Key Lime Pie

Southern Kitchen

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 9 hours and 0 minutes


14 honey graham crackers, broken into 2-inch pieces

1/3 cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

7 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

Fresh lime zest, for garnish


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, process the graham crackers to form fine crumbs. Transfer 1 1/2 cups to a medium bowl; discard any extra. Using a fork, stir in the sugar and melted butter. The mixture should have the consistency of wet sand. Pour the graham cracker mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and, using your hands and the bottom of a small measuring cup, pack the mixture across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake until set and just starting to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

In a second medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in the lemon and lime juice until smooth; the mixture will thicken slightly. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until set, about 15 minutes. Return to the wire rack to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, whip the cream to slightly-firmer-than-soft peaks, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or 5 to 10 minutes by hand. Dollop the cream on top of the pie and garnish with lime zest. Serve.

About the recipe

To make an authentic-tasting Key lime pie without the requisite Key limes, we like to bake ours with a mix of Persian lime and lemon juice. This touch of lemon will temper and balance the tart lime without needing to resort to dumping even more sugar into the dessert. We like to use about 75 percent lime juice and 25 percent lemon, but these proportions are entirely up to you — and Key lime pie is easy enough that you should have no trouble baking through as many as you need in order to land on your perfect ratio.

If you can, however, get your hands on fresh Florida Key limes, feel free to juice those in this recipe. You’ll need 10 tablespoons of juice, plus zest for garnish.