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!
Last Tuesday 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 this 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.
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.
You’ll want to pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes and then let it cool for another 10 minutes while you make the filling. I’ve found that giving the crust some time to cool and firm up before you add the filling creates a sturdier crust that holds up better. So, once you take the crust out of the oven set it aside and mix up your filling.
The filling is just a simple mixture of key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks. If you want to make this recipe easy, I suggest sticking with bottled key lime juice. As much as I love using fresh juice whenever I can, key limes are so tiny that it takes forever to get 1 cup of juice. I’ve used bottled juice for this pie several times and it tastes just as good as fresh juice. I really love Nellie and Joe’s Key Lime Juice, you can usually find it by the juices in most grocery stores.
You will also have quite a few egg whites left over that you can either discard or save and use for something else. I really love using extra egg whites to make these candied pecans.
Once you mix up the filling, you’ll pour it onto the slightly cooled pie crust and bake it for about 20 minutes. The top of the pie will look set, but it will still be jiggly when you take it out of the oven. The residual heat will continue to cook the pie and allow it to set up as it cools.
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.
Baking Tips for Classic Key Lime Pie
- Once you’ve baked the crust, be sure to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the filling.
- 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.
- 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.
Classic Key Lime Pie
For the graham cracker crust:
- 1 and ½ cups (180 grams) graham cracker crumbs, 11-12 full sheets of graham crackers
- 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.
- 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 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.
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 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!