The graham cracker crust in this key lime pie recipe from culinary team member Ben Perez is just as buttery as the trademark tangy filling is creamy.
"My favorite part about a pie like this is the crust. I wrote this recipe making sure that the crust was not an afterthought and that each bite provided the perfect textural contrast between silky smooth filling and buttery, crispy crust."
What equipment do I need for key lime pie?
"After a few attempts at this classic dessert, I found that using an electric hand mixer resulted in a very light and fluffy filling. If you do not have an electric hand mixer or standing mixer, use a hand whisk, but it will take quite a bit of elbow grease to achieve a light and fluffy filling. If you do not have a food processor, crush the graham crackers in a large zip-top bag until finely ground, then add the remaining ingredients and evenly incorporate."
Do I need fresh key limes for key lime pie?
"If fresh key limes are not available at your local grocery store, you can absolutely use regular lime juice and zest. If you really aren't in the mood to juice and zest your own limes, you can purchase bottled key lime/regular lime juice, but you will notice a difference. Fresh is best, I promise!"
–Ben, culinary team member
- 13 whole graham cracker sheets, or 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated key lime zest
- One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup fresh key lime juice
- Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the crust, in the bowl of a food processor, add the graham crackers and pulse until finely ground. Add sugar, pinch of salt and melted butter and pulse until crumbs are moistened and hold when pressed together. Transfer crumb mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and press into the bottom and up the sides evenly to form the crust. Bake until lightly golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
For the filling, in a medium bowl, add egg yolks and zest. Using an electric mixer, beat the yolks until pale yellow and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the mixture should fall back on itself in a ribbon when the beaters are raised. With the mixer on, slowly stream in the sweetened condensed milk and beat for an additional 2 minutes until well combined. Add lime juice and a pinch of salt and whisk until fully incorporated.
Transfer filling to the cooled crust and bake just until filling is set but with a slight jiggle, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Serve chilled with whipped cream.