Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie hasn’t always been at the top of my list of favorite desserts.  In fact, I only tried it for the first time more recently, when I was over at a friend’s house for dinner.  I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not I’d actually like the pie…I usually stick to classics like Pumpkin and Apple, and never really venture into the citrus pie realm.

But after one bite of my friend’s Mom’s Key Lime Pie, I was hooked.  I loved the tart flavor of the lime mixed with the sweet graham cracker crust, and at my friend’s house, we topped the pie with a generous helping of whipped cream.  The dessert was cool and refreshing, and light enough so I didn’t feel completely stuffed after eating it.

I decided to make the pie this weekend, as my family recently got back from a vacation in Florida.  They kept talking about the Key Lime Pie they tried in a local restaurant, and thus my cravings began…I knew I couldn’t rival fresh, Floridian Key Lime Pie, but I could come pretty close.

The recipe I found called for a sour-cream topping, but I decided to leave it on the side.  That way, people could add as much or as little as they wanted.  I also added another tablespoon of powdered sugar to the topping, and a fourth of a teaspoon of vanilla.  I’m not a huge fan of sour cream in general, but I found that adding the extra tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla gave it a sweeter flavor, which nicely complimented the tart flavor of the lime.

Everyone enjoyed the pie, but probably no one more than me.  As a novice baker, sometimes I need a little positive affirmation that my desserts do, in fact, taste good.  But in this case, I didn’t need any compliments or kind words…all I needed was a fork.

Key Lime Pie (adapted from Emeril Lagasse, 2002)


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, make the sour cream topping by mixing two tablespoons of powdered sugar, the 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and the sour cream in a medium size bowl.  Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the pie, and add the sour cream topping to taste. Serve chilled.

About Emily Wasserman

Bonjour! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. I'm also a home baker with a small business, Amélie Bakery. I'm a self-proclaimed francophile and love French pastries and baking.
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