Pies and Tarts

May 23, 2022

Florida Key Lime Pie

This is hands down the best Key lime pie ever. Period! It has ruined all other Key lime pies for me and they never compare to my amazing family recipe. This easy pie recipe is sweet and tart and surprisingly simple to make. If you like Key lime pie make sure to give this recipe a try!

Recipe source: A family recipe handed down to me from my Aunt Susan. My aunt lived in Florida for 50+ years and claimed this is the authentic way Floridians like their pies.

Florida Key Lime Pie

Best ever Key Lime Pie! Tart and sweet filling in a traditional pie crust. This authentic Florida pie is a delicious treat on a summer day.


Anne Voss

  • 1 refrigerated store bought pie crust
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 6 to 8 limes depending on size)
  • 4 teaspoons lime zest
  1. Make pie crust according to the directions. Usually, two pie crusts come in one box of refrigerated dough. You will only need one crust for this pie. Follow the directions to thaw the dough, place it in the pie plate, and bake according to the “bake shell” or “empty shell” directions. Typically bake time is around 10-12 minutes until light golden brown.
  2. Set the pie crust aside until ready to use. Set oven temperature to 350°F.  
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with a whisk until light lemon color.
  4. Add in both cans of milk and blend until combined.
  5. Gradually add in lime juice and zest until well mixed. The mixture will thicken considerably when juice is added.
  6. Pour pie filling into the pie shell. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Cool the pie at room temperature and then chill for at least 4 hours. Chilling overnight is best.
  8. Top pie with whipped cream or whipped topping and serve.

Makes one 9-inch pie

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Recipe Notes

Below you will find tips and tricks to help achieve the best results possible!

overhead view of key lime pie with dollops of whipped cream


Pie Crust – I know almost every other Key lime pie has graham cracker crumbs as the crust, but in my family recipe we use pastry crust. According to my aunt, that is the authentic way Florida Key Lime pie should be made and many Floridians despise graham cracker crust.  It is a passionate topic in the state! I love the flaky pie crust with the tart filling. At least give it a try and then you can go back to graham crackers…if you must.

Limes – actual Key limes are hard to find so I use ordinary grocery store limes (Persian limes). These limes are larger than Key limes but work great in the filling. Do not use bottled lime juice of any kind. In my opinion, if you can’t find whole limes then don’t even bother. I know bottled Key lime juice is available but use it for other things. Nothing can replace the tart and bright flavor of fresh squeezed juice.

Lime Zest – zest is the green outside portion of a lime. You just want to grate the green peel of the fruit and not the bitter white pith underneath.

Topping – I topped this pie with a few dollops of whipped cream, but meringue is the traditional topping. For me, this pie is all about the filling and I don’t care for meringue.

Supplies Needed

9-inch pie plate

Mixing bowl and whisk

Grater or microplane

Citrus juicer (optional)

slice of key lime pie being removed from the whole pie

Tips and Tricks

Blind bake your pie crust. This means partially baking your pie crust before adding the filling. That is because the bake time on this pie is fairly short and you want to make sure your crust is completely cooked. Therefore, you bake it empty (also called blind baking) and then add your filling and bake further.

Juice limes with a juicer or by hand. Make sure to remove any seeds. The amount of juice per lime is highly variable so purchase a few extra limes to make sure you get enough juice.

There is no food coloring used in this recipe as authentic Key lime pie is yellow, not green. I do not recommend adding food coloring as it may affect the taste.

One of the most important tips is to chill the pie. The pie needs to be cooled and then chilled for a least 4 hours. Refrigerating overnight is better. Loosely cover the pie in foil or plastic wrap to avoid sticking and ruining the top of the pie.

I like to chill the pie without the topping. Add topping when getting ready to serve. It also makes for easier transport when sharing the pie at a BBQ or party when you add the topping after it has chilled. You can also serve the topping on the side.

key lime pie with one slice missing. Slice of pie seen on plate with fork


You can use your favorite from-scratch pie crust recipe. You can also use frozen pie crusts.

Top pie with whipped cream, meringue, or a tub of whipped topping.

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