tori, Each can (that I buy anyway) has 14 oz in each...so 28 oz in all I use all but just a bit...so 24 oz. Since a cup is 8oz I wrote 3 cups, I see what you are saying about the thickness measuring out less. You can just use the 2 cans, and keep the sour cream as is (1/2 cup). That is perfect. I just remade this using 2 full cans (14 oz each) and it came out perfect).
Got ya! Thanks so much for replying. I will try it that way next time. I will say that it was very good anyway with the one cup, so I am looking forward to making the right way. Thanks also for the recipe!
Teresa Black says
Omgoodness I have a pie in the oven and I used 3 cans of condensed milk.
Just so y’all know the oz indicated on the can is the weight not the volume. The volume of two cans is 20 oz or 2 1/2 cups. 😆
That being said, I LOVE this recipe. All my friends and family agree it is the most amazing key lime pie they’ve ever had!! It’s so silky smooth!
It has been my experience that traditional key lime pie has a little more texture to it, so perhaps that is why some don’t like it? But for me, this recipe just improves on traditional key lime pie! Thank you so much for sharing!!
SO glad you enjoy it Alyson! And as far as the amount of sweetened condensed milk goes, you can use two cans or just the oz specified...This is such a forgiving recipe and tastes great both ways. I made two yesterday. !/2 for us and 3 halves to give away 🙂
Sandy Swift-Urback says
I experienced this also. I didn't think about the extra sour cream. Mine turned out fine, but I would like clarity.
Easy and delicius... I added some grated coconut o the crust. It give an extra...
Dru Fry says
Oh my gosh! Hands down, the BEST key lime pie I've ever had anywhere! I used fresh key limes and squeezed the juice. Everyone who tries it agrees that this is definitely a keeper! This is my 3rd time making it and it's turned out perfect every time. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I can see why you won the contest.
Hi Sue, thanks!! I was super excited! The winning Key Lime Pie recipe is above in this post and as for the yellowtail snapper, I have not remade that. Between yellowtail snapper not being wildly available where I live and not completely knowing exactly what I did, I have to remake it a couple of times to write it down precise. However, this recipe is similar (and so.soooo good) it's what I had in my head while I was cooking. Hope you enjoy it! https://soufflebombay.com/2016/10/30-minute-pan-seared-halibut-thai-curry-sauce.html
What size pie pan did you use? I didn’t see that anywhere.
I have used a 9 inch and a 10 inch for this.
Key lime is a favorite in my family but I've never made one. This recipe is super simple and the pie came out perfectly! It was a huge hit with family and friends.
Fantastic to hear! So glad you enjoyed it Pril!
Judy Naylor says
I have never made a key lime pie before so I was delighted to find this recipe so easy to
make. It was the best ke.y lime pie I have ever tasted and my son, who loves key lime pie,
agreed with me. But next time I will use a larger pie plate, Congratulations!
That's so great to hear! Thanks for the comment!
I made the pie this evening and half way through the baking I realized a forgot the egg yolks! We are eating this tomorrow so I’ll let you know how it turns out! Hopefully it won’t make too much of a difference. Fingers crossed.
Ah! I've been "there"! Wondering how it came out...maybe just less creamy and rich....
Yes-- I just realized I forgot the zest. Argh!!
Elise Savidge says
I made this pie for xmas. It was so delicious, really creamy. It was the best key lime pie recipe I’ve ever made. The crowd loved it. I did find key lime juice at the grocer.
Fantastic! Glad everyone enjoyed it!
A 1st for me. Just made this Key Lime Pie for Christmas. Did not read all the responses or would have had my questions answered. 1st was pie pan size. Bought Keebler 8". Next time I'll use the 9". Also re the 2 14-oz cans. I reasoned back and forth then opened 3rd to equal 3 cups. Sometimes, need to just go with gut.
I also juiced 2 lbs of key limes to freeze. Look forward to a slice of fresh Key lime pie tonight.
Will repost rating after we have dessert.
Hope you enjoyed it!
I ,too, made this pie for Christmas dinner with friends. Best Key lime pie I have ever made. I don't know if it was the sour cream or the 2 cans of sc milk but each piece stood glorious alone. No more runny pie! Everyone loved it. Will definitely make over and over again. Thanks for this prize winner!
SO happy to hear that Julia! Thanks so much for the feedback!!
How long will the pie hold if I need to make ahead?
