This Classic Key Lime Pie features an easy homemade graham cracker crust, a smooth and creamy key lime pie filling, and homemade whipped cream on top. The perfect dessert for key lime lovers!
A few weeks ago we covered how to make a homemade graham cracker crust. And today, I’m giving you a reason to try out that graham cracker crust with my easy homemade key lime pie recipe!
If you’ve ever felt intimidated when it comes to making pies, this key lime pie is a great starting point. Not only is the homemade crust easy to make, but the filling is just three ingredients (yes, THREE!) and it only takes a few minutes to mix together.
An added bonus? Since this pie needs to chill for a while in the refrigerator, it’s a great recipe that you can make ahead of time too!
How To Make This Key Lime Pie
To make this key lime pie, you’ll start out with my homemade graham cracker crust recipe which is just a simple mixture of graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. I put together a tutorial here to show you exactly how to make a graham cracker crust. Here’s a little breakdown on how to make the crust:
- Combine the ingredients: Stir together your graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until the crumbs are moistened
- Press it into your pie dish: I suggest using a measuring cup for this step to firmly pack it on the bottom and around the sides of the dish
- Pre-bake it: You’ll need to bake the crust for about 10 minutes
I like to set the crust aside for at least 10 minutes to cool slightly while I prep the filling. This will ensure that the graham cracker crust firms up some and it will hold up much better! You can even prep the graham cracker crust 1-2 days in advance, cool completely, then cover it tightly and store it at room temperature.
For the filling, you’ll be using a simple mixture of key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks:
- Key Lime Juice: You can use fresh or bottled key lime juice for this recipe. If you want to make this recipe easy, I suggest sticking with bottled key lime juice. I really love Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice, you can usually find it by the juices in most grocery stores.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: You’ll be using two cans of sweetened condensed milk to thicken and sweeten the filling.
- Egg Yolks: There are 5 egg yolks in this pie and it adds so much richness! You can use some of the leftover egg whites in an omelet or in my homemade white cake recipe.
To make the filling, you’ll simply whisk together all of the ingredients until they’re well combined and the mixture is nice and thick.
Once you mix up the filling, you’ll pour it onto the pre-baked graham cracker crust and bake it for about 20 minutes. Once the pie is done, you’ll need to let it cool completely and chill it for several hours.
And last, but not least, you’ll want to top this pie with some whipped cream to balance out the tartness of the filling. You can either use whipped topping or my homemade whipped cream recipe or if you’re looking for a whipped cream that will hold up for several days, you can try my stabilized whipped cream recipe instead.
Can you use regular lime juice?
Yes! You can substitute the key lime juice with an equal amount of lime juice or even lemon juice. You can find my lemon pie recipe here.
Does this need to be refrigerated?
Yes, I do suggest keeping it refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. You can store leftover key lime pie in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How do you know when it’s done baking?
The top of the pie will be set, but still jiggly. The residual heat will continue to cook the pie and allow it to set up as it cools.
Baking Tips For Key Lime Pie
- Be sure to let the crust cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the filling. This will give it some time to firm up and it will hold together much better.
- You can use either fresh or bottled key lime juice in this recipe. I prefer to use bottled key lime juice because it’s much easier.
- Don’t have any key limes? Regular lime or lemon juice will work fine!
- In order to properly set up, this pie needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. It’s best to make this pie the night before and allow it to chill overnight.
- When you cover the pie, make sure that the plastic wrap (or whatever you use to cover it) is not directly touching the top. Sometimes plastic wrap tends to stick to the pie and pull some of it up with it when you remove it.
More Pie Recipes To Try!
Classic Key Lime Pie
For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 and ½ cups (180 grams) graham cracker crumbs
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
For the key lime pie filling:
- 1 cup (240 ml) key lime juice
- 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 5 large egg yolks
- Whipped topping or homemade whipped cream
To make the graham cracker crust:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir until fully combined and all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into a 9-9.5 inch pie plate and firmly press it down into an even layer on the bottom and up around the sides of the dish.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
- Keep oven temperature at 350°F (177°C).
To make the key lime pie filling:
- Combine the key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk until fully combined.
- Pour the filling into the slightly cooled graham cracker crust and spread it around into one even layer.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 18-22 minutes or until the top of the pie is set, the pie will still be jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 2 hours. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. Once chilled, top with whipped cream, serve and enjoy!