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Key Lime Pie

This week I am going to do a series on Hosting a Dinner Party and Still Enjoy Your Guests. Whew, long title I know. I explain myself in the video but I will give a quick overview here as well. I love to have people over for dinner and do it all the time. The whole reason that I have people over is because I want to see them, not spend my evening in the kitchen. So this week, I am cooking an entire meal (we call this Greek Feast, it is one of my all time favorite meals ever. Easy, delicious, and healthy) that is a perfect menu for a summer (anytime really) get together. You can make almost everything ahead of time. All week long I will give you some tips and tricks on how to throw a party that your guests will ooh and ahh over. At the end of the week, I will give you a printable shopping list and a game plan so that you can create this meal at your home.

TIPWhen I start my cooking for a dinner party, I usually always make the dessert first. Desserts can almost always be made ahead of time. I like having an entire course checked off my list so that cooking the rest of the meal doesn’t seem like such a big task. If you do a little bit each day, by the time your party rolls around, you only have to make the last minute things and everything else is done.

key lime pie recipe

This is an untraditional Key Lime Pie. Most Key Lime Pie recipes have sweetened condensed milk in them and this one does not. It probably should be called Lime Curd Pie, but let’s not be picky. This recipe comes from my Nonnie and it is my brother’s favorite dessert and a top 5 for my husband. This is a great dessert for a party (or to bring to party) because you can make everything ahead of time and it will keep in the fridge for about 4 days without the whipped cream. If you stabilize the whipped cream, you can do the entire dessert the day before.

I also cannot always find key limes at my grocery store. Use regular limes. I won’t tell, if you don’t tell.

how to make graham cracker crustMake your graham cracker crust. This one is 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and 6 Tablespoons of melted butter. I give detailed instructions here. Bake the crust in a 375 degree oven for about 9 minutes.

key lime pie recipe

graham cracker crust
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup key lime juice
1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon gelatin, softened
1 lime zested
whipped cream

key lime pie recipeIn the top of a double boiler (I don’t have one, so I use a saucepan filled halfway with water and a large metal bowl on top) combine the sugar, eggs, and lime juice.

key lime pie recipeWhisk constantly over medium heat. When the mixture starts to thicken, add one piece of butter at a time. Whisk constantly until the butter has melted. Add one piece at a time until you have added all of the butter. The lime curd will be thick.

key lime pie recipeAdd the softened gelatin (I sprinkle the teaspoon of gelatin over some water, 2 Tablespoons maybe until it has dissolved) to the lime mixture.

key lime pie recipeStrain your lime mixture to guarantee that there are no egg pieces in your lime curd.

key lime pie recipeAdd the lime zest.

key lime pie recipePour the lime curd into the cooled crust. Let chill for at least 3 hours before serving to let the filling set up. Garnish with whipped cream and extra lime zest.

key lime pie recipeThis is a gorgeous and refreshing summer dessert. One that people will beg for the recipe for.

key lime pie recipeSee you tomorrow to start on the next part of our Dinner Party Series.

Print

Key Lime Pie


Ingredients

  • graham cracker crust
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1/2 cup butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin, softened
  • 1 lime zested
  • whipped cream

Instructions

  1. In the top of a double boiler (I don’t have one, so I use a saucepan filled halfway with water and a large metal bowl on top) combine the sugar, eggs, and lime juice.
  2. Whisk constantly over medium heat. When the mixture starts to thicken, add one piece of butter at a time. Whisk constantly until the butter has melted. Add one piece at a time until you have added all of the butter. The lime curd will be thick.
  3. Add the softened gelatin (I sprinkle the teaspoon of gelatin over some water, 2 Tablespoons maybe until it has dissolved) to the lime mixture.
  4. Strain your lime mixture to guarantee that there are no egg pieces in your lime curd.
  5. Add the lime zest.
  6. Pour the lime curd into the cooled crust. Let chill for at least 3 hours before serving to let the filling set up. Garnish with whipped cream and extra lime zest.

