What screams summer better than a slice of key lime pie in a graham cracker crust topped with whipped cream?? This classic key lime pie is the perfect summertime dessert and so, so easy to make!
(This recipe was originally published in June 2011, but was updated with new photos in 2021).
This past weekend my parents and I went to my sister and brother-in-law's house for a Father's Day dinner. We decided to celebrate on Saturday evening since my sister and I both had to work on Sunday.
My sister told me I didn't have to bring anything, but I decided to make a key lime pie, since it's my dad's absolute favorite dessert. The man has been known to make pit stops at Legal Seafood for a slice o' key lime from time to time, so I figured why not make one for his special day 🙂
I was debating between making key lime bars or an actual pie, and decided on the pie because I know my dad so well... He's very particular about his desserts! I knew he'd prefer a triangular slice versus a bar. It's the little things.
Making a classic key lime pie is actually quite easy and consists of just two steps: 1) making the graham cracker crust (so much easier than making a traditional homemade pie crust in my opinion!) and 2) making the filling.
The toughest part of the whole thing is juicing all those little key limes. But it's so worth it!
How to Make Graham Cracker Pie Crust
Graham cracker crusts are really easy to make! I recommend using cinnamon graham crackers as it adds an extra little pizazz to this key lime pie. You'll want to crush the crackers into crumbs!
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Mmix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl.
Using a fork, mix until they're well combined.
Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes and cool pie plate on a rack.
Your crust is ready and just needs to be filled and baked! Keep the oven on while you make the pie filling.
How to Make Key Lime Pie Filling
Using fresh key lime juice in anything is a labor of love and I figured it was the perfect dessert to celebrate my dad!
I ended up using about 19 key limes and squeezing the fresh juice by hand. I thought it was pretty fitting that it required a ton of patience since that's all my dad has had raising the three of us 🙂
You can certainly purchase key lime juice in a bottle, but I honestly think it tastes better when fresh squeezed!
To make the filling, put your egg yolks in a bowl (save the whites to make meringues!).
I'll always love our friend Lilly for encouraging me to separate egg yolks with my bare hands. It's like therapy in the kitchen!
And whisk together with condensed milk until well combined.
Add the key lime juice.
And whisk gently until everything is incorporated.
Now you're ready to pour the filling into the crust.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes and allow the pie to completely cool on a cooling rack.
Cover the pie and chill for at least 8 hours. Waiting is the hardest part!
The pie continued to chill in the fridge while we enjoyed a deeeelicious dinner.
Once dinner was over, I quickly added the heavy cream to my sister's stand mixer to make the topping for the pie so I could serve it.
I always say, you can't really go wrong with key lime anything, but this pie is just about perfection. The filling is creamy and rich and the crunchy cinnamon graham cracker crust is the right amount of sweet.
In no time at all, the pie was gone and my dad was a happy camper. Mission accomplished 🙂
More Key Lime Recipes
If you love the delicious flavor of key limes, too, try out some of these other key lime recipes!
- Key Lime Pie Mojito
- Key Lime Bars
- Key Lime Pie Popcorn (no juicing of key limes required!)
- Key Lime Mousse (from Grits and Pinecones)
- Key Lime Pound Cake (from Hummingbird Thyme)
Thanks to my dad for being the best teacher, role model and source of inspiration. Ever. In the world.
Some of the best things he's ever taught me:
Everything I need to know about football. And basketball.
How to unclog a toilet.
How to be self sufficient.
When I get a paycheck, always set aside moolah in my savings account. "Pay yourself first".
How to do a proper layup. Righty and lefty, thank you much.
It's okay to purchase a new wardrobe when I get a new job. 🙂
Always wear black socks with black shoes. Brown(ish) socks with brown shoes.
To always have a good tailor and shoe cobbler.
How to check the pressure of my tires.
How to be a fearless driver.
How to buy a car.
Never feel like I have to be in a relationship.
First impressions are everything.
Never leave a basketball court until I make at least 5 free throws. In a row.
That I can do anything in the world that I want. "As long as it's legal".
His famous words to us growing up: "You're tall. You're black. People are going to notice you anyway so always behave yourself!". It worked. My parents successfully raised three well-behaved children 😉
And that no matter what, he'll always be the one guy I can count on 🙂
I hope you are able to make this key lime pie and share it with someone you love!
What's the best thing you've learned from your dad?
Key Lime Pie
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ⅓ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 9 graham cracker sheets)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Key Lime Filling
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp key lime juice, strained (about 20 key limes)
Whipped Cream Topping
- ¾ cup heavy cream
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a fork, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl until well combined.
- Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate.
- Bake crust for 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack while you make the filling. Leave oven on.
Key Lime Filling
- In a large bowl, whisk together condensed milk and yolks until well combined.
- Add the key lime juice and whisk gently until combined.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Allow pie to completely cool on a cooling rack before covering and chilling in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
- Slice pie and top each slice with whipped cream before serving.
Whipped Cream Topping
- Put heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Beat until stiff peaks form.
- Recipe adapted from Epicurious