Hi Kristin, This can hold 2 days well. However, don't top it with the whipped cream until the day of serving. I once forgot I had this in my garage fridge (half of a pie) 4 days later, both the pie and the whipped cream were perfect...It surprised me.
Overall, this pie is great - really yummy. I am making it again next week when we are entertaining. I will be making 2 adjustments, one being that I will omit the zest in the filling as we think we would prefer no bits, and secondly I will be reducing the amount of vanilla to 1/2 tablespoon, as I felt that it was a little overpowering.
Thanks for your feedback! Sometimes I add zest and sometimes I don't just depends on my mood 🙂
Susan Jean says
The very first time I ate key lime pie, it was made with a pastry crust, and I still prefer it that way. This filling is just wonderful, and I encourage people to try it with the pastry crust, at least once. It’s a completely different culinary experience!
Thanks Susan! I think I would really like the pastry crust version. I will try that next time! Thanks for the idea!!
Susan Jean says
Just wondered if you tried the pastry crust? The key to it being good is to pre-bake the crust and let it cool completely before filling and baking. So good.
Linda Petrinov says
Is the condensed milk used in recipe the regular type that some people would use in coffee or tea? Or is it the type like Eagle Brand condensed which is ultra sweet and thick? I can never figure out which it is, and I would like to make this pie for sure!!! thanks so much!
Eagle Brand is what I typically use. Hope you enjoy it!
I’m with you on using a whipped cream topping instead of meringue. I’ve been in the Florida Keys for over 45 years, making and eating key lime pie, and have never personally seen a key lime pie with meringue. Can’t wait to try yours!
That is so interesting...in the demo by The Florida Keys (Chef Bobby) he used meringue. Glad we agree! Hope you enjoy this! Hoping to visit the Keys this year!
I'm also a Floridian. Not from the Keys, but have spent many vacations down there, mostly in Key Largo. It depends on the restaurant which topping (and which type of pie crust) they use. Personally, I prefer whipped cream (and graham cracker crust).
So we were JUST in the Keys for the first time a couple of weeks ago...and LOVED it there! Especially Islamorada. While there we had a slice of Marker 88's Key Lime Pie, which had meringue and OMG was that freaking delicious. Then later in Key West, we had to get a slice from Kermits...Totally different (with whipped cream) but again, delicious and their Key Lime Fudge?? The Bomb! I have decided that I will take it in all forms, lol!
RGW, Stop in at Blonde Giraffe - they have Key Lime with meringue (and also homemade whipped cream). Personally, I’m all for a naked slice since I love the tartness of key limes, but I think most people prefer something to cut it. Can’t wait to try this recipe.
Hope you enjoy! Yes, when we were in the Key's last year we had it with meringue at both Kermits and Marker 88...BOTH were AMAZING! And the Key Lime Fudge at Kermits...out of this world!
I made this pie for my sister-in-law’s birthday and it was a hit!
Awesome!! Thanks for letting me know!
I have been making key lime pies for years with my mom's recipe, but decided to try this one. Made this the other day using key limes from the tree in my backyard. I, also, have never heard of meringue on a key lime pie. I made homemade whipped cream. I put zest in the pie and in the whipped cream. My family gulped it down. I had a bit of filling left so I filled some phyllo tarts with it. Yummy!
Awesome! I'll bet the little tarts were delish! (and see that...who puts meringue on a Key Lime, lol??)
This recipe is amazing! My husband is addicted. Just a couple things I figured out with it... The 1st time I made it I scraped all the milk out of the 2 cans and it was amazing, sweet like I like it, but my husband wanted it a little more tart, so the 2nd time I made it I didn't scrap all the milk out and just poured out what would naturally come out (this stuff is thick) and it came out perfect for him. Also, trying to make it slightly healthy, I did swap the sour cream with Greek yogurt and use the fat free sweetened condensed milk. It was still just as amazing, but a smidge healthier.
Hi Reda, thanks for the feedback. I too only let what comes out of the cans come out. Since it already fills up the crust perfectly that way. Love the healthy switch out, I will have to try that!
trying this tonight!!!!
Dianne Carty says
soooo... either my oven has gone bad or this just didnt turn out with greek yogurt. its the consistency of creamed cottage cheese. its edible, but I will try with sour cream next time
Oh wow! All the other ingredients used were as indicated with the exception of subbing Greek yogurt for the sour cream?? I would think that would work. Stinks that it didn't work out. Hope you do end up making it with sour cream and that you love it as much as we do.
