I am a Florida native who raised Key lime trees in the back yard. This recipe is as authentic as it gets. A real Key lime pie is plain, simple. This is the recipe I grew up with. I hope you like it.


Recipe Summary test

15 mins
15 mins
5 hrs
5 hrs 30 mins
1 8-inch pie


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Whisk condensed milk and egg yolks together in a large mixing bowl. Mix in Key lime juice; mixture will be thin at first but will thicken as it is whisked. Whisk until smooth and thick. Pour into the graham cracker crust.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until filling is firm to the touch and only slightly jiggly in the center, 12 to 15 minutes.

  • Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate before serving, 5 hours to overnight.

Cook's Notes:

Key lime pie is yellow as is a ripe Key lime. If you see a green Key lime pie or green lime slices or meringue or whipped cream on a Key lime pie it is not authentic. In the late 1800's there was no refrigeration hence the condensed milk. There was no sour cream, no confectioners' sugar, no whipped cream, or any of the other fresh ingredients some people use to jimmy up their recipes.

The amount of juice you use is a matter of taste. I like to taste the Key lime, not the condensed milk so I use 1/2 cup of juice. If you buy bottled Key lime juice, make sure the ingredients say "100% Key lime juice" and not "Key West lime juice.

I use a Keebler's(R) crust, but it is probably better with a homemade graham cracker crust if you have the time and the energy. You actually do not even have to bake this pie, just refrigerate it overnight but it might slump a little. The citrus actually does the "cooking." Baking helps firm it up a bit and cooks the egg yolks.

Nutrition Facts

460 calories; protein 10.5g; carbohydrates 69g; fat 16.8g; cholesterol 172.1mg; sodium 251.8mg. Full Nutrition