Key Lime Pie
Yield: 8 servings
A cool, creamy, sweet-tart filling pairs with a crisp graham cracker crust for a frozen twist on the classic pie. The prep-ahead recipe is especially convenience for entertaining.


  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust (store-bought works, but this Homemade Graham Cracker Crust or Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust will elevate the dessert)*
  • 1⅓ cups (320mL) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon (5mL) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus more for garnish**
  • ½ cup (120mL) lime juice* (I use the standard Persian limes but key limes may be used when available)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • Optional for serving: whipped cream


  1. Before you start: Make sure you have room in your freezer to place the pie plate (without it tilting too much to one side!).
  2. Whip the heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks and set aside. (Details on how to do this can be found in this recipe for Homemade Whipped Cream; note that no sugar is added here.)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, zest, and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk until slightly thickened and well combined.
  4. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
  5. Pour the filling into crust, grate a little extra lime zest over top (alternatively, the lime zest garnish could be added upon serving), and freeze, uncovered, for at least 2 hours.
  6. Remove the pie from the freezer 5-15 minutes before serving so it’s easier to slice. (Precise time depends on temperature of room and how long the pie has been frozen.) Slice and serve with an optional dollop of whipped cream.
  7. Storage: Cover and store the pie in the freezer, where it will keep for at least 1 month.


*When using a homemade graham cracker crust, be sure to let it cool thoroughly before filling.

As a tip to expedite freezing, I place the cooled crust in the freezer while I’m preparing the filling. The filling may also be prepared several hours in advance and refrigerated if the crust is not ready to fill.

**Zest details: Zest is difficult to measure accurately, so I simply use the zest of 1 large lime. If limes are small, grate the zest from 2 limes. I’d say a little extra zest is better than not enough, as it provides concentrated lime flavor without additional tartness. A microplane is the best tool to finely grate the zest, which creates even flavor throughout the pie.

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