This Key Lime Pie recipe comes straight from Savannah, Georgia. It is smooth and creamy with the perfect blend of tart and sweet.
The BEST Key Lime Pie Recipe
I got this Key Lime Pie recipe when I was visiting Savannah, Georgia with my friend, Amie. Savannah has got to be one of the most beautiful and charming cities ever. We had so much fun touring the historic city squares, walking along the river, and eating! We went to Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room for a southern style dinner that was incredible. Although we had to wait in line for a while to get in, but, it was totally worth it. Ah! Southern cooking and hospitality at it’s best.
When we were shopping downtown, I found this recipe on a magnet. Key lime pie has got to be my favorite kind of pie so I bought it and tried it out as soon as I got home. I made it for my family and we can’t get enough of it! I love how tangy and sweet it is. This is a super easy recipe (it is even EASIER if you just buy a pre-made graham cracker crust). Thanks to my trip to the South, we now have another favorite family recipe!
The Difference Between Limes and Key Limes
Key limes (also known as bartender limes, West Indian limes, or Mexican limes) are smaller than regular limes and have higher acidity (especially when freshly picked). The more ripe the key limes, the less tart and more sweet they become. Key limes are bright green when they are first picked but as they ripen, they become more yellow. You can decide how tart or sweet your pie is by choosing limes based on their ripeness.
What Color Should My Pie Be?
Traditional key lime pie is not bright green in color, even though some bakeries or pre-made pies may have a green tint to them. Traditionally, it is more of a pale greenish-yellow color. Sometimes we like to add a little green food coloring if we are making this for St. Patrick’s day or to make the green “pop” a little more. Most of the time we just leave it how it is though.
Can Regular Limes Be Used Instead Of Key Limes?
Yes, it can be done, but the flavor won’t have that distinct “key lime” flavor. If you have no other choice, it will still turn out to be a very good pie and most people won’t even be able to tell a difference. If you can’t find key limes or key lime juice, you can substitute common limes. You can swap out 6 fresh key limes for 1 large regular lime. As far as the juice goes, you can swap it out at a 1:1 ratio (1/4 cup key lime juice for 1/4 cup regular lime juice).
Key Lime Pie Topping
This pie is perfect for the summer time when you want a nice, cool, citrusy dessert. It is great served plain or with a lime wedge but we prefer putting some kind of topping on the pie to help round out the bright flavor. The most common topping that people use is fresh, homemade whipped cream (the stuff in a can works fine too). Some people prefer to have their key lime pie with a meringue topping instead of using whipped cream. We have topped this key lime pie with the meringue recipe from our Lemon Meringue Pie and it is FABULOUS. Try it both ways and decide which way you like it best!
More Delicious Pie Recipes from Favorite Family Recipes
If you love tangy citrus-infused desserts like this one, be sure to try our Homemade Lemon Meringue Pie, Cream Cheese Lemon Bars, Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars, or our super easy Orange Pineapple Cake! Or try these luscious desserts:
- Coconut Cream Pie – Coconut Cream Pie is a dreamy island dessert with a flaky crust, coconut filling that is made from scratch, and toasted coconut sprinkles.
- Creamy Lemon Pie – This Creamy Lemon Pie is packed full of tart, lemon flavor and creamy goodness. This recipe is super easy to make and is always a crowd pleaser!
- Butterscotch Pie – This creamy butterscotch filling is spread into a flaky pie crust and drizzled with butterscotch topping then sprinkled with butterscotch chips. It’s basically a butterscotch lovers dream.
- Island Pecan Pie – Loaded with coconut, pecans, and pineapple, this pie is creamy and full of flavor.
- German Chocolate Pie – This pie recipe comes straight from Amish country. The rich, gooey, chocolate filling is to die for!
How to Make Key Lime Pie
For the crust:
- Melt butter, add sugar and then add crushed crackers.
- Spread evenly into 9" pie plate and press onto bottom and sides to form an even crust.Chill for an hour until firm OR bake at 375-degrees for 5 min and allow to cool before filling.
For the filling:
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Zest key limes until there are 2 teaspoons of zest. then juice them. Pour the fresh key lime juice into a 1/2 cup measuring cup.Cut zested key limes in half and juice them.Pour the key lime juice into a 1/2 cup measuring cup. If the 1/2 cup isn't filled, add key lime juice to fill it completely.
- Beat the egg yolks until they are thick and turn to a light yellow. Use a stand mixer or an electric mixer. Slowly add sweetened condensed milk while mixing on a low speed.
- Gradually add the key lime juice and zest and continue to mix on a low speed just until blended.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and bake 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- Serve with a garnish of whipped topping and a small slice of lime if desired. Store pie in refrigerator until ready to serve
- Hand Mixer
- Conventional Oven