Introduction: Key Lime Pie

About: It is my personal goal to learn how to do and/or make everything before I die. Just in case there is an apocalypse and I have to do it all myself.

Here you will learn to make real key lime pie. Key lime pie is yellow, not green. If you order it at a restaurant and it is green, it's a fake. Or, it is really moldy. The key lime is a tiny, yellowish lime native to Florida.

Fortunately, key lime pie is really easy to make and only takes an hour or less. For this instructable, I will be using "Nellie and Joe's Famous Key West Lime Juice", because fresh key limes are hard to come by in Michigan. A local chef gave me this tip. It is almost impossible to tell the difference.

I will make the graham cracker crust, but you can buy one pre-made from the grocery store and that will save you at least half an hour.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

16 graham crackers, crushed
1/4 lb. butter, or butter substitute
3 tbls sugar

or, buy a pre-made graham cracker pie crust

Key Lime Filling
1/2 cup "Nellie and Joe's" key lime juice, or the juice of 12 to 15 key limes
4 egg yolks
2 tsp lime zest
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)

Step 2: Gather Tools

Mixing bowls
A way to crush the graham crackers
Mixing spoons
Measuring spoons
Measuring cup
9 inch pie pan
Kitchen scale (optional)

Step 3: Crush the Graham Crackers

Use your hands (freshly washed, of course), a clean wooden hammer, a marble pestle, a food processor, or blender. Just get them good and smashed up to crumbs.

Step 4: Add Sugar and Butter

Add 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 pound (115 grams) butter, or butter substitute. I like Olivio. It tastes buttery, but is better for you. I melted the Olivio in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it easier to mix together.

Stir it up.

Step 5: Place Mixture Into Pie Pan

Place the graham cracker mixture into the pie pan and spread out a thin layer, maybe 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick.

Step 6: Bake the Crust

Bake the crust for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Take the crust out of the oven and let it cool down.

Step 7: Let's Make the Filling

Separate 4 egg yolks. Use a separator from the kitchen gadget store or use the old-fashioned technique.

Using the two halves of the egg shell, transfer the yolk back and forth over a cup. The white will drop off. Put the yolks in a separate bowl.

Stir the yolks up well. They should be a smooth, even, yellow consistency.

Step 8: Sweetened Condensed Milk

Add one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk to the egg yolks.

Warning: This is important. Make sure you get "Sweetened Condensed Milk", not evaporated milk. Many people make this mistake and the filling will not gel. They both come in cans and are sold next to each other at the grocery.

Mix well.

Step 9: Prepare the Lime

1. Pour half the lime juice (1/4 cup) into the egg/milk mixture and stir well.

1a. (Optional Step)
Grate a couple of teaspoons of lime zest. Lime zest is the green outer skin. Do not grate the white skin from under the green. That is really bitter. Use a fine tooth grater. Add the gratings to the remaining juice. I have added the zest of a more common persian lime. I like the little green flecks in the pie. Ideally, you would add zest of the key lime. Or, you can skip the zest altogether.

2. Add the rest of the juice to the mixture and mix well.

Step 10: Fill the Cooled Pie Crust and Bake

The pie crust should be cool to room temp and stiff. Pour in the filling

Put the pie back in the oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

After the 12 minutes, put the pie on a cooling rack. It should be set up and gelled now. Wait until it cools, then put it into the refrigerator for later.

Server with a dallop of whipped cream, if you like, but it is traditionally served without.

Step 11: All Done. Enjoy!


Pie Contest

Participated in the
Pie Contest