This is the perfect key lime pie! Tart and sweet, smooth and creamy, it brings me back to Key West every time.


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Summer is ending.

All the back to school stuff is in full effect here, which is funny because I swear summer just started for these kids! Greyson is still too young to go to school, he’s turning four in October, but I know that soon I’ll be shopping these sales and getting him supplies and packing him a lunch box.

Good Lord, I’m really not ready for it.

So instead, I buried myself into baking and whipped up something that reminded me of summer vacations to kick me back into some summertime goodness: good ole key lime pie. If you’ve been following Sweet Tea & Thyme for a bit, y’all know that I lived in Miami as a teen and now live here once again, and key lime pie is as common here as pastelitos de guayaba (guava pastries. Insanely good!). In fact, it’s Florida’s state pie, officially!

But the best key lime pies I’ve had was from this little store which, if I recall correctly, was also this family’s house in Key West. My parents and I took the drive down, all the way down, to the bottom of the Keys and would rent this little townhouse-like suite at the Duval House, right next to a drag queen cabaret and across the street from a french cafe and down the street from the beach. And in a white house like right on a beach this family would have people coming in and out of their kitchen, people including us, buying pies and other goodies. And my mother would stack up on these key lime pies to bring to Miami and stick in the deep freezer to save til the next vacation.

This recipe tastes exactly like those pies.

Shockingly enough, you don’t have to use key lime juice in key lime pie. I mean, it IS key lime pie but most people across the country cannot find key limes or even the bottled juice. Regular lime juice is fine, bottled is okay but fresh is preferred. It takes about 5 limes or so to get the pie to a punchy tartness. And authentically, you could whip up a meringue buuuut I just think homemade whipped cream is better. Everyone likes whipped cream, and the homemade stuff on your pie says, “I put in a ton of effort and I totally did a ton of work.” Even though it barely took any effort at all.

You would think a pie like this would be temperamental, hard to make, full of crazy ingredients even, but no it’s extremely easy! From the graham cracker crust to the whipped cream topping, it’s put together and set to chill in the freezer in about an hour with the easiest ingredients! If you want it to be even quicker you can use store-bought crust and just whip up the filling and bake for 15 minutes and set to chill out. I mean, could it be any easier?

The thing that takes key lime pie above other citrus pies like lemon meringue (though I LOVE lemon meringue, too!) is the fact that it have condensed milk. We use condensed milk in so many things around here from homemade coffee creamer, Thai iced tea, and dulce de leche, Brian will even eat it outright because it’s literally like a can of gold. It brings all the sweetness needed in your key lime pie without overpowering the tart goodness of the limes juice or making the pie sickly sweet.

I say make some pie anytime you are feeling blue, I know I made this plenty of times even in the winter to bring some brightness into my kitchen.

Here are the tools I used to make this pie:


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This is the perfect key lime pie! Tart and sweet, smooth, creamy and easy to make, it brings me back to Key West every time.
Key Lime Pie
Prep Time
3 hr 10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
3 hr 35 mins

This is the perfect key lime pie! Tart and sweet, smooth and creamy, it brings me back to Key West every time.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 329 kcal
Author: Britt Anne
Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers finely ground
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup key lime or regular lime juice
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
Whipped Cream Topping
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make crust:
  1. With a spatula in a medium mixing bowl, mix together the butter, sugar, and finely ground graham crackers. Mix well until the mixture is the texture of coarse sand and sticks together when pressed. Press crumbs evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish and up the sides. Use a ramekin or heavy measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even crust. Bake crust for ten to thirteen minutes, then take out and let cool. Leave oven on.
Make filling:
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks until pale in color; add condensed milk and salt, then whisk together well. Add lime juice and whisk again until well-incorporated.
  2. Pour over crust in pie dish and bake for 15 minutes, do not let brown. Let pie cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, then let chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Make whipped cream:
  1. In a large mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, whip cream until it just begins to look like it's no longer completely liquid, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and continue beating the cream for another minute. Once cream is at soft peaks, add vanilla extract, then whip until the cream is stiff and completely whipped up.
  2. Once set after at least 3 hours, pull pie out of fridge and dollop whipped cream around the edges of the pie (and wherever else on the pie you want it). Serve.
  3. This key lime pie lasts for a week in the fridge.
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A couple of dessert recipes that bring me back to childhood are creamy and wonderful banana pudding…Southern Banana Pudding - Sweet Tea & Thyme


And peach crisp. It reminds me of living in Virginia and being in my mom’s kitchen after running outside all day.

This has to be the best peach crisp recipe around: well-rounded in flavor, simple to make, and the best way to use up your summer peaches.

See you in the next post!