Introduction: 4 Ingredient Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie would not be my choice Thanksgiving, but it is unmatched in it's ability to top off a garlicy seafood meal. This fantastic tasting recipe requires just 4 ingredients.KEY limes, egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, & graham cracker crust; Well that and the optional whipped cream for garnish

Step 1: Gather Tools and Ingredients


KEY Limes ( ½ Cup juice & 1 T zest )

The two fresh ingredients will make or ruin your pie. Key limes are smaller than the typical limes sold at the store. Sometimes they are called Mexican limes. It takes about 15 – 18 limes for the required ½ cup juice. You may substitute bottled juice if you can't (or don't want ) to squeeze enough. Just be sure that your bottled juice specifies that it is KEY lime juice. You will need about 4 or 5 limes for their zest (the green part).

egg yolks (4)

This other fresh ingredient will make a world of difference in your pie. A good yolk will be dark yellow with a slight orange tint. Good key lime pie is NOT green so don't add the silly food coloring.

Sweetened condensed milk ( 14-oz can )

Any kind should be as good as the other. As long as it hasn't started to caramelize, it shouldn't matter what you use.

Graham cracker crust ( 1 pre-made)

Yes many other recipes include instructions for making your own. Honestly if what people remember about your pie is the crust, you are doing it wrong.


You will need just a few tools

  • Juicer & measuring cup
  • zester (or micro-plane)
  • sieve (to strain any seeds)
  • whisk
  • mixing bowl

Step 2: Eggs and Zest

Separate the egg yolks. Note the lovely dark color. Many restaurants will use the whites to make a meringue for their key lime pie. Don't. That is just wrong. Save the meringue for lemon pies. Find another use for these whites.

Zest is the colorful part of citrus rind. There is a specialized tool called a zester for removing it in thing curly strips. I have given up my zester for a micro-plane grater. When you scrape the zest off the limes, be sure to avoid the white bit underneath the zest. Four or five limes should be enough to get the single Tablespoon of zest needed. This zest will be visible as green flecks in your pie. The first time my lovely niece tried it, she started trying to pick out all these green bits. She knew one of my hens laid eggs with green shells and thought they might be pieces of shell.

Let the egg yolks come to room temperature. Juice the limes while you are waiting. Then whisk the zest in for 2 minutes.

Step 3: Liquids

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk the sweetened condensed milk into the yolks first. Then whisk the lime juice in bit by bit. It is easiest to blend the juice into the top layer first, then mix evenly throughout.

Step 4: Baking

Pour the filling into your pre-made crust. Jiggle it to get the filling to spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. The center should be set, but it will still wiggle when you shake it.

Step 5: Chill

Cool to room temperature. I use a rack to help. After it is reasonably cool, use liner as a lid and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

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