Best Ever Key Lime Pie

ey lime pie is certainly a favorite at our  house. Today, as Grayson was downing his second piece of pie he asked, “mom, if this is lime pie…why isn’t it green”?  Why indeed. Grayson is a wealth of useless knowledge so I felt it my duty as his mother to add to this boys encyclopedia mind of rainy day facts…

Key limes were named after the Florida keys where they abundantly grow. But, unlike Persian limes, key limes are smaller, yellow and much more aromatic. They have a thinner yellow skin that makes them more perishable and harder to find in grocery stores year round (for this reason I often use Nellie & Joe’s bottled key lime juice). Key limes are more acidic. This acid is what created the chemical reaction in early key lime pies. In the early twentieth century sponge fishermen in Florida would live on boats for long periods of time. They often had limes, eggs, and canned milk. They learned that the acid in the limes would create a chemical reaction in the protein structure of the milk and eggs causing it to thicken without being cooked. Since they didn’t have a heat source to cook the mixture this was a very popular dessert.

Now, many people still use eggs yolks to thicken key lime pie. I however, don’t particularly feel comfortable feeding my family raw eggs so have come up with a recipe that thickens with very little cook time and has better flavor than its egg containing counterparts. I do zest regular green store bought Persian limes when I can’t find key limes in the store and you really can’t tell the difference.

We hope you enjoy this recipe and the useless knowledge of key limes that accompanies it!


1 graham cracker crust (For Recipe, Click Here)

1/2 cup sour creamIMG-4137

28 oz sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup key lime juice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp lime zest

whipped cream for garnish


1. Prepare graham cracker crust and set aside.

2. Place sour cream, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in a mixer and beat until well combined.

3. Mix salt, vanilla and lime zest into mixture just until incorporated.

4. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.

5. Place in oven preheated to 350 and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.

6. Cool pie completely before garnishing with whipped cream.

7. Refrigerate before serving.

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