How is it almost back-to-school season when the humidity is still this high? Whatever, key lime pie has your back.

By Margaret Eby
Updated July 31, 2019
No Bake Key Lime Pie image
Credit: Meredith Food Studios

Pie is great, and summer is great for pie, but I would be lying to you if I said that I have the will and wherewithal to turn on my oven to make it very frequently. That's where the magic of the freezer and the refrigerator come into play. I'm not just talking about ice cream, though yes, it is definitely a great option for a summer dessert. I'm talking about ice box pies and cakes, and specifically, the easiest Key Lime Pie I know how to make. No egg yolks, no finicky pastry, and just a handful of ingredients. The hardest part is waiting for it to set before eating it.

I first learned how to make a variation of this Key Lime Pie right out of college, when most of my meals either involved chickpeas or pasta. It's easy enough that you could entrust it to an older kid, or a sleep-deprived twenty-something determined to go out every night for some reason. What you need on hand is key lime juice (bottled is great), a can of sweetened condensed milk, a container of frozen whipped topping like Cool Whip, and either a premade graham cracker crust or a box of graham crackers, some butter, and some sugar to make your own crust. If you can't find key limes or bottled key lime juice, use regular Persian limes. No problem.

If you're making the crust, turning on the oven is required to help the graham crackers, that you mix with melted butter and press into the sides of a pie plate, set up into a cohesive pie shell. If you just buy a crust from the store, no oven is necessary. Mix together the Cool Whip/whipped topping, condensed milk, and lime juice. Pour it into the crust—but let the crust cool down first, if you baked it—and pop it in the fridge. Let it set for a few hours. That's it. That's the whole thing.

Watch: How to Make Fool-Proof Key Lime Pie

As for how you serve it, if you wanted to get a little fancy and creative, this Key Lime Pie goes particularly well with lime zest and flakey sea salt, like Maldon. It would also be very nice with a big dollop of whipped cream, particularly yogurt whipped cream, which gives it an extra tang. But it's perfectly good as is, no frills needed. It might just be the thing that gets you through the next few humid weeks of late summer, no sweat.