The Best Key Lime Pie



My best friend, Dana, hates most pies but give her an ice-cold slab of Key lime pie?  There’s no denying it.  Key lime pie is a dream to swoon over.  Cold and tart while at the same time velvety sweet it’s a hit every time it’s served.  And this is the recipe you want to serve for Memorial Day weekend.  Why?  Because this recipe is simply the best.  It’s as good if not better than the Key lime pie at a world-famous Miami crab house.  Oh, yes it is!  The recipe is ridiculously easy but as it calls for so few ingredients one has to stay true to product.   Substituting will just NOT give you good results.  So please resist the temptation to maybe use fat-free condensed milk or something other than butter in your pie crust.  This recipe has been tweaked a bit by me but is pretty close to the original printed in the 1968 Miami Herald’s “Food with a Florida Flair” cookbook.  I reduced the number of yolks from six to three and upped the amount of Key lime juice from 1/2 cup to 2/3.  I’m most definitely NOT a traditionalist when it comes to my Key lime pie.  I much prefer a graham cracker crust over pastry and don’t even talk to me about meringue.  Not on any pie do I want that weepy mess.  But I WILL happily take a bit of freshly whipped cream.  I like to chill my pie overnight to make sure it sets well and I freeze the whole pie for a good 15-20 minutes prior to serving so every slice arrives cold and firm.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


Key Lime Pie

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed Key lime juice, that’s about ripe 20-25 Key limes
  • 1 baked and cooled 9-inch graham cracker crust pie shell
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Using a hand mixer beat the egg yolks for 5-10 minutes or until they’re pale yellow and quite fluffy.
  3. Add the condensed milk and mix well.
  4. Slowly add the Key lime juice and hand mix it in until just combined.
  5. Pour into the pie shell and bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes.  If you double the recipe to make a deep dish pie bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Let cool then chill in the refrigerator at least 8 hours, better overnight.
  7. Freeze pie for 15-20 minutes prior to serving.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 5 ounces graham crackers, that’s one of the three packages in standard boxes
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Process crackers in food processor until you have fine crumbs or make them by hand by putting the crackers in a large, heavy-duty plastic bag and hitting them with a rolling pin.  An empty wine bottle works well, too.
  2. Mix the cracker crumbs with the sugar then butter and mix until well combined.
  3. Pour the crumb mixture in your pie plate and gently press crumbs into the bottom of the plate and up the sides making sure the  crumbs are even.
  4. Bake the shell at 350° for ten minutes.


  1. Dana

    I am soooo haaappppyyyy when I have Key Lime Pie!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe because there will no longer be another persons pie at our table come September!!!!!!!! My mouth is watering as I read the recipe!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. Dana

    I doubt that your Key Lime Pie would even make it to the Keys so I am thinking that I am going to make two of them for the three little piggies!!!!!!

  3. Bup

    Bup, what’s this you say of the Miami Crab House? Don’t know of it. But my family can not come to Laud w/out stopping by Bob Roth’s and getting one of Terry’s Key Lime Pies. In fact, when Kaitlan & Adam were married, she had Terry’s KL “tartlets” flown up to Annapolis, in lieu of a Grooms Cake. It was quite a presentation, as the waiters marched out with tray’s of these tarts, much to Adam’s surprise. Fun memory! Now I want to make your pie but I will have trouble finding Key Limes around here. World Market might have bottled Key Lime juice. Will that work?

    1. Alicia

      Bup, you know of the crab house! It’s a man’s first name, three letters, (actually four since it’s possessive) and it’s been around forever. I love the idea of tartlets in lieu of grooms cake!! As to bottled Key lime juice, try it!! It’s got to be easier than juicing a million tiny Key limes! So try it and let me know, okay?

  4. Selene Lehmann

    You are so right, I am not a big pie eater. But your key lime pie is divine; if it ever warms up in New England, I’m going to make it! Yum.

  5. Starr

    while living in Florida in the early 80’s, The News and Sun Sentinel (our local paper ) did a complete article on the history of the Key Lime Pie. Originating in Key West, of course, there was no such thing as graham crackers at the time this pie was made. The article pointed out that the authentic Key Lime pie was made with a pastry crust! Actually, the graham cracker crust doesn’t do the filing justice. The crust is way too rich for such a rich filing. Mother Butler’s Pies In Ft. Lauderdale made the best one ever and always used a pastry crust.

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