Bring this Florida favorite recipe home! Sweet-tart Key lime pie is quite easy to make and can be completed 24 hours ahead, so it's ideal for entertaining. No Key limes? No worries. Follow our step-by-step directions and tips.
This American citrus pie is traditionally made with Key limes from the Florida Keys. Unlike the more common Persian limes, Key limes are smaller and rounder, and both the inside and outside are a more yellowish-green color. They also taste a little different and are more tart. According to Jean A. Voltz, author of The Flavor of the South, Key lime pie was developed in the 1850s along with the introduction of sweetened condensed milk in 1856. Because there were few cows in the Florida Keys, the new canned milk provided a ready source of milk. The pie is usually topped with whipped cream and sometimes sports a meringue topping. The flavor of this pie is so popular that it is duplicated in other recipes and popular food products, including frozen yogurt and even chewing gum. Here's a classic recipe for Key Lime Pie.
The ingredients are few and the hands-on preparation time is fairly quick for this tangy treat. Although Key limes are small, the juicing step takes a little time. You can also purchase bottled key lime juice or substitute regular Persian lime juice and peel, but the pie will taste a little different. If you want a green pie, you will need to add a drop or two of green food coloring.
1. Start with the Crust
Although you can use a 9-inch baked pastry shell, the most common crust for a Key lime pie is made from graham crackers. For this pie, use a 9-inch homemade graham cracker crust or a purchased deep-dish graham cracker crust.
2. Preheat the Oven to 325 Degrees F.
3. Whisk Together the Filling
To get the 1/2 cup lime juice required for this filling, you will need to juice about 20 key limes or 4 medium Persian limes. You can purchase a juicer specifically for limes or use a citrus juicer.
3. Bake the Pie
4. Top with Sweetened Whipped Cream
While optional, whipped cream is a traditional topping for this pie and dresses it up a bit.