This recipe, which is adapted from the Joe’s Stone Crab Key Lime Pie recipe, makes the best Key Lime Pie. That of course is subjective, but for now we’ll call it the best — or at least up there with the best!
The ingredients look pretty typical of any Key Lime Pie, but the method used to make the pie is a little different. In this recipe you beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer for 5 minutes, then continue beating for 4 minutes after adding the condensed milk. So maybe that step of beating the yolks somehow improves the texture of the pie.
The lime flavor in this pie is pretty strong, but you can increase it even more by using extra lime zest. If I’m out of limes, I sometimes use lemon zest which works just as well. If you really want to increase the sourness, you can add a pinch of citric acid, but I’ve never found that necessary. For the lime juice, I almost always use Nellie & Joe’s, which is readily available and always in the refrigerator.
Update: This pie is still near the top of the list, but when I don’t have eggs or I need to use up sour cream, I make this Key Lime Pie Without Egg Yolks which is surprisingly great.
Best Key Lime Pie
- 1 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 sleeve plus 4 extra squares
- 6 tbsp melted butter salted or unsalted is fine -- salted has more flavor
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest use more if desired
- 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice or bottled I always use
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream chilled
- 1-2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch deep dish pie plate.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom and up sides of the pie pan. Bake the crust until set and golden, 7 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack; leave the oven on.
- Using high speed of an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and lime zest at high speed for 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until thick, about 2 minutes longer. Add the lime juice and stir until combined, then pour the mixture into the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the filling has just set. Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate.
- Whip the cream and the confectioners' sugar until nearly stiff. Add the vanilla. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie or pipe it neatly around the edges.
- Before serving, freeze the pie for about 20 minutes. Cut and serve.