I made this for Easter dinner at my in laws last night. It was perfect! I got so many compliments! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make either! I did end up using a pre-made crust due to time constraints so I can imagine making your own would make it even more delicious! Thanks again for the recipe! 😊
That is SO great to hear Krystena! Thanks so much for the feedback!
I’ve never made a key like pie before- but the Guys on the oil rig I bake for where BEGGING haha. So naturally I came to Pinterest. I was scared at first!! I’ve only been “professionally”baking for 7 months now- but this recipe is so easy!! Probably the hardest part was making sure it was ‘cooked’ all the way. Also- living in Alaska I didn’t have any key limes or aces to a store to get any fancy lime juice so I had to mix fresh squeezed limes and lemons 🤔... we will see how it turns out! I’m excited for the guys to try it haha . Thanks for the recipe!
I hope it comes out for you! If you ever make it again, send me a pic of you, the pie and the rig! That would be SO cool! One day I hope to get to Alaska!
Lori W says
I used a bought Graham cracker crust because I had it already. But, this recipe was absolutely delicious!
Fantastic! So glad to hear you enjoyed it...and that the crust got put to good use!
Is the butter for the crust salted or unsalted?
Salted. However unsalted would work as well.
I'm making this key lime pie this weekend! I can't wait to taste it and I'll let you know how it goes!
Looks amazing! I’m wondering if I could double the recipe and use a 9x13 glass pan to serve at a ladies luncheon. Your thoughts?
I would think it would work out fine. Just watch it and remove it when the center just jiggles slightly. OR make 2 pies 🙂
This pie was AMAZING!! Thank you! I have a quick question. If I omit the lime zest will it still have the same lime flavor? I have 3 little kids who would prefer not to have the zest but I don’t want to sacrifice the wonderful flavor....
Yes! You can totally omit the zest! For fun sometimes I candy the zest and then roll it in sugar (1/2 inch to 1-inch strips). Then I place it around where the whipped cream is. My kids enjoy it.
Made this for a super important SIL birthday. He loved it!!! I used a springform pan. Used 2c. Graham crumbs very fine (I use an old cross-hatch potato masher) and 4 1/2 Tbs not-butter (Earth Balance original). And in CO we add an extra egg yolk to fluff pies or things just get too dense and heavy. I dropped vanilla to 2 tsp and added 1 tsp key lime juice. MY first ever KLP. Tip of the hat to the ladies who insisted on fresh limes! Hubby squeezed in juicing press... 20 key limes=2/3 c juice... so had some bottled in there, but not enough to tell. Could easily serve 12! Our pie 1/8ths were enormous! Was very showy on footed cake plate! Light and airy texture. Best I’ve ever made... or eaten...
Hi Karen, that is so wonderful to hear! Thanks for the insight into your method of success!
My favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie! I’ve now made this 3 times and it just keeps getting better. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
I made this recipe yesterday for our Fourth of July celebration. It was delightful! The only thing I would change is the amount of vanilla in the whipped topping. I got a pretty strong after taste of extract. Excellent pie! Thanks for sharing your recipe!
It's in my oven now! I'm taking it for work tomorrow so I am not tempted to eat it all!
Has anyone tried to make this as minis? About how long do you think I should bake it?
I would love to see this as minis also.
Jeanette Whitfield says
My husband loves key lime pie! We will definitely have to make this one soon. Congratulations on your prize winning recipe!!
I made this recipe tonight. Very good. The flavor is quite intense with key limes. I think if I make it again I’ll cut back somewhat on the lime juice. The texture and firmness was just right.
Kathy Findley says
I have made this pie twice, the first time squeezing regular limes because I could not find key limes anywhere. Today, I made it with the key lime juice you recommended. It definitely is different and I think we’re going to love it despite the lack of fresh key limes. Not sure anyone would like this for the crust, but I use ground vanilla wafers, sliced almonds, the melted butter, and 1/8 teaspoon almond extract. You can sense the faintst hint of almond. It’s really delicious. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
Ashley lopez says
I made the key lime pie with regular limes for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit it tasted so good and it was my first time making a key lime pie and it was so easy to follow the recipe
I am so excited to try this pie, we had a bunch of key limes on our tree but once I juiced them, only came to 1/2 cup😢! Is this enough or should I go buy some more or Nellie and Joes to make 3/4 cup? I did zest them first so I do have plenty of that!