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  1. Nancy Grundel

    July 13th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    WOW!!! Key Lime pie is one of my all time favorite desserts! I have to try your recipe for sure!! Thanks, Nancy

  2. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I hope that you like it Nancy!

  3. Azurede

    July 13th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Love your recipe and wonderful instructions with beautiful photos. Thank you!

  4. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    You are most welcome!

  5. Memoria

    July 13th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I have NEVER hosted a party because I’m too much of an introvert. However, whenever comes the time that I feel up to hosting a small party, I will keep your tips in mind. I’m looking forward to this series.

    The pie looks absolutely perfect. I love how high the crust is and the lovely look of the zest and whipped cream. You’re amazing, Bree!

  6. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    You are too sweet to me. You have never had party? With all of the amazingness that comes out of your kitchen? Have one party and I bet that you will feel differently about it. Where do you live?

  7. Sarah

    July 14th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    This pie looks absolutely delicious, and I love your photos!

  8. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    thank you!

  9. Magic of Spice

    July 14th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    A perfect pie! Love your tips too…but this pie:) Also love your step by step photos…

  10. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    thank you.

  11. Tessa

    July 14th, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Loved the video! I’m excited to see what’s next for the rest of the week. I’m only 19 and have a tiny apartment complete with 2 dining chairs so hosting a dinner party isn’t in my near future but I still love the thought of entertaining 🙂

    The pie looks so creamy and refreshing!

  12. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I used to have parties when I was in college all the time. They were some of the most fun parties. Eating on the floor with paper plates and cheap beer. You can totally pull it off.

  13. Nam (The Culinary Chronicles)

    July 15th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I just love LIME and this Key Lime Pie looks absolutely DELISH!

  14. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    It is one of my favorites. Hope that you like it just as much.

  15. Amanda

    July 15th, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Bree. Nice to meet you! I found you from Tara’s blog and LOVE your pictures!! She did some for us 2 years ago and I still love them. Your cooking blog is great and I am so excited to hear all about this yummy Greek feast!

  16. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Isn’t Tara wonderful? I love my pictures so much. They will always remind me of that day and the trip that we took.

  17. Betty

    July 17th, 2010 at 12:18 am

    This pie looks so delicious! Your photos are beautiful- If only I could reach into this computer screen and pull out one of those slices! Key lime pie is one of my favorite summer desserts- thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Thank you! I love Key Lime Pie too… this is a good one.

  19. patty

    July 17th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    hi there – i tried to make the key lime pie…i did something wrong as it didn’t set right…it didn’t really harden…i did the 1 teaspoon of gelatin to 2 tablespoons of water…any ideas?

  20. bakedbree

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    It should be soft set, if you add too much gelatin, it will look and act like jello. I know because I have done this before. You want just enough gelatin to hold it together. Maybe add a touch more gelatin.

  21. Kaitlin

    August 31st, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I made this for some friends today and it went over SO well! Wonderful recipe – thank you for sharing!

  22. bakedbree

    September 1st, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    you are very welcome. Glad that you liked it.

  23. MsNJohnson

    October 26th, 2010 at 7:08 am

    The pie looks delicious!! The recipe I generally use does not require eggs but I will have to give this one a try. I love how you display each step in the cooking process. Oh how I love the simplicities of life…

  24. bakedbree

    October 27th, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Glad that you like it, I hope that you will continue to read.

  25. CJ Morrison

    June 28th, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I love Key Lime pie but hate condensed milk. i have make them without condensed milk and try to get real key limes. i like your the way your recipe reads and i am going to try it this weekend. thanks so much.. it is one of my favorite pies.

  26. bakedbree

    June 29th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    me too! I just use plain limes. I cannot always get key limes when I need them.

  27. CJ Morrison

    June 28th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    i am going to use stabilized whipping cream

  28. bakedbree

    June 29th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    It is a good idea, then you pie will look pretty longer.

  29. Julie

    June 29th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Hi Bree – You mentioned this desert was top 5 of your husband’s. I was just wondering what the other 4 might be. Looking forward to trying your yummy key lime recipe. Cheers, Julie.

