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Key Lime Pie: a step by step guide

Updated on June 9, 2010

Key Lime Pie is a combination of a number of flavours and textures. The Fluffy whipped cream on top of the pie is soft, creamy and slightly sweet while the filling of the pie is tangy while at the same time creamy and the base, grainy. As the name of the pie denotes, it is made with Key limes however, you may make this pie with regular lemons and it will taste great too. Through my own experience I have found out that almost all the Key Lime Recipes that is available online lists ingredients that would make a very small pie. Due to that reason I have created a recipe that makes a pie that can comfortably be shared by 8 people.


Remove the lime zest before cutting them to be squeezed for the juice.

You can put the crackers in a blender/food processor to be grinded or you can put it in a plastic bag and stamp with a chapatti roller.

Put the oven to heat at 325 degrees before you start mixing the ingredients


¾ cups freshly squeezed lime juice. I insist on the juice being freshly squeezed as the juice gets bitter if squeezed a long time before using it.

4 teaspoons lime zest

6 egg yolks

2 cans of condensed milk (each 14 ounce)

20 graham crackers (Toast biscuit available in Asia does fine)

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar/granulated sugar- you can avoid using the sugar if you don’t want it to be too sweet.

6-8 tablespoon melted butter

A little water

This is how the crumbs should look when you are done mixing it with the butter - it should NOT be a crumb paste!
This is how the crumbs should look when you are done mixing it with the butter - it should NOT be a crumb paste!
Press the crumbs on the pan with the bottom of a flat bottomed glass
Press the crumbs on the pan with the bottom of a flat bottomed glass

How to prepare the base:

Mix the cracker crumbs with butter with either a wooden spatula but better if you use your clean hand. However, do not mix all the butter all at the same time, mix a little and see if it sticks together when you press a little bit of the crumbs with your thumb and two fingers. If it doesn’t stick well, then add some more butter. You can also add a little water. However, if you accidentally pour in too much water or butter, do not worry, mix them well and when you put it to bake, the extra water will evaporate.

After the crumbs have been mixed to your satisfaction, as in they stick together when you press them like wet sand; distribute the wet cracker crumbs evenly all over the base of the baking pan and 1.5 inches up the sides. I have provided a photograph demonstrating how the crumbs should be pressed on the bottom of the pan with a class that has a smooth bottom.

Once you are done with this, put the pan with the crumbs in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

egg yolk and zest of lime
egg yolk and zest of lime

How to prepare the filling:

Mix the egg yolks and zest of lime in a bowl. Beat for 2 minutes till the mixture turn light green.

To this mixture, beat in the condensed milk a little at a time then beat in the lime juice. Then, set aside the mixture at room temperature for about 15 minutes so that the mixture can thicken. Lime/lemon has the quality to thicken milk by sort of turning the milk into a curd.

Now take pan with the baked cracker base and pour the filling in.

Bake for 25-35 minutes on the center rack till the center of the pie sets yet it jiggles when you shake it. Remember not to undercook it as it will come off when you take it out of the pan later on.

Cool the pie in room temperature then refrigerate for atleast 3 to 4 hours before serving. Serve the pie with freshly whipped cream dumped on top of the entire pie and garnish it with some lime zest.


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