Authentic Florida Key Lime Pie

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Looking for the perfect Florida pie? You can't beat this tasty, quintessential dessert, Key Lime Pie. No wonder it's the state pie, it's perfect with Florida seafood or any light dish and an ideal finish for any meal.

My family begs me to make key lime pie. Since I have such a serious sweet tooth, it doesn't require too much begging.  

I like to make the pie with fresh key limes, but realize they are increasingly harder to find. So, this year, I planted a key lime tree and I anxiously watch it grow daily. In the meantime, I buy key limes from the farmer's market, or in the absence of key limes, I use local limes.  I also use fresh limes in place of the bottled key lime juice. But many use the bottled juice and are happy with the results. Whatever your choice, enjoy!




  • 1/3 of a 1-pound box of graham crackers
  • 5 Tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup of sugar 


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons of lime zest - be sure to zest before you squeeze the juice!
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, or fresh limes

Meringue Topping:

  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon, cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup of sugar


Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.

Break up the graham crackers; place in a food processor and process the crumbs.  If you don’t have a food processor, place the crackers in a large plastic bag; seal and crush the crackers with a rolling pin.  Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse or stir until combined.  Press the mixture into the bottom and side of a pie pan, forming a neat border around the edge.  Bake the crust until set and golden, 8 minutes.  Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.

For the filling:

Meanwhile, in an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed until very fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, 3 or 4 minutes longer.  Lower the mixer speed and slowly add the lime juice, mixing just until combined, no longer.  Pour the mixture into the crust.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack. 

Next, add the topping:

With a mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff.  Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Place in the refrigerator and let it chill for 2-3 hours.

If you are adding whip cream, apply to top of pie just before serving.