Am at a standstill right now, deciding on what the best thing to do is....advice?
Thank you and Merry Christmas 🎄
Thank you for sharing your recipe! This is the BEST key lime pie I've ever had and ever made! I've made it twice since Christmas and each time it was a huge hit! YUM!
Best key lime pie ever. Thanks for the receipe, my husband loved it.
Yay! So happy to hear that!
Candied lime peel? How to? My grandson has a bday and he wants key lime pie!
Oh! I hope you make this for him and he loves it Rosalie! I started typing how to candy the peels then decided its best for me to link to a reliable recipe vs putting it all in a comment. What I would do differently than what it says is cut strips of peel from limes with a vegetable peeler, then scrape off the pith (white). Then cut those strips with a paring knife as thin as you can. Other than that do what they say. I would 1/2 their recipe since you are just decorating the pie with them. Enjoy!! https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/56693/candied-lemon-peel/
Janet Terzian says
This was delicious. I increased to a cup of lime juice, fresh squeezed, and juice from half a huge lemon from our tree. But the best part was the crust from one box mint oreos and 1/2 cup butter! It was like a chocolate mojito pie.
Yum! Sounds like some delicious changes Janet and you can't beat a lemon from your own tree! I really want to try growing a lemon tree in a pot (I am in PA).
Your an inspiration. I love to cook but I cant without a recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to make this!
Aw, thanks! And I hope you love it! I can totally make just about any savory dish without a recipe, baking, however, is more of an exact science...so I feel you there!
Jill Ellis says
I measured out 3 cups,do you think it will taste ok,I made it for someone else so I won't be tasting it,It's my first time making it!
Amy VaunBruan says
Making this recipe now. So simple!
I've quartered the recipe and added that much more so that I could also make a small batch variation.
Too bad I can't include pictures for you.
I've layered the small batch with homemade raspberry filling. Can't wait to taste both! Thank you for the recipe!
The variation sounds wonderful (and colorful) Amy! Hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!! I made this pie a couple of days ago but my pie turned out too wobbly in the middle so it was very hard to slice and serve... Does the cooking time need to be longer??
I’ve made this recipe three times now. Once for friends from south Florida who go to Key West often and always rave about the key lime pie. They LOVED this recipe and asked where I got it. My kids and husband said this is their new favorite dessert! I did use fresh key limes each time because oddly enough I can’t find the bottled juice. Thanks for this recipe!!
Awesome Jessi! When I can get fresh I do that as well, yum!
I’m making it right now. Is the crust supposed to hold together after coming out of the oven or be a little crumbly?
A bit crumbly is fine, once you pour in the filling and pop it back in the oven it all holds together perfectly.
This is a GREAT, traditional version of key lime pie. I went through a couple of recipes online that always threw in weird things-- 4 stiff peak egg whites, this and that, etc. etc. All were weird and off. Not that dense, tart pie I love.
But THIS is a traditional, good, no frills key lime pie. Delicious, custardy, leaning on tart, not too sweet, slightly salty from the delicious crust.
Be aware; it does jiggle a bit when it comes out, but the entire top should have a "film" to it, noting it done. Mine took 19 minutes. Chilled for awhile, then divine 🙂
Great to hear Jay! Yes, it should jiggle in the center a bit when you take it out. Thanks for the detailed comment!
This key lime pie was absolutely delicious I made it per the recipe but omitted the lime zest as I prefer a smooth key lime pie. We have travelled to Florida many times and this rivals even some of the best key lime pie we’ve had! Thanks for a great recipe!
That is so fantastic to hear Kelsey!! Makes me happy 🙂
I just made this pie for my son’s birthday, & it was a huge hit! My husband grew up in Key West, & this delicious, authentic, mouthwatering pie did not disappoint!
(Just FYI, I also omitted the lime zest).
I made this pie for my son’s birthday, & it was a huge hit! My husband grew up in Key West, & this delicious, mouthwatering Key Lime pie is the real deal. It’s the best Key Lime pie we’ve ever eaten. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Thank you! That's amazing to hear Debby! What an amazing place to grow up!!
Thanks for this! I am currently measuring and wondered the same thing!
Looks yummy. Can you freeze this pie? Need to make ahead.
I have not frozen it before. I can't see why not. Just top it with the whipped cream after it thaws.
