It really doesn’t get much easier than this key lime pie recipe with condensed milk. It only takes 4 ingredients and a few minutes to put together. The filling is smooth, silky, rich, and tart in the best possible kind of way.
If you are looking for a cool and refreshing dessert that is easy to make, this key lime pie has to be in the running. It is the perfect summer treat, though we enjoy it all year long.
They are all are huge hits around here, and those jars have been requested by Little Dude as a birthday treat twice. He’s only had 10 birthdays, so that is a 20% request rate.
That is pretty good in general, but even better when you consider how spoiled he is with homemade desserts. It’s not like he only has a few things to choose from.
So I thought it was high time I make him, and you all, a more traditional key lime pie. This recipe is quintessential Key West goodness.
Using Juice or Squeezing Key Limes
Here in the Midwest, it is hard to find key limes. Sometimes, you can find them in the store, but it is definitely hit or miss.
So, I usually use a bottle of key lime juice. It is much easier to find and easier to use as well.
If you happen to have fresh key limes, what a treat! Squeezing the key limes will taste fresher, and you can add some key lime zest, but either way, this pie is going to be great.
Use whichever you have access to. You can also experiment with the amount a bit.
This recipe uses a bit more than is called for on the bottle. We like the filling to really have a nice lime punch.
You could get away with a few tablespoons more if you want a really tart pie. Or reduce the lime juice to 1/2 cup if you want a more subtle lime flavor.
Using Condensed Milk
Opening a can of condensed milk is like opening a gold mine. There is just something about the rich, creamy, sweet goodness that makes it hard to beat.
Using it in this recipe helps to get enough sugar to balance the lime juice without worrying about a gritty sugar texture. Plus, it reacts with the lime juice and thickens up pretty quickly.
That means all you need is a few egg yolks and a few minutes in the oven to set the filling. Other than the lime juice, there is no measuring to do.
Just stir it all together and dump it in a pie crust. After it bakes, let it cool, then chill it for the ultimate refreshing value.
Making a Graham Cracker Crust
I opted for a premade graham cracker crust for this particular pie. However, they are super simple to make if you prefer to make your own.
Just gather up the following ingredients:
- 1-1/2 cups ground graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 7 Tablespoons melted butter
You can use the food processor to grind the graham cracker crumbs and then add the sugar and butter.
Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and chill until set.
Feel free to experiment with different cookies as well. Gingersnaps would make a lovely crust for a key lime pie.
I have heard good things about a Oreo crust with a key lime pie as well, though I have never tried it myself.
Differences between key limes and regular (Persian) limes:
- Key limes are smaller and more yellow in color.
- Key limes are more aromatic, tarter and have a more floral flavor.
- Key limes were grown commercially in the Florida Keys until a hurricane wiped out many of the groves in the 1920s. Now many of those groves grow Persian limes instead!
What can I use if I can’t find key lime juice?
If you can’t find key lime juice, I would recommend using half regular lime juice and half lemon juice. You can also use all of one or the other if you prefer.
More Condensed Milk Pie Recipes
If you love the idea of using condensed milk to make a simple pie filling, you are in luck. I have more recipes for you to try.
Condensed milk pumpkin pie is a great way to get those fall flavors. Again, the recipe is super simple to put together, and the filling is so smooth and luscious.
Or try making condensed milk pecan pie. It has a creamy filling and is topped with loads of crunchy pecans.
For another cool and refreshing option, try a frozen lemon pie. It only takes 4 ingredients, is no bake, and can also be made with key lime juice if you prefer.
Key Lime Pie With Condensed Milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- ⅔ cup key lime juice
- graham cracker crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- In a medium bowl, beat together egg yolks and condensed milk for about 3 minutes.3 egg yolks, 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- Add the key lime juice and mix well.⅔ cup key lime juice
- Pour into graham cracker cust. Smooth the top, then bake for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- Chill for at least an hour and half, but up to a couple of days.
- Serve cold. Garnish with whipped cream and lime zest if desired.