Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

From Cook’s Illustrated, Published March 1, 1997.

Serves 8 .

If you prefer a meringue topping, follow the instructions in “No-Weep Lemon Meringue Pie” in the November/December 1994 issue. Bake pie only 7 minutes, then apply meringue gently, first spreading a ring around the outer edge, then filling in the center. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes more.


Lime Filling

4 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup lime juice from 3 to 4 limes
4 large egg yolks
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Graham Cracker Crust
11 graham crackers , processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

Whipped Cream Topping

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 lime , sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar (optional)


  1. For the Filling: Whisk zest and yolks in medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.

  2. For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Pour mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form even crust. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

  3. Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (Can be covered with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap laid directly on filling and refrigerated up to 1 day.)

  4. For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Adding confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just-stiff peaks. Decoratively pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with rubber spatula. Garnish with optional sugared lime slices and serve.


Key Lime Pie Tips

  1. Roll dough out on a heavily floured surface, then stamp out rounds as close together as possible. Gather the scraps, press into a disk, and repeat rolling and stamping.

  2. If the finished pie sticks to the pie pan when you’re ready to cut, simply dip the pan into a bowl of warm water to loosen the pie.