This pie was incredible! Such incredible lime flavor, loved the zest! I used 3 tbsp sugar in the crust, will add 1 more tbsp butter next time. I used 1 can sweetened condensed milk and 4 egg yolks. This pie baked beautifully and made picture perfect slices. I made half the whipped cream amount. Perfect summer dessert and pretty easy. I used bottled lime juice too!
Fantastic to hear! It really is a great dessert, even in a hurry. You just need a few hours for it to set up!
Lisa LaCava says
Just made this pie for the 3rd time in a week! I followed the recipe exactly the first time, using Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice because my local grocery store was out of fresh. My son loved it, but I thought there was too much vanilla in the topping, and my crust could've used more butter. B+
Second pie for my bestie was better. Added an extra Tbsp of Nellie & Joe's for a tiny bit more tang. I buttered my glass pie pan, dusted it with flour, and stuck it in the freezer while I crushed the graham crackers. I think I used a little more melted butter, and a little less sugar in this 2nd crust. Refrigerated pie overnight. Only added 3/4tsp of vanilla to topping, and added maybe 1tsp of key lime juice. Made sure I whipped to very stiff peaks this time and, after trying to decorate with the plastic baggie trick, refrigerated again for an hour during dinner. This time.. A-, getting closer to what I had in mind, almost.
My 3rd try was delicious! I liked the extra lime, cutting just enough of the sweetness of the condensed milk, and omitting some of the sugar called for in the crust. This pie cut really nicely, and was easier to get onto the plate than my first two pies. Finally found my way to my own A+!
I reeeeally loved this recipe as a starting point, and then customizing it to fit my family's taste preferences. Thank you so much!
Glad it turned out the way you like it in the end! Thanks for the feedback on your experience.
Hi. I am wondering if these pies can be frozen. I would love to make some them ahead of time then transport them frozen to gatherings. Any advice would be appreciated.
I have not frozen them, however, I am sure they would be just fine frozen. However, do not top them with the whipped cream until just before serving.
I am trying to find a key lime pie that can be made about a week in advance and popped in the freezer until ready to use. Have you ever frozen this pie?
I have not frozen it before however, It would be just fine frozen. Do not top it with the whipped cream until just serving however.
Can I use lemons in place of limes
Can I use lemons in place of limes?
I have not made this with lemons however I am sure it would make a delicious lemon pie. Let me know how it turns out. YOu can also order key lime juice from Amazon (Nellies) one bottle is enough for 3 pies and it keeps for a while in the fridge.
is it salted or unsalted butter for the crust!?
I use salted. I almost always do for everything.
My teenage daughter begged me to make key lime pie instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving yesterday, and I obliged by using your recipe. All we can say is wow! Great work here. I always assumed this pie was cream cheese based, I was so delighted to see the sweetened condensed milk instead! This was very easy to make, and the combination of flavors was so good. I could not find key limes anywhere, so I used regular limes and it was still outstanding. Thank you for this! It really made our holiday. 😊
Oh Angie, so happy to hear this! And glad your daughter both were excited to try something new and that you all enjoyed it! Tell her from now on, it should be one of her "signature dishes"...She's in charge! Have a great holiday season!!
Made this last night and it was a huge hit--DELICIOUS!
Fantastic Angie! So glad to hear it! Thanks for the comment!!
I made your key lime pie, unfortunately I can't eat it all.......Does this pie freeze well
I have never frozen it Tyler, let me know how it goes. Glad you enjoyed it!
I love this pie and I've gotten so many compliments! However, a can of sweetened condensed milk is 14 ounces and the recipe calls for 24 ounces. This means that there is a partial can that has to be frozen. I just did the calculations and if you add 5 cans sweetened condensed milk to three times the other ingredients it all comes out right. And I often make this into two very large pies for events.
Brenda Ewing says
Soooo good! I have never even attempted to make but have always loved at restaurants and was worried it just wouldn’t be the same. *Mic drop*
Wrong! I had a hard time not licking the bowl of filling (yes with the raw yolks and all!) lol. Thanks for this recipe.
Haha! I love it Brenda! Congrats on your pie!!
Arpita Patel says
Tart and tasty... great pie for the sunny spring day we have today! I chose to make my own graham cracker crust --which I parbaked--and threw in the zest of my limes (approx 1T). I was reading other recipes and decided to use just 4 yolks and was happy with the results. Topped with some freshly whipped cream to even out the tart puckery flavor this pie was perfect!
