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This key lime pie recipe is pretty darn close to the classic version Grandma used to make, with a few changes to simplify the recipe and save time.
Swap out the homemade tart crust in favor of a purchased graham cracker crust, if you don’t have time to do the homemade route. This Key Lime Pie will still be utterly amazing and you’ll have it made up in under 20 minutes.
Now, don’t think for one second that this Key Lime pie needs to be made every night just because it’s easy, or even once a week. All moms (or anyone, for that matter) should never feel guilty when they can’t make pie for their family, because who the heck can make pie every night?
You should feel exactly the opposite of guilty.
There are those moments as you go through your day where you would like to slow down, do something REAL, and feel a bit more grounded. For many of you, working in the kitchen does that. You feel productive, creative, grounded, and love the fresh textures and smells. It’s good for the soul, for family members, and homes to get in the kitchen and make something delicious.
Regardless of how much you like the kitchen, you probably still want to eliminate work. This Key Lime Pie recipe will be that. Good for the soul, good for the taste buds, and good for the busy!
If you have a kitchen lacking in every single type of pan, including a tart pan or pie plate, you CAN make pies and tarts. You can use a round cake pan, a square 8 by 8 pan, or even use aluminum foil to create an “edge” on your cookie sheet (head to graham cracker crust to see how to hack a smaller pan).
You want to be gentle gentle with your dough so that it will remain flaky and tender, so use your fingers whenever you can to work with your tart dough. Over-working it will result in a tougher, denser crust.
For the first part of the crust’s baking time, put a layer of aluminum foil over the crust and then remove it during the second half of the baking time.
This tart recipe is rich and decadent. But, it can also be made with a traditional graham cracker crust and it’s been super yummy! Feel free to even use a purchased pie crust!
Classic key lime pie filling starts with egg yolks. Set your mixer to start beating the yolks (or use your hand mixer on medium for about 3 minutes) and head over to open your sweetened condensed milk.
Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk into the egg yolks and let your mixer keep doing its thing (or beat with a hand mixer about 2 minutes) while you get the lime juice and zest ready.
Right about here is where you could add a few drops of green food coloring to the mixture to gain that bright green color that traditional Key Lime pie recipes are known for. If you would like to use it…add it here!
Add your fresh zest and your lime juice and beat until combined (about 2 minutes).
Although fresh lime juice is best for a super flavorful key lime pie, don’t shy away from using canned juice for simplicity and ease. You could even do a mix of both. Grab 2 limes and use the fresh zest, the juice from them, and then finish out the rest with canned lime juice for a good compromise.
That is the entirety of the filling. Easy, fast, and super classic. There is a reason why classic recipes are often the best, isn’t there?
You’ll notice this recipe is a little lax on my use of the phrase KEY LIME. That’s because this pie is often made with traditional limes rather than key limes. Have you ever sent your husband to the store for key limes? Does he even know there is a difference? Key limes are hard. So, feel free to use whatever kind of limes your husband brings home!
Complete key lime pie ingredient list and recipe instructions below…
easy Key Lime Pie Recipe
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- Preheat oven to 450degrees.
- In a medium bowl stir the flour and sugar together.
- Use a pastry blender or two butter knives to cut the butter cubes into the flour until pieces are about pea-size.
- In a small bowl beat the egg yolks and then add the ice water, stir.
- Gradually stir the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture as best you can, with a fork.
- Use your fingers to gently knead the dough until it holds a form. Do NOT over-mix.
- Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface use your hands to gently flatten the dough.
- Roll the dough from the center to the edges until a 12 inch circle is formed. Be gentle.
- Transfer the dough to a tart pan (for Key Lime pie transfer to a pie pan).
to use with KEY LIME PIE
- Cover the dough with aluminum foil and bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 6-8 minutes or until golden. Cool for about 10 minutes before filling.
- prepared tart recipe OR graham cracker crust purchased is fine!
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- Oven temperature to 350degrees. Note the difference if you have made the tart crust!
- In a medium bowl beat the egg yolks for about 2 minutes.
- Gradually whisk in the sweetened condensed milk.
- Add the lime peel and lime juice.
- Beat an additional 2 minutes. --the mixture will thicken up.
- Pour the filling into the tart shell (or graham crust)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set.
- Cool on counter for 1 hours.
- Cover and chill in fridge for 2-3 hours.