This deliciously creamy and easy key lime pie has only four simple ingredients for the filling and four for the pie crust. With only 15 minutes in the oven, you can have this pie ready in no time
We have a strange tradition here at the Meyer household for Thanksgiving—we must have this key lime pie for dessert. Yes, we know it’s a sort of tropical food that’s best for the summer months. The key lime (or here, lemon and lime) juice makes you feel like you’re on the beach in Key West or Miami.
And, honestly, it’s even kind of cruel to do that in the late autumn, almost-winter month of November, when everything is dark, rainy or even snowy (here in northern Europe).
But with all that being said, we couldn’t imagine having any kind of Thanksgiving dinner without a key lime pie. The first time I made it for Diana 6 years ago, she fell in love with it immediately, and demanded it at nearly every big celebration we had.
Note: we like a bit of simplicity here at Meyer Food Blog, so this easy key lime pie is not the one with a layer of meringue on top, although you can easily add to it.
I’ve negotiated it down to just the two big ones though: Thanksgiving and Christmas. But instead of the tropical flavors causing us to miss the warmer months, the taste of this easy key lime pie actually makes us remember the good times without feeling too sad.
And, did we mention how easy it is to make? Just four ingredients for the filling. We couldn’t find any pre-made graham cracker crust here in Europe, so we used digestives (sort of a British version of graham crackers) and made the base ourselves.
So, four ingredients for the filling, four ingredients for the base, and 15 minutes in the oven, and that’s it. Let it cool and it’s ready to eat!
Easy key lime pie steps
If you can find a pre-made graham cracker crust in the store, you can skip this part. Although now, for us, we’d probably still make our own crust since we’re able to control ever single part of the recipe.
Heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Take roughly 200g of digestives and crumble them up. You’ll have a bit of bigger pieces, so I run mine through a simple colander (one with lots of holes) which helps separate the sizes. You don’t want big pieces of cookies for your crust.
Once that’s ready, mix it with sugar, melted butter and cinnamon (optional, but recommended).
Once your base mixture is ready (and smelling great from the melted butter and cinnamon), press it into your prepared dish. Don’t worry about making it look absolutely level and perfect. I always go for a more rustic look.
For ease, I always use a springform pan so that I can easily get the pie out of the pan. Just make sure to wrap the bottom with foil since some of the butter from the pie crust will seep out.
Once that’s ready, now it’s time to make the filling. I couldn’t find any key limes here, so I’ve had to use a mix of lemon and lime juices. So it’ll be 1/2 cup of lime and 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
We only need the egg yolks for this, and you can use egg whites for another dish. Mix the egg yolks, “key lime” juice, 2 cans condensed milk, zest from 1 lime, and 4 heaping tablespoons of sour cream.
Whisk together until well-blended, pour into the pie shell, and bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Once done, let it cool enough to go into the fridge.
Here, the outside temperatures are about 35°F (2°C), so I usually put mine outside right after it comes out of the oven. About 2 hours later, your pie is ready to be eaten!
Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe
With just four ingredients for the filling and 15 minutes in the oven, you can have this deliciously creamy and easy key lime pie ready in no time!
For the pie crust
- 1.5 cups ground graham crackers or digestives (about 200 g)
- 1/3 cup sugar (75 g)
- 5 tbsp melted butter (70 g)
- 2/3 tsp cinnamon (optional)
For the pie filling
- 1 cup key lime juice (or 1/2 cup lime + 1/2 cup lemon juice)
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 heaping tbsp sour cream
- zest from 1 lime, plus more for garnish
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). In a mixing bowl, add the finely ground graham crackers (or digestives) to the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Press firmly into your prepared pan.
In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, condensed milk, key lime (or lemon-lime) juice, 4 heaping tablespoons of sour cream and the zest from 1 lime. Whisk until well incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. When the pie is cool enough, refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Garnish with extra lime zest. You can also add lime wedges and whipped cream, or enjoy the pie by itself.