Fantastic to hear!
Niza L says
Thank you so much for sharing this delicious key lime pie recipe! I made it last night with fresh limes juice because we didn’t have key limes and it turned out beautifully! It’s a very tasty pie! My family loved it! I just have one question. If I want it to make it less sweet (per my preference), can I cut condensed milk to 1 1/2-1 3/4 cups or would it alter the texture of the filing? What would you recommend? Thank you!!
Great to hear Niza! Sure you can cut the amount of sweetened condensed milk down, it will just result in a thinner (height) pie.
I made this recipe on Valentine's Day for my husband. We both love Key West and have eaten delicious Key Lime Pie on vacation. I had to give this a try and I was not disappointed! It was absolutely delicious, the only thing I added was a homemade raspberry coulis drizzle as topper.. Desserts often go to waste at my house, not this one. Every bite was consumed. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
Yay! And that coulis is a perfect accent!
Kristin McMahan says
I was able to find key limes at the store so I used them instead of Nellie’s. I thought the fresh juice tasted a bit more tart than the bottled so I used less, but also did the full 2 cans of condensed milk (because I hate waste) and almost wish I hadn’t because it came out a tad too sweet. I did 5 T of butter to 1 1/2 cups of crumbs because I saw some comments that the crust was too crumbly and did find it was perfect that way (for my taste). The flavors really come together as the pie sits longer and found I enjoyed it even more the next day so this pie can be made ahead. I used a 9” x 1” pie plate and had quite a bit of filling leftover so I’m going to try and make mini ones in soufflé cups. The whip didn’t melt (in the fridge) so you can even decorate it ahead of time of you wanted to. I have photos so let me know if you’d like to see them. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipe!
Thanks for the update Kristin! I too make a mini pie occasionally. I'd love to see the photo if you are on Instagram tag me @soufflebombay and I can share it 🙂
Thank you for this recipe. This is my second attempt and unfortunately on both occasions my pie didnt set. The first time I didnt utilize the egg yolks.
Hi Reen, I have never had an issue (or heard back from anyone) about it not setting. You are using sweetened condensed milk, correct (eagle brand is fantastic) and baking it in the oven correct?
Thank you for responding to me. I am using sweetened condensed milk and baking in the oven as per the recipe. However, we don't have that brand outside of the US though, I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
I really can not say Reen. SO curious. Maybe the product is not as thick as what we have in the us. That is all I can think. Sorry I could not figure it out for you.
No worries....I guess I shall have to figure out somehow.
Thanks again for sharing your recipe and responding to my queries.
Have a great day!
Hi there! I’m excited to try this for Fathers Day. Do I use a whole lime of zest?
Great! Up to on using a little, a lot or no zest. I just do a little for color. Some don't like the texture of it. Your call, enjoy!
barbara cecchini says
This is the absolute best Key Lime Pie I have ever had anywhere! It is just perfect in every way. Easy to see how it won the big prize. So well deserved. Only problem: I could not stop eating it, and neither could everyone else. It was a fight to the very last crumb. Thank you for a recipe to treasure and pass on.
Haha, I love hearing that Barbara! Thanks so much!
This is the best key lime pie ever! I have tried a lot of key lime pies from frozen grocery store freezer aisle to restaurants. This is BETTER! I didn’t even make the whipped cream topping because I’m going to freeze leftover slices. I did add a dash of salt in the crust. Thanks again!!!
Yay! So glad you love it Bri! Thanks for the stars!!
Winner Winner Key Lime Pie Dinner!!! This is around the 15th time I’ve made this pie, this is not only my go to pie for party’s, celebrations, holidays etc but also the most requested pie from my family and friends. It’s crazy easy to make and one of the very few recipes that I don’t make any changes to. I usually make an extra as a leave behind for the host. Thanks for this post!
SO happy to hear this Ron!! And thanks so much for the stars!!
Great recipe! I have used this recipe several times and my pie always comes out great. I was short on time tonight and made it with a store bought crust. It wasn’t as good as the one in the recipe. I will not be substituting again. Thanks for sharing your key lime pie recipe. It’s delicious and so easy to make!
So great to hear Jen! Thanks!
Congratulations! Wow, how exciting to even get to participate in such a fun event and then win! Super cool!
