Make Ahead

Key Lime Pie

February  2, 2015
5 Ratings
  • Makes one 9-inch pie
Author Notes

This simple and delicious recipe is from the fine folks at Cook's Illustrated. If you can find tiny and juicy key limes, use those here, but Persian limes work too. —Yossy Arefi

What You'll Need
  • For the filling:
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons lime zest
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the crust:
  • 11 graham crackers or about 1 1/4 cups crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • to serve
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. For the filling:
  2. Thoroughly whisk all of the filling ingredients together, and set aside to thicken while you prepare the crust.
  1. For the crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  3. Process the graham crackers in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add the sugar and salt, and pulse to combine. Last, add in the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish (metal works best here) evenly on the bottom and up the sides. I like to use a dry measuring cup to help this along. Bake the crust until it is light golden brown and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Cool the crust slightly, then give the prepared filling a final mix, and pour it into the pie pan. Turn the oven down to 325º F, and bake the pie until just set, but slightly wiggly in the center, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool the pie to room temperature, then set it in the fridge to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  6. Just before serving, whip the cream to soft peaks, and spread it on top of the pie.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chef Ramone
    Chef Ramone
  • Änneken
  • Elise Steinberg
    Elise Steinberg
  • Kate Monson
    Kate Monson
  • Margaret Vitale
    Margaret Vitale
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

16 Reviews

Chef R. July 4, 2022
Perfecttttttt! (I added a touch of cinnamon in crust just cuz!)
Änneken April 4, 2021
Made this for Easter Sunday lunch and it was a hit!
Randina December 16, 2020
If you use Persian limes it’s not key lime pie!
Elise S. September 10, 2020
Super simple and absolutely delicious! A bit sweet and dense for my taste but I think that's the point of the pie! Pair with black coffee for balance
Randina April 4, 2021
Key lime pie is supposed to be tart. It wasn’t because they didn’t use key limes.
Maureen B. August 11, 2020
Has anyone else noticed that the filling does not completely fill a 9 inch pie plate? Or is that standard leaving 1/4" above the filling to hold the whip cream?
Kate M. August 6, 2017
Added some powdered ginger, about 1 1/2 tsp. to the crust. It was a nice layer.
Margaret V. July 24, 2017
Made this wonderful pie with fresh Key Limes.... Only after it was in the oven did I realize that I used whole eggs , that ovule be a 1st for me. Made many KL pies before.... What do I have and how long should it cook?😫😫😱😡
Laura G. July 31, 2015
I mixed the Key limes with standards. all is well and perky. Love this pie.
Kaite April 6, 2015
Lovely! Simple to make and with great flavor. I like that I don't have to use key limes for this.
Randina April 4, 2021
If you don’t use key limes, it is NOT key lime pie!
Kate M. April 5, 2021
Randina, calm down we all know that. It's still a quite a good pie.
Randina April 5, 2021
I don’t think everyone knows that.
India April 6, 2015
I've made this twice and both times it has turned out perfectly! So easy and delicious!
calangus February 5, 2015
Will definitely try this soon.
Gemma /. February 4, 2015
Looks gorgeous and so delicious!