Key Lime Pie is a classic summer dessert. This tangy and sweet pie has a classic graham cracker crust, a simple but incredibly flavorful key lime filling, and a sweet cream topping. It is exceptionally refreshing and perfect for hot summer days.
This tried and true recipe takes just 20 minutes of prep time, 15 minutes to bake, and a few hours of chill time. Just super easy to make.
GRAHAM CRACKERS - You'll need about 12 sheets of Graham Crackers. Of course, you can buy a box of Graham Cracker crumbs at the supermarket, but since it takes only seconds to make, I've never seen the point.
BUTTER - To create the perfect crust, you'll want unsalted, melted butter.
SUGAR - A couple of tablespoons add a touch of sweetness to a classic Graham Cracker crust.
CONDENSED MILK - Sweetened condensed milk adds creaminess and sweetness and balances the tartness of the limes.
EGGS - For this recipe, you'll only need egg yolks. But the good news is that you can easily store the leftover egg whites in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
LIMES - I recommend using fresh limes instead of bottled lime juice. Most of the time, you'll easily find them all year long at most supermarkets. But peak season is between March and August. If you're using fresh limes, plan to use about 6. Set an additional 1-2 limes aside to decorate the cake.
HEAVY CREAM - To balance the filling, you'll whip up some fresh heavy whipping cream with a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar for additional sweetness.
How To Make Key Lime Pie
- CRUST - Crush the graham cracker and transfer into a large mixing bowl; add sugar and melted butter. Combine well. Transfer into a pie dish. Use your hands to press the crumb mixture into the bottom and the sides of the pie dish.
- FILLING - In a large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and fresh lime juice. Use an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture become smooth and creamy. Pour filling over the graham cracker crust.
- BAKE - Bake at 350º Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
- TOPPING - Beat cold heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat until well combined. Spread sweet cream topping over the cool-to-the-touch key lime pie filling.
- REST - Chill for 2 hours.
Recipe Success Tips
Sweet Whipped Cream Topping. Making perfectly smooth whipped cream is easy if you follow some basic steps.
- Make sure to use heavy whipping cream (instead of just heavy cream). It will whip more easily and hold its shape better.
- If you're making whipped cream on a particularly hot day, it's a good idea to pre-chill the bowl for 15 minutes in the fridge. Pre-chilling the mixing paddles can help as well.
- The idea is to make sure that both the cream and the container are as cold. Why is that important? Because the fat will remain firm and not turn oily.
For an extra boost of flavor, zest a couple of limes and work the zest into the filling.
More Amazing Summer Desserts
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Key Lime Pie
- 2 limes halved and sliced
Making The Crust
- Crush the graham cracker until very fine. Transfer the crumbs into a large mixing bowl, add sugar, and melted butter. Combine well.
- Press crust into 9½ inch pie dish.
Making The Filling
- Combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and fresh lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Pour filling over the graham cracker crust and bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.
Making The Sweet Cream Topping
- Beat cold heavy whipping cream for several minutes on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
- Spread the sweet cream topping over the cool-to-the-touch key lime filling. Chill for 2 hours.