The Best Key Lime Pie Recipe EVER! This Key Lime pie is made with a buttery and sweet graham cracker crust, a creamy tangy key lime filling, topped with fluffy whipped cream, and garnished with sliced key limes! Easy to make and incredibly delicious!
It’s here! It’s finally here! The Best Key Lime Pie recipe! Just a few weeks ago I spent a lovely few days in the Florida Keys, including a day in Key West. The highlight of our trip was trying so many key lime pies to find the very best! Between the 4 of us, (we went with our friends) we had 9 slices of key lime pie! Including a couple dipped in chocolate. (Yum!) FYI: the very best pie we enjoyed was at S.S. Wreck Galley Grill in Marathon, FL.
I came home with a bag of key limes and a mission to create the best key lime pie!
Since I wanted to use these key limes in my perfect key lime pie recipe I made 8 key lime pies the week I got back! And guess what? I did it! The pie and pictures you see in this post were made with the key limes from the Florida Keys. So flavorful and delicious! Although, it’s also delicious to use bottled key lime juice. I prefer the one from Nellie and Joe’s.
I made regular key lime pie, key lime pie with sour cream, and one with cream cheese. I had a lot of friends and family sample and give me their feedback. While they were all delicious, the majority voted on the one with sour cream. It was creamy, flavorful, tart but not too tart. Perfection! I adjusted the way I made it the first time to what you see in the post, a little more egg yolks, a little less sour cream, and an absolutely perfect buttery and sweet graham cracker crust just like our perfect Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys. Heaven!
How to Make The Best Key Lime Pie Recipe!
First, let’s start with the delicious graham cracker crust!
How to Make the Best Graham Cracker Crust for Key Lime Pie:
1- Crush the Graham Cracker sheets to crumbs by either using a food processor or a gallon zip-lock bag, smashing with a rolling pin or glass cup etc..
2- Mix together the graham cracker crumbs with brown sugar, and melted butter. (Note I am not shy about adding plenty of butter and sugar in this crust, I am replicating THE best crust we had on THE best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys. You can add a little less of either if desired.)
3- Form the crust- In a greased pie pan, evenly spread the graham cracker crumb mixture, and press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a pie dish.
4. Bake for 6 minutes and let cool while you make the Key Lime Pie filling.
The Difference between Key Limes and Limes:
Key Limes are smaller than (Persian) limes, the limes you typically see at the grocery store. Key Limes are about 1-2 inches in diameter and limes are 3-4 inches in diameter.
The most important difference, especially in regard to Key Lime Pie is that Key Limes have a more intense tart flavor than (Persian) limes.
Key Limes are seasonal and easiest to find June – August. But as I’ve mentioned, if you can’t find key limes you can get bottled Key Lime Juice, Nellie and Joe’s brand is my favorite.
Ingredients Need to Make Key Lime Pie:
Graham Cracker Crust- The perfect base for Key Lime Pie, the sweetness and crumbly texture compliment the creamy key lime pie.
Sweetened Condensed Milk- Makes the pie sweet, creamy, and thick.
Sour Cream- This gives the pie a richer taste and makes it so creamy.
Egg Yolks- Adds structure and richness to the pie.
Key Lime Juice- Gives the pie a delicious and distinct tart flavor.
Whipped Cream- Makes the pie pretty! Plus it tastes light and creamy. The perfect addition to the pie!
How to Make Key Lime Pie Filling and Topping:
It’s much easier and quicker than you would think!
1- Mix Together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and egg yolks in a mixer. Slowly mix in the key lime juice.
2- Bake the Pie- Pour the filling into the pre-baked Graham Cracker Crust. Cook for about 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges but still jiggly in the middle. (It’s ready when it reaches 145 degrees F.)
3- Cool and Chill- Let the pie cool at room temperature for about an hour then chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
4- Make Whipped Cream: Mix the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
5- Garnish and Enjoy! Pipe on the whipped cream, add quartered lime slices, and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks for Making The Best Key Lime Pie:
- You can make Key Lime Pie ahead of time. Just keep it stored and loosely covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend waiting to add the whipped cream until serving.
- This recipe is super easy to double or triple etc!
- Use fresh key limes if at all possible but since it’s hard to find, you can use bottled key lime juice.
- Garnish the Key Lime Pie with pops of green from key limes or limes. I quarter them and put them on the whipped cream I piped on. You can instead add key lime zest if you’d like.
- I didn’t add key lime zest to the pie because none of the Key Lime Pies in the Florida Keys did that but if you’d like to add it to the key lime pie filling before baking you can.
How to Store Key Lime Pie:
Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, loosely covered.
How to Freeze Key Lime Pie:
Place the pie in the freezer, uncovered, until frozen. Then wrap well first in plastic wrap then foil. Put in a large zip-lock bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
You are going to love this beautiful and tasty pie! It’s cold, creamy, and tart with a delicious buttery and sweet crust.
You Might Also Like:
- Chocolate Silk Pie
- Oreo Peanut Butter Cup Pie
- Pistachio Pudding Salad
- The Best Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 13 full-graham crackers)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, melted
Key Lime Pie Filling:
- 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk (28 ounces total)
- 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 2/3 cup key lime juice (freshly juiced key limes or bottled key lime juice from Nellie and Joe’s)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Quartered lime slices (or key limes if you can find it)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, and light brown sugar. Then stir in the melted butter until well combined.
3. Spray a pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the pie plate on the bottom and sides. Use your fingers or a measuring cup to shape and press it into the pie pan, pressing lightly.
4. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling.
5. Make the Key Lime Filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or use an electric mixer) mix together the sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and egg yolks. Then slowly add in the key lime juice. Mix for about 2 minutes on medium-high. Pour into warm crust. (You may not need to add it all if your pie pan is on the smaller side.) Smooth the top with a spatula.
6. Bake the pie for 16-18 minutes, until nearly set but still a little jiggly. You do NOT want to overbake it. Use a thermometer to check that is has reached 145 degrees F to know for sure when it is done.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator before serving.
8. Make the Whipped Cream: Pour the heavy whipping cream into the bowl on a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Or use an electric hand mixer.) Whisk until soft peaks form. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue whisking until stiff peaks form, be careful not to over-mix.
9. Pipe on whipped cream as desired, or spread it on the top, add the quartered slices of key limes (or limes.)
10. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Enjoy!