  30. bakedbree

    June 29th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    He is not a big dessert person, but he does like a few things. Peanut Butter Pie is his all-time favorite. He loves a chocolate milk shake, a good chewy brownie, and a chocolate chip cookie. He is pretty boring.

  31. Julie

    June 29th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    PS: My hubby’s favorite dessert is burnt (yes, as in blackened) chocolate chip cookies. Go figure.

  32. bakedbree

    June 29th, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Wow! That is random.

  33. Anna Picardi

    November 27th, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Hi I was looking for an alternative to making a Key Lime Pie without sweetened condensed milk and found your recipe. I have made it 3 times. The first time it was perfect delicous and refreshing. I live in Florida and used fresh Key Limes. The next two times I adjusted the amount of Gelatin which was fun, using more Gelatin makes a firmer filling so you can cut it into squares and here in Florida where everything melts in minutes it was perfect for a picnic. My perfect mix is one and a half tsp of Gelatin to two tsp of water. My chilren tease me that I am a bad baker so being able to cook this on the stovetop kept me from being teased haha. A devine recipe, fun refreshing and easy to make!! Thank you so much Anna

  34. bakedbree

    November 27th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    I am glad that you like it so much, and am jealous of the fresh key limes.

  35. Emi Reiner

    March 23rd, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thanks for this recipe. I love your photos. I was going to make this pie for company tonight, but forgot the condensed milk, so I am happy to have found this. I only have bottled key lime juice, hope that’s ok. Emi

  36. bakedbree

    March 27th, 2012 at 9:33 am

    You are welcome Emi! I love this pie, it is so fresh tasting.

  37. jess

    January 16th, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Hello! I was just wondering why the gelatin is necessary. I’d love to make this recipe since pretty much everything else has condensed milk in it! I just don’t have gelatin on hand so I was wondering if it could go without, or if it is a necessary! Thank You!

  38. bakedbree

    January 19th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    It probably will not set without the gelatin. It is essentially a lime curd pie, and the gelatin is what holds it all together.

  39. Melissa

    March 19th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I, too, am very excited to have a recipe without the canned milk. Do you also have a replacement for gelatin? I don’t seem to have any…

  40. bakedbree

    March 31st, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    No, you need the gelatin to make it hold.

  41. christina

    April 25th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Can you use Lime Jello in place of the Gelatin.

  42. bakedbree

    April 25th, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I don’t think so. I mean, you could, but I think that it would really take away from this recipe.

  43. Amanda

    May 30th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    This was truly wonderful! I am working on building my skills in the kitchen and this made me feel like a “boss” it was so good 😉

  44. bakedbree

    June 1st, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I am so glad, I love this recipe too. It is my husband’s favorite too.

  45. Emma

    June 19th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you for this post! I was going to make key lime pie but forgot about evaporated milk! thanks for the recipe and the great step by step pictures to go with it.

  46. bakedbree

    June 24th, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    You are welcome!

  47. Rob Stathem

    December 5th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Wow, such great recipes here! I may just have to try them all. I’m a major foodie and food photographer as well and it’s fun—fun to cook and try new things and then photograph those creations!

    Thank you, Bree, for this delicious looking recipe! Key Lime Pie is the perfect treat on a hot day! I will bookmark this and try this next summer, or, knowing me I’ll cook it now and eat the whole thing!! LOL!

  48. bakedbree

    December 14th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Thank you Rob, this pie is amazing!

  49. Rachel

    July 20th, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I just made this pie! It’s chilling right now! 3 more hours till I can eat it. Can’t wait!

  50. bakedbree

    July 24th, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Jealous!!

  51. Marko

    August 14th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    What size pan did you use, cause I really wanna make this!!!

  52. bakedbree

    August 16th, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I used a pie plate. 8-9 inches? It doesn’t make much of a difference in this recipe.

  53. Nancy

    June 29th, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Can you substitute cornstarch for gelatin? Kosher reasons prevent me from using gelatin

  54. bakedbree

    July 23rd, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    I’ve never made it that way. It is essentially a citrus curd, so I would look for a similar recipe using cornstarch and change the flavors.

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