(Key) Lime Pie

key lime pie

I’ve always wanted to make a key lime pie. They look so good and people in the US rave about them so much. Now I do have one small, teeny tiny confession to make here…. I have never actually eaten a real-deal key lime pie. I’ve certainly had a few pretenders. Now for my other confession…. 

…key limes are very difficult to come by in Australia, so I’m going straight to a faux key lime pie experience, by omitting the key ingredient of a key lime pie. I understand that key limes are very tart, so by using regular limes, the flavour is more mellow and sweet.

As soon as I saw this recipe on the wonderful Leite’s Culinaria I was sold. Who can possibly go past a biscuit crumb base and a can of condensed milk? I knew it was going to be good. This site always posts the most wonderful and well tested recipes, with ‘no holds barred’ write-ups from the testers. I’m a huge fan! Importantly, this recipe allows for fakers like me, with no access to the real deal ingredients, to still turn out a super delicious dish.

Key lime slice 1

The recipe helpfully suggests addition of lemon to up-tart the flavour and my main modification was to use choc ripple biscuits as part of the base, because chocolate goes well with limes anything.

I’m thinking this will be my last post before Christmas as I am going to go into a self-induced food coma shortly. I might suggest that this (key) lime pie is a wonderful way to use in-season ingredients with a summery flair (for us in the Southern hemisphere) and is actually very fast to make. From cracking open the pack of biscuits to “Ta da!!!! Look at my meringue!!” takes less than an hour.

Happy festive season to all!

Modified from Leite’s Culinaria The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook by Dr. Brent Ridge, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Sandy Gluck

(Key) Lime Pie

  • Difficulty: moderate (multiple steps)
  • Print

key lime pie

Serves: 12


For the biscuit crust

  • 100 g Marie biscuits
  • 50 g choc ripple biscuits
  • 60 g unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest (from Key or Persian/Tahitian limes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the Key lime filling

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (390 g) sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup fresh Persian lime juice (from about 4 regular limes) plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 about lemon) or if you are lucky enough to have them, use ⅔cup freshly squeezed Key lime juice (from about 20 Key limes)

For the meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the biscuit crust

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
  • In a food processor, pulse the biscuits into crumbs. Add the butter, sugar, lime zest, and salt and process until combined.
  • Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 23 cm loose-bottomed tart pan, or a 23 cm springform pan, using a flat-bottomed cup or glass.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is just firm and set.

Make the Key lime filling

  • While the crust bakes, add the egg yolks to a bowl of a free stand mixer and beat on medium-high until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until thickened. Beat in the lime and lemon juice.
  • Pour the filling into the baked crust and return it to the oven to bake for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until the filling is just set. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.
  • Increase the oven temperature to full whack (230°C – or 210°C fan forced).

 Make the meringue

  • In a bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the egg whites and salt until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, adding the vanilla toward the very end.
  • Immediately scoop the meringue onto the filling, making swoops and swirls in the meringue with the back of the spatula. Bake for 2 to 5 minutes, until the meringue is set and browned in spots.
  • Allow to cool and serve at room temperature or chilled.

key lime slice 2





3 thoughts on “(Key) Lime Pie

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