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Key Lime Pie

Martha Stewart Living Television
Why is the Key-lime pie called by its name, and do you have a favorite recipe?

—Lynne Bickler, Pinole, CA

Key-lime pie takes its name from the type of lime it is made with, the Key lime, which grows in the Florida Keys. The Key lime has a mild, delicate fragrance, and the flavor is sweeter and more tart than that of the commonly found dark green, seedless Persian lime. Condensed milk and a graham-cracker crust are also common to the Key-lime pie, which has remained essentially unchanged over the years. The recipe that follows is a traditional one for this most delicious pie.

Key Lime Pie

Makes 1 pie

1 1/4 cups graham-cracker crumbs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch of salt

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

1/2 cup fresh Key-lime juice

1 tablespoon grated Key-lime rind

3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled

1. Heat oven to 375°. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix well. Press into a buttered 8-inch pie plate, and bake 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice, and rind. Pour into the prepared, cooled crust.

3. Lower oven to 325°. Return pie to oven, and bake approximately 15 to 17 minutes, until the center is set but still quivers when the pan is nudged.

4. Remove from oven, and let stand until cool.

5. Shortly before serving, whip cream until stiffened. Decorate pie with whipped cream, and serve at room temperature.

Comments (4)

  • Lfish731 30 Jun, 2014

    It's very important not to get any pith when you are removing the zest from the lime. I bought a high quality micro grater and this has made a huge difference in my efforts to remove zest only. Another tip is to zest the lime first, THEN juice it. This is the best key lime pie recipe, I highly recommend it.

  • think happy thoughts 23 Nov, 2012

    Being a Florida girl, I found this pie to be perfect! I added a touch more key lime juice but people have different preferences. I made this for our Thanksgiving meal and everyone was raving about what a nice departure it was from the usual Thanksgiving flavors.

  • capecodgirl3300 12 Jun, 2011

    This recipe calls for far too much lime zest. I must say that I used only key lime zest and was certain not to get a single bit of the bitter white pith in the mixture (which would have made this pie much worse). I would use half as much zest next time since a little goes a long way, and one full tablespoon is simply too much and just too overpowering.

  • sammy_p3 13 Jul, 2009

    Made this pie for the first time and all my friends loved it. Very easy to make and is quite the crowd pleaser.