PieWhat to CookAmericanaComfort Food

Key Lime Pie, Meet Meringue

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If the grocery store isn't your favorite place, it should be. We're sleuthing for the best back-of-the-box recipes and every Sunday, Posie Harwood from 600 Acres will share our latest find. 

Today: Get a little tropical with some Key lime pie—because summer is just around the corner.


I love a good citrus dessert. There's something particularly refreshing about a tangy lemon sponge pudding or a bright grapefruit sorbet when the weather turns warm (as it suddenly has in New York City). And I'm even happier if the fruit is paired with something to cool the tartness, like whipped cream folded into orange curd or a shortbread base on classic lemon bars

So when I made this Key lime pie, I thought it needed a little something to tame the richness of the filling. A billowy mound of meringue does the trick, and takes the dessert from ordinary to very photogenic. 


Don't get me wrong: The pie is very good on its own. The base recipe comes from the Nellie and Joe's Key lime juice bottle, and they know their stuff. Creamy, sweet, and tart, it's the Platonic ideal of Key lime pie. It will remind you of vacation in the Caribbean, of hot nights in Florida, and of 2 A.M. dessert runs to your favorite diner.

I especially love this Key lime pie recipe for its simplicity—to prepare the filling, all you need is one bowl and a whisk. The graham cracker crust is classic, but a flaky, buttery pie crust would also be fantastic. You could top the pie with whipped cream instead of the meringue or, if you're feeling traditional, with nothing at all.

The pie is best eaten immediately, as the meringue won't hold up well for more than a day or two. Consider this permission to invite your friends over for dinner, serve them Key lime pie, and scrape the pan clean.

Key Lime Meringue Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

Adapted from Nellie & Joe's

12 graham cracker sheets
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3 eggs, separated

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice
2/3 cup sugar

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!

Photos by Posie Harwood 

Tags: pie, key lime, meringue