This Key Lime Pie recipe is zesty, delicious and so easy to make. A dreamy combination of zesty citrus and sweet simplicity. The perfect dessert that will have you feeling all those summer time feels. If you love easy, light and refreshing desserts this pie is for you!
I want to say this right out of the gate. I have never actually made Key Lime Pie with real key limes... Which is probably a sin. BUT this pie, in my humble food loving opinion, tastes just as good as the real thing! And if you are a lover of all things lime make sure you check out one of our favorite Watermelon Smoothies that packs a serious lime punch!
Limes versus Key Limes – What's the Difference?
Most limes found at the grocery store are of the Persian variety. While similar to their cousins the Key Lime, most of the difference, comes in look and size. Key Limes do have a slightly more acidic flavor, giving that extra punch, but they are similar enough that you can substitute one for the other when necessary.
So, to all the Key Lime Pie purists – I see you, I hear you, I love you. I am not here to argue if made with actual key limes is better or not. Key Limes are delicious. But when living in Utah, far far away from the sunny Florida coast where Key Limes are grown, you some times have to make due with what you have readily available.
Secret Ingredient for Dynamite Key Lime Flavor
This recipe was introduced to me by my sister. It is her go to. She makes it for every family get together, special dinner or potluck. Her secret to a real punchy lime flavor is TRUE LIME. This ingredient is a game changer, dehydrated lime powder makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!
We love having this on hand in our kitchen and use it in all kinds of recipes. It is extremely versatile. We like to use it in not only dessert recipes but also salsas, guacamole, smoothies seasonings and marinades. This crystalized lime powder has no limits. Here is the link to the larger size bottle of True Lime powder we alway make sure to keep stocked in our pantry.
If you don't happen to have any True Lime on hand and don't want to make an extra trip to the store, you can also substitute the powder for additional lime zest.
Can I Adjust the Amount of Lime Used?
Of course you can! I absolutely LOVE lime and prefer my pie to pack a real punch. I use A WHOLE HEAP of it, in many forms, to make sure the flavor is there. If you enjoy a good Key Lime Pie but don't want the flavor to be quite as bright and exuberant as I do, don't be afraid to tone back the amount of lime used throughout the recipe.
If you are hesitant on the level of tang I would suggest taste testing as you go, adding your different lime components a bit at a time. As you are sampling it, if you feel like you are nearing your lime limits feel free to stop where you are in the recipe and skip to where you place your mixture in the pie tin.
One of the best parts of baking is having the freedom to adapt a recipe's flavors to your own liking! And remember, your pie will get zestier and more limey as it chills in the fridge and your ingredients meld together, especially if you have the time to let it chill overnight.
How To Make Easy Key Lime Pie
Prepare the Ingredients
First things first, you will need a pie crust. To make things easier and quicker I use a pre-made graham cracker pie crust but you can definitely make your own. When choosing a graham cracker pie crust I always go with the deeper/larger option. I mean who doesn’t want a bigger pie with more slices?! I will say, this recipe yields exactly enough filling to fill a 9 ounce pie crust if that influences you one way or another.
Using a zester tool, zest both limes and set aside to be used in both the mixture and as garnish. Next, juice both limes and set aside for adding to the mixture.
Mix Your Key Lime Ingredients
Next, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, and true lime powder. If you want to add a little bit of color to your pie, add a drop of green food coloring to your mixture.
Once everything is incorporated pour your mixture into the pie crust.
Bake Your Pie
Place in the oven and cook at 350° F for 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on the pie, you do not want it to brown or over cook. If over cooked, even by a few minutes, it will result in a thicker undesired texture.
After the 10 minutes you will begin to see little bubbles forming at the surface of the pie. Gently tap the pie filling, if your finger leaves a little print on the surface, you know the pie is done. The filling will have the consistency of a barely set Jello, able to jiggle when touched, feel slightly fragile, but still hold it’s shape.
Cool, Store and Serve Your Pie
After baking allow your pie to cool completely on the counter. Once it has reached room temperature place it in the fridge for at least an hour (preferably overnight for optimal flavor).
Most store bought pie crusts come with a lid. DO NOT put the lid on the pie until the pie is cooled completely. If the pie is still warm, when you put the lid on, or cover with plastic wrap, condensation will form on the underside of your covering causing your crust to become soggy and water to pool on the top of your pie. Nothing ruins a pie faster than extra condensation.
When ready to serve, garnish your pie with paper thin slices of lime, fresh lime zest, and your favorite whipped topping for that extra special touch. Serve and enjoy!
Oh man we have so many great suggestions for you. First, Double Berry Custard Pie. So simple yet so, so delicious. Looking for more of a classic pie? You've got to give our Dutch Apple Crumb Pie a chance.
If you are like me maybe you are looking for something on a more chocolatey note, you have to give our Chocolate Bar Brownies a try! They are sure to knock your socks off.
- 1 large graham cracker pie crust (9 ounces)
- 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 limes
- 1 cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon TRUE LIME powder
- Whipped cream for topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, the juice and zest of two limes (sans a pinch of zest to use for decorating), lime juice, and True Lime powder.
- Pour filling mixture into pie crust and bake for 10 minutes.
- You will begin to see small bubbles on the surface of the pie. Pull out pie, gently tapping the filling with your finger. If your finger leaves a little print on the surface, the pie is done.
- Allow pie to cool on the counter. Once cooled to room temperature, cover and place in refrigerator to chill for one hour. Although, I prefer to chill my pie over night whenever possible.
- When ready to serve pull out pie and top with your preferred whipped topping and garnish with remaining lime zest and thinly sliced limes.
- The filling should not brown at all. Keep a close eye on the pie, over cooking, even by a few minutes, will result in a thicker undesired texture.
- When cooked the filling will not have the consistency of a fully cooked cheese cake, instead it will feel more like a barely set jello. It will still jiggle when touched and feel slightly fragile, but still hold it’s shape.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 1gSugar: 52gProtein: 8g
Nutritional info based off of projected averages and may not reflect realistic values