Key Lime Pie

keylimesThere comes a time in your life when you say, “It’s been how many years and I haven’t made what???”  That’s what I felt like when I made my first Key Lime Pie this week.  I saw a bag of key limes at Whole Foods and thought why not.  Not to mention it is a favorite pie of my BF’s.

I figured a little bit of history of the key lime was in order and did some research as well.  Usually we see key limes as green, but they are truly ripe when they are yellow in color. Key limes differ slightly than a regular lime in that there is a higher acidity to the juice and about half the size.  I wasn’t able to find out how much more acidic they were but can contest to it by personally trying the juice.

Key limes grow year round, but are prevalent between May – September. They are originally from Southwest Asia. You can now find them in Mexico, Central America, Texas, California and of course the Florida Keys.  A full-grown tree takes about 10 years to cultivate.  From blossom to fruit you are looking at 9 months before you can pick them.

So where did key lime pie originate?  The first ‘recorded’ key lime pie was in the 19th century in Key West, Florida. William (oddly again that is my boyfriend’s first name) Curry…the first millionaire of the Keywest had a cook named ‘Aunt Sally’ who made him key lime pies.  Most people think key lime pies were used by the sponge fisherman before Mr. Curry came along.  When condensed milk and acidic juice mix together they will naturally thicken on their own.  Back in the day eggs, limes, and condensed milk didn’t need refrigeration, so more than likely this fisherman were eating these ingredients.

One last fun fact about the key lime pie…it was officially named the ‘State Pie of Florida” in 2006.  That got me thinking…does Illinois have a state pie??? No, but we do have a state snack…any guesses????  Drumroll….POPCORN!  Is it any wonder that Garrett’s is so popular?  We may not have key lime pie in our back pockets but we do have being the home of the Oreo cookie, the first McDonald’s and the first Dairy Queen.

This recipe has been adapted from Emeril’s original one.  Enjoy!



  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup key lime juice
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs. Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Once chilled, combine the sour cream and powdered sugar and spread over the top of the pie using a spatula. Sprinkle the lime zest as a garnish on top of the sour cream and serve chilled.


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