Wonderful recipe, even though I prefer not using the sweetened condensed milk. I boil my zest in simple syrup then strain it out of the syrup. For my recipe, I then add the lime infused syrup to heavy cream, bring to a scald, temper in with egg yolks, add in the zest, cool, chill, whip and pour into the crust. I use Biscoff spice cookies with butter, no added sugar, for the crust. Killer foil for the tangy/tart of the limes. I've also made it with Persian limes available at middle eastern and Indian groceries.
Here's a tip for keeping a hard film from forming on puddings, cream pies, trifles. Also works on foil when transporting or reheating enchilada/lasagna casseroles. An added bonus? Works great to keep a frosted cake smooth in transport. Here's whatcha do: pull out cling film but don't cut yet. Lightly spray with a non-canola non-stick cooking spray, tear off, and place sprayed side directly on the surface of the pie, pudding, trifle, etc.
If transporting a sheet or layer cake, spray a long length to go around the sides for a layer cake, then do a piece for the top. For a sheet cake, spray the cling film, then apply directly to the frosted surface. Before serving, 'touch-up' any dings, or ad swirls, etc.
For casseroles, especially ones with a cheese topping, spray a sheet of foil on one side with non-canola non stick cooking spray. Place directly on the surface of the casserole. When ready to serve, remove foil, and voila! Cheese stays on the casserole, not the foil!
Note: canola oil can have a metallic taste/aftertaste. It was originally made to oil small machinery, like sewing machines, so maybe that's why!
Thanks for all the great tips Denise!
This pie sounds wonderful and I would like to make it for my husbands birthday. However, I have to make it ahead of time on Thursday to serve on Saturday. Will it keep in the fridge for a few days without getting a soggy crust? Thanks!
Yes, it will keep. Just don't put the whipped cream on top until the day of. Enjoy!
Randy W says
I followed this recipe as written and it was fantastic. One of the best a key Lime pies I have ever had. Great job on the recipe and I highly recommend it! It’s very easy to make and delicious.
Fantastic Randy! Thanks for the stars!!
So you said that you have made this before without the eggs. I am interested in doing this because I do not like the idea of the undercooked eggs. Is it still necessary to bake the pie in the oven with no eggs?
Thank you for sharing your recipe!
You can omit the eggs. But you still need to bake it, just until it is almost not jiggly. Then for best texture and taste, chill for 6 hours or overnight.
patty spencer says
Sounds so good! Can I make it the night before?
Yes, it holds up great in the fridge. Just add the topping the day of (it does hold up but that way it doesn't get mashed).
Glad to hear it Kayla! I will have to check out her remark, usually everyone loves this pie. Thanks for the stars!!
I made this using Annie's gluten free snickerdoodle bunny cookies so my man could eat it. It's his favorite now! I also added more lime juice and some corn starch because he likes it extra tart. It came out beautiful and delicious and now he wants it so frequently I'm going to need to buy bulk stock of cookies and lime juice! Haha! Thanks for this amazing and easy recipe!!
Love it Katie!! A great way to make this GF! TY for the tip and the stars!
Timi Pace says
Making 2 tomorrow for my brother in law’s birthday! His fav!
Timi Pace says
Omg this is the best I’ve ever had! And I like it better without zest of the lime! Who knew?
Anyway I made 2 used an already make graham crackers crust and it was better than my homemade crust!
SO great to hear!! And I love any shortcut that tastes just as good!
I made this pie, took it to work and it was gone before lunch!! Everyone loved it! I thought it was the perfect balance between sweet and tart! I added coconut to my crust but next time will try it with some crushed up macadamia nuts! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It goes in my “never fails, sure to please” pile!
Fantastic Jacqyi! Love your twists! Honored to be added to the "pile"!!
Mark Orpen says
I made your key lime pie recipe, yesterday. I was so happy with the results. I cheated a little; I used a store-bought crust. I feel like I made up for that by using fresh key limes. Can't wait to make it again. I had one little problem. As my last step in the mixing process, I added the grated zest. When I tried to combine it with the batter a big chunk stuck to my beater and I wasn't able to really blend the zest in properly. Any suggestions? Once again, I loved the recipe.
Good to hear Mark. That's funny about the zest. Sometimes I add it in and sometimes I don't. Maybe next time, sprinkle overtop at the end and simply stir in with a spatula? Thanks for the rating!!
Can I use regular limes instead of key limes?
Yes you can it will just have a more subtle lime flavor.
Denise Dean says
I made this last year but cannot remember what size dish that I used. Is it a 9 inch or 10 inch?
