Photo: Charles E. Walton IV
Prep Time
10 Mins
Bake Time
33 Mins
Stand Time
15 Mins
Chill Time
4 Hours
Makes 10 servings

Fresh limes are a must for this perfect citrus pie. Key limes, often found only in specialty produce departments, are smaller and rounder than the more common Persian limes. They also are more yellow than green. You can substitute Persian limes, but we don't recommend using bottled lime juice for this recipe.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°. Mix graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and butter with hands; press firmly into a 10-inch pie plate. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and let stand 15 minutes.

Step 2

Whisk together condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs until well blended. Pour into crust, and bake at 325° for 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Chill at least 4 hours.

Step 3

Combine crème fraîche and powdered sugar. Spread evenly over pie, and garnish, if desired.

Step 4

Macadamia Key Lime Pie: Substitute 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted macadamia nuts for 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, and add to 1 cup crumbs. Proceed as directed. Sprinkle additional 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted macadamia nuts evenly over topping.

Chef's Notes

You can substitute the more widely available Persian limes for Key limes but avoid the bottled juice. Instead of the usual meringue or whipped cream topping, I prefer sweetened crème fraîche and a last-minute squeeze of fresh lime.

Ratings & Reviews

susanmcgee's Review

May 19, 2013
The chilled pie sliced well, it was nice and tart with the persian limes I used, and everyone loved it. I'm very critical about my finished products and this was excellent. I would not change a thing! I used the sour cream substitute. I used my pyrex deep dish pan, and it filled it perfectly and it fit in my Tupperware carrier perfectly too. It did take, in my oven, about 10 minutes longer to bake than the recipe called for.

esaarela's Review

September 23, 2012
I chose this recipe based on the reviews. The recipe was quick and easy. I squeezed the limes (eight) while baking the crust. I chilled the pie overnight and added the sour cream layer the next day. Great recipe, great pie. My guests loved it! It's easy enough for an any-day dessert and certainly approprirate for a special occasion.

JoleeC1208's Review

October 30, 2011

Tacowoman6's Review

October 29, 2011
Very good pie! I cut the key lime juice back to 3/4 cup and used a can of fat free sweetened condensed milk for one of the cans. The other was regular fat. I think this pie tastes as good as any you could get in a restaurant.

jmarie958's Review

August 31, 2011
my favorite key lime pie recipe!

myrnaday's Review

March 18, 2011

promogal's Review

February 08, 2011
Very very good. I'd cut back ever so slightly on the key lime juice next time. Will make again!

JC1271's Review

November 09, 2010
This recipe is great!

valtrie's Review

June 23, 2010
I made this for my boyfriends birthday because it's his favorite dessert. I was up all night squeezing actual key limes (each one was about an inch in diameter), which i can say was worth it though a word to the wise when using real key limes you only need half as much juice otherwise it is extremely sour. i also used fresh whipped cream instead sour cream again do to the sourness factor.

seattlebelle's Review

May 02, 2010
This recipe is great! Very easy with spectacular results. I used normal limes, since my supermarket doesn't stock key limes. The pie is tart and flavorful. Also, I used a regular 9inch pie pan because I didn't want to buy a 10inch. Sour cream topping is a nice touch. Might make a little more crust next time because it goes so well with the filling. Definitely will be making this again!