This Key Lime Pie is deliciously tart, airy, light, and refreshing! An easy, updated version of a classic, this is the best key lime pie recipe ever! Such an elegant dessert that is always a favorite!
Key Lime Pie is one of my husband’s favorite pies. For years, I professed that I didn’t particularly care for it. I always thought they were a bit too dense and either too tart or not tart enough. I’m picky, but I thought there had to be a fine balance and wanted an updated version of the classic.
So, I experimented until I created absolutely the best key lime pie recipe! I think you are going to love it too!
Table of Contents
How to Make Key Lime Pie
After experimenting with various changes in the method of making this classic pie, along with subtle changes in the ingredients, I finally achieved a lighter, fluffier pie. It’s pure perfection, in my opinion, as well as those to whom I’ve served it. It’s now my go-to key lime pie recipe.
Here’s how I create this absolutely delicious and favorite Key Lime Pie:
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full listing of ingredients, instructions, notes, and estimated nutritional information.
- Graham Cracker Crust – My homemade crust is delicious and simple to make. Do not pre-bake the crust for this pie but chill in the refrigerator according to the crust recipe instructions prior to making this pie. If you are short on time, you can use one from the store.
- eggs – Separate the whites from the yolks, saving both. The egg yolks give the key lime pie such richness; the egg whites help to give the pie a lift. It alters the texture from a dense, thick custard to a silky, cloud-like confection.
- sweetened condensed milk – If not using this homemade recipe, then you can use some from the store.
- fresh key lime juice and fresh lime juice and lime zest – This recipe uses a combination of lime juices – key lime and lime. The combination of key limes and other limes gives the pie a delicious sweet, tart flavor. If you can not find key limes, you can use Persian limes and zest. If you must, you can use pure key lime juice in the bottle. The zest is optional, but the lime zest amps up the lime flavor! And using fresh juices results in the best flavor. To juice the fresh limes, you’ll need 12-16 key limes and 2-3 regular limes.
- lemon juice
- sugar – Use granulated sugar
- optional – lime slices for garnish
- whipped cream – Along with adorning the key lime pie with fresh lime slices, this pie would not be complete without topping it with my easy, delicious homemade Whipped Cream. It is the crowning glory of this airy, light, and zesty dessert that you really don’t want to miss.
Lesson on Limes
Zest your limes before you juice them. (It’s not easy to zest a lime that you’ve already cut and juiced.) The zest adds a deeper lime flavor to the pie. It’s optional, but I hope you add it because it makes the pie so…zesty!
Look for the ripe, plump limes. For key limes, dark green ones are not ripe. You can leave them on the counter for a few days or place the key limes next to other fruit for a couple of days to allow them to get ripe faster (within a day or two). They begin to yellow as they ripen.
Roll the limes on a hard surface before juicing. This will “soften” the limes and help them to release the juices easier.
Make the crust.
This recipe calls for my graham cracker crust. It will need to chill in the refrigerator according to the recipe instructions prior to filling.
Combine pie ingredients.
Whisk the egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk, lime juices, lime zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl until well-combined.
Beat egg whites.
Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they begin to foam. Gradually add in granulated sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy and soft peaks form.
Spoon into the pie crust.
Gently fold the beaten egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture and carefully spoon it into the prepared graham cracker crust.
Bake, then chill.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned, and the pie filling just sets throughout. Remove from the oven and chill on a wire rack. Lightly cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
Garnish and serve.
Garnish the chilled key lime pie with whipped cream and thin lime slices if you are using them. Slice and serve. Refrigerate the remaining pie after serving for up to 3 days.
This key lime pie is perfect anytime, but I especially love to serve it in the warmer months of the year. It’s one of the most refreshing desserts and always a hit. I really do believe it’s the best and hope you think so too!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use Persian limes instead.
Yes. After serving, refrigerate within 2 hours. Key Lime Pie should last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Favorite Pies
I have many pie recipes and some to enjoy during any season or holiday. But here are a few more I love to serve during spring and summer, especially!
Coconut Cream Pie – a coconut lover’s dream!
Strawberry Pie – perfect for fresh strawberries!
Instant Pot Oreo Cheesecake – cool, creamy, and easy to make!
Here’s my update to the classic Key Lime Pie Recipe. Give it a try sometime soon. I really think you’ll like it!
Key Lime Pie Recipe
- 1 Graham Cracker Crust
- 3 large (150 g) eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups (386 g) sweetened condensed milk , or 1 (14-ounce) can, store-bought
- 1/2 cup (121 g) key lime juice
- 1/4 cup (60.5 g) lime juice
- 1 tablespoon (14 g) lemon juice
- (4 g) zest of 1 key lime, optional, about 2 teaspoons
- 2 tablespoons (24 g) granulated sugar
- lime slices, optional
- whipped cream
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Whisk egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl until well-combined.
- Beat egg whites with an electric mixture until they begin to foam. Gradually add in granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy and soft peaks have formed. Gently fold into egg yolk mixture and carefully spoon into the prepared graham cracker crust.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and set throughout. Remove from the oven and chill on a wire rack. Lightly cover and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours.
- For serving, remove from springform pan, if using, and top with whipped cream and lime slices. Slice and serve.
Storage InstructionsAfter serving, refrigerate any remaining key lime pie within 2 hours. It should last covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2011.