Hi Denise, either will work for this.
Very good, except crust crumbled completely, maybe more butter. However I did use pre crumbled mix.
Peggy Hill says
Absolutely the best key lime pie we’ve ever had. I’ve made your recipe many times and for many friends and they rave! It’s NOT too tart or too sweet and the texture is lovely! I tried it a couple of times with low fat sweetened condensed milk and sour cream and it actually didn’t seem to compromise any of the pie’s deliciousness! Congrats on your win! This is a winner as far as we’re concerned!
Awesome Peggy! Thanks so much for the compliment and comment!
Made this today for Fathers Day tomorrow but it won’t get thick. I’ve turned the over down after 25 min so it doesn’t brown. It’s bubbling all over…I followed every ingredient exactly except I used non-dairy sweetened condensed milk. (It’s coconut sweetened condensed milk). Would this cause the problem?
Hi Janice. That may be why, I have only ever used sweetened condensed milk. I am unfamiliar with the non-dairy version.
Best key lime pie recipe I have tried. Thank you.
Great to hear Jason! 🙂
Kristin Davis says
I love this pie!!! One of my families favorite. I have made it both with fresh limes and with the lime juice suggested in recipe. The juice is so much easier and honestly I perfer the taste of the one made with juice!! Easy recipe awesome taste!! Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks Kristin! Happy to hear it and me too, I really enjoy Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice. I keep meaning to tinker with making Key Lime Fudge. I had it from Kermit's in the Keys and it was sooooo good!
Nancy knight says
I used fresh limes. And did 1 cup juice and I cream cheese block. Also used Maria cookies with 1 t cinnamon and 1/3 c butter. No baking of crust by the next day of refrigeration everyone went crazy. So good!!
Fantastic! Glad you all enjoyed it!
Mary Coates says
Wow my husband and neighbors all loved this pie. I had to make anither one today because hubby felt we gave to much away 😇🙃
I wouldn't change a thing it worked out perfect with 2 can of milk.
Thanks for being kind enough to share this awesome recipe and congrats
SO lovely to hear Mary! My husband is the same way with food, lol!! Thanks for the comment!
I’m making your pie now -so excited. For some reason I’m vacillating about adding the egg yolks. The last one I didn’t you them from another recipe-do you think it tastes better with them?
I do like it with the yolks, give beautiful color and adds creaminess. No worries, they bake in the oven 🙂
Patricia G says
I’d never made a Key Lime Pie and decided to try your award winning recipe for our Labor Day BBQ dessert table. I asked everyone for their honest opinion of the pie. They all loved it and one of the ladies said “I’ve tasted many key lime pies but this one is the best I’ve ever had”. Thanks for an easy and wonderful Key Lime pie recipe.
Looove hearing that! Thanks for the comment & rating!
This was delicious. The most beautiful, smooth, creamy texture.
I used less sugar and more butter in the crust as per the comments. Not very sour/tangy could try more lime next time.
Jayme Silvestri says
Very tasty looking! I do love cilantro, but I have heard that some people have an aversion to it. Love your photo!
Better than any key lime pie I’ve had in Florida! Getting ready to make this for a second time for my family’s Christmas dessert! Excellent!
Yaaaay!! Thanks for the comment & rating Jen! Merry Christmas!
Diana in NOLA says
Best. Pie. Ever. Seriously, it is a hit with everyone. Thank for an exquisite recipe!
🙂 Love hearing that! Happy New Year!
Can this recipe be doubled for two pies?
Alicia Colvin says
First time ever making Key Lime pie and tasting one. This was the best Key Lime pie my husband and neighbors ever had.
Thank you for sharing this recipe with us!! Will be making again !!
Woot! Love that Alicia!
The rating is not for the pie, which I have not yet made, but for your courage in allowing comments on your blog. There are some nasty people out there! Keep on baking because you have the win, and that means you don't have to prove anything!
Thank you!! It continues to surprise me how many wait to pounce on whatever...like its a sport (especially on TikTok). I would much rather put my energy into building people up and sharing the good 🙂
Just wanted to say I had to cook the pie about 40 minutes. I did what you said to check to shake back and forth till just a little jiggle.
Hope you enjoyed!
I have a bag of limes I need to use up. Can I use fresh squeezed lime juice from the limes instead in this recipe?
Sure can, just a slightly different taste but still delicious!