Low-Key Secrets for the Best Key Lime Pie

One of America’s most beloved and enduring dishes, key lime pie has been the most popular way to spotlight the powerfully tart and aromatic lime variety since the dish’s inception in the early 20th century. As with any perennial favorite, key lime pie recipes have been tweaked and altered from generation to generation. Whether your preferences lie with experimentation or tradition, there’s no denying that the perfect key lime pie starts with the perfect base. Follow these curated tips and tricks to help guide your next shot at the iconic dessert.

  • Key lime pie has very few ingredients, so it’s important to make sure that your limes are at their peak. When selecting key limes, always pick ones with thin, tough skin that feel heavy for their size. 
  • Resist the urge to try and get every ounce of juice out of your key limes. The last 10% or so of the juice is bitter! 
  • It’s important to bake your crust before adding the filling to ensure that it doesn’t crumble and fall apart. Additionally, cook the filling afterwards to keep it firm and prevent any potential contamination issues from the raw eggs. We’d recommend setting your oven at about 325℉ for both. 
    • Did you know? Early recipes didn’t call for baking the filling, instead relying entirely on a chemical reaction between the egg yolks, condensed milk, and lime juice!
  •  Once your pie is fully cooked, allow it to set at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour before putting it into the fridge.
  • For an extra dose of citrus flavor, try creating a key-lime infused whipped cream! If that sounds a little over-the-top to you, try saving some zest or slices to use as garnish instead.