Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe with Gluten Free Option
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Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe
Everyone has a favorite dessert from a restaurant and no one can usually make it at home and exceed that food memory. My husband is a traveler and a foodie. He eats key lime pie wherever he goes and believes he knows what an authentic key lime recipe should taste like.
I’ve tried my best to recreate a recipe for an authentic key lime pie, one that has the brightness and intensity of limes, the heavenly textures of a thick lime cream paired with an airy light whipped cream and a flavorful, crunchy crust.
How’s that for a classic dessert?
I have over 1200 recipes and I want you to know that I fret about them being right for you. It’s my desire for you to have a great experience in your kitchen.
So as we argued about texture, I remade the pie, and even came up with a gluten free crust as an option. I’m eating gluten free now, which is not easy, and hope to be bringing you more delicious gluten free dishes, and a post on why I’m doing this. It has nothing to do with trends, but is a health matter.
On my second go round I thought to myself, why can’t everyone be happy? I can make small tarts and vary the crust between traditional graham crackers and an almond flour gluten free option.
The first key lime pie was just a little too thick, so I added more lime juice. I also used a mixture of key limes and Persian limes. If you have a choice between the two, however, I would just go with regular limes because otherwise you will need 25-30 key limes.
Key limes aren’t juicy enough, but they are more tart and that’s what an authentic key lime pie recipe has to have. It has to be tart, but the tartness will be offset by the sweetened condensed milk and the combination is creamy heaven.
Have you ever wondered what sweetened condensed milk is? It’s milk and sugar with the water evaporated out so it’s sticky, rich and whatever you do, do not look at the calorie count.
How to Top the Key Lime Pie
You could top your key lime pie with meringue like Southern Fatty did, or go with my preferred method, and top it with a stabilized whipped cream.
The whipped cream can be applied and refrigerated and it will look just as good two days later. I show you how to do that in this video. You can also freeze the pie or small tarts before applying whipped cream. Take out 20 minutes prior to serving. They will taste just as good.
Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe with a Gluten Free Option
Let me know if you make this authentic key lime pie recipe and if you like whipped cream or meringue?
Let’s connect on instagram and if you make any of my recipes I’d love for you to tag me at #spinachtiger.
Authentic Key Lime Pie Recipe with Gluten Free Option
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 1/4 cups graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
Gluten Free Crust
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar optional
Key lime pie filling
- 3 large limes
- 8 key limes see notes
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1 can 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 4 large egg yolks room temperature
Whipped Cream Topping
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream cheese softened room temperature
- dash vanilla
Graham Cracker Crust
- Put graham crackers into a food processor until you have crumbs.
- Melt butter in microwave for 30 seconds in glass dish.
- Mix together, press into a pie or tart pan. If using a tart pan, first layer the bottom with oil or butter or a cooking spray and use a sheet of parchment paper. Butter the paper (or spray) before adding crumbs.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Combine almond flour with butter, and using same instructions for graham crackers, press iinto pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Wash limes. Rinse. Zest to get 1 tablespoon of lime zest.
- Juice limes to get 1/2 cup lime juice plus 2 tablespoons.
- Beat egg yolks with mixer until golden and creamy.
- Add in lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and lime zest.
- Mix until well incorporated.
- Pour into prepared pans.
- This recipe will make one large pie or tart (9 inches) or 4-6 smaller tarts depending on size of your tart pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Center should not jiggle.
- Cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
- Apply Whipped topping before serving. If you stabilize whipped cream, you can apply whipped cream and put back into refrigerator for several hours to two days.
- Mix cream, cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, vanilla together for five minutes until stiff.
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More Tart Desserts from Spinach Tiger
Italian Lemon Ice, Lemon Simply Syrup
Pavlova Cups with Basil Lime Cream
This was a bust – the filling needed to be mixed until thickened not “until well incorporated” never hardened – had to cook for so long the top just bubbled and burned and the filling was still watery
I’ve made many times and this recipe works. I don’t know why it didn’t for you. It will not thicken all the way until refrigerated over night .Did you use sweetened condensed milk?
I had to bake mine for 30 minutes to get the pie to not jiggle (per instructions). I hope it tastes better than it looks.
I am preparing to make this recipe, but have a simple question: Can I substitute the fresh key lime juice bottled key lime juice such as “Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice?” I am not able to purchase true key limes where I live.
Just made the pie, but have not eaten it yet.
Question: is it 1 TBLS of Lime Zest, or 2 tsp?
I used less lime juice because it was a bit watery.
Also, I used Gluten Free cookies in place of the breadcrumbs for a tasty alternative.
I vote for stabilized whipped cream as the topping, too! I LOVE key lime pie, and I can’t wait to try your recipe. It looks phenomenal.
OH! How I truly love Key Lime Pie! My favorite place to get a key lime pie is in Orange Beach, Alabama at The Original Oyster House. It is a fantastic Seafood Restaurant. Your key lime pie looks even more beautiful than the pie at Original Oysters House and I am sure it is extremely delicious.
Many thanks for sharing! A Great Choice!!
I love to bake but have never tried making a key lime pie. Your recipe sounds super yummy and pretty easy!
@ Marisa: Who won your “throw down”. You or hubby ? Or does the “Wish I would have had this recipe” comment mean you lost 🙂
Wrote the answer above — will have to find the two recipes and see if I can combine them 🙂
This looks great! Can’t wait to try it, although I won’t really have much time until I get to TN :). I’m going to be working in Oak Ridge for 1 year. I’m also gluten free and the gluten free graham crackers would probably work great too. So far, I’ve only tried the Pamela’s brand. It was very good, but there are several brands available. The Pamela’s brand is much more heavy duty than regular graham crackers. Just get out the blender or food processor!
Oh this is so funny — I’ll have to write about it. Hubby and I had a “throw down” when we had a family get together. We each made a version of Key Lime Pie and the family had to vote. We didn’t say who made what !! I’d almost forgotten about that. I guess cuz we’ve cooked and baked so much for family get togethers. 🙂 Wish I would have had this recipe 🙂
@marisa, that’s funny. Who won and what’s your secret to your key lime pie.
We both won — it was my crust that was favored and my hubby’s filling and topping. 🙂