Key West and the Infamous Key Lime Pie

We finally made it to Key West from Miami after seeing two car wreaks and getting stuck behind a slow-moving RV for what seemed like forever. We are staying at a cute bed and breakfast called the Popular House that is located on a quiet, tree-shaded street in the heart of Key West’s “Old Town.” The house was built in 1898 and is absolutely stunning. The hammock you see below is our own personal hammock during our stay.

The bed and breakfast is in a perfect location-within walking distance to Duval Street, but far enough away for some peace and quiet. In the front room is a loom that the owners actually still use and the wall is lined with giant spools of yarn.

This morning we woke up to a full breakfast with tons of tropical fruit and freshly squeezed juices.

Last night we ate at Santiago Bodega, a tapas style restaurant nestled among banana trees, hibiscus and palm trees. The food was incredible, especially the pinchos morunos (spicy marinated skewers of pork tenderloin with apple-mango chutney), goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto, yellowfin ceviche and smoked salmon carpaccio. I can’t wait to try to recreate some of these incredible recipes in my own kitchen! 🙂

Now on to the whole reason why I came down to Key West-the key lime pie! 😉 Mmmmm…one of my favorite tropical desserts! This one comes from the geniuses at Cook’s Illustrated. This simple summer dessert has only three filling ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and fresh lime juice. When Cooks Illustrated had their taste testers test the difference between the Key Limes and regular Limes in a pie, there was no difference in taste. This smooth, creamy and refreshing pie is sure to hit the spot!

Thanks to everyone that have given Andrew and I suggestions on what to do and see while we are down here in Key West! This is one of the reasons I love blogging so much is because of you! We would never know of these wonderful restaurants and hidden landmarks to see while we are here!  😉

Key Lime Pie

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For the Lime Filling:

  • 4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/2 cup strained lime juice (from 3 or 4 limes)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 9 graham crackers (5 oz), broken into rough pieces
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and warm

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 lime sliced paper thin and dipped in sugar


  1. To make the filling, in a medium nonreactive bowl, whisk the zest and yolks until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in the milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken, about 30 minutes.
  2. To make the crust, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the graham crackers until evenly fine, about 30 seconds (you should have about 1 cup crumbs). Add the sugar and pulse to combine. Continue to pulse while adding the warm melted butter in a steady stream; pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch glass pie plate, evenly press the crumbs into the pie plate and square off the top of the crust. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. Pour the lime filling into the crust; bake until the center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes. Return the pie to a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. (The pie can be covered directly with lightly oiled or oil-sprayed plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 1 day.)
  5. To make the whipped cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip the cream in the chilled bowl of an electric mixer to very soft peaks. Adding the confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to just stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream evenly with a rubber spatula. Garnish with sugared lime slices and serve.

Yields: 8 servings

Source: Network of Food, originally from Cook’s Illustrated

26 Responses to “Key West and the Infamous Key Lime Pie”

  1. #
    Erin — June 4, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    I love your website and check it daily for delicious recipes! I saw on your last post that you are moving to Peoria, IL! I lived in Peoria until I moved nearby to Bloomington, IL for college and then to Iowa City for a job. I could definitely give you some restaurant recommendations if needed! (: I still head back there every now and then to see family and catch some local favorite food!!

    • Christina replied: — June 6th, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

      That sounds wonderful!! My husband and I are really excited to be moving to Peoria…it seems like everyone we have talked to always have such wonderful things to say about the city. 🙂

  2. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 4, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    That pie looks incredible! Enjoy your journey!

  3. #
    Taylor — June 4, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    Looks like you’re off to a great start on your trip! I LOVE key lime pie…this recipe looks delicious 🙂

  4. #
    Brave New Food — June 4, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    If you’re into literature, check out the Ernest Hemmingway house. There are about a billion cats ps by the way. 🙂 My husband and I went snorkling on one of those two-hour trips – super fun.

    • Christina replied: — June 4th, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

      We actually went to Hemingway’s house today! It was pretty neat and yes, tons of cats! 😀 My husband and I are going to scuba dive the reef tomorrow-can’t wait! 🙂

      • Brave New Food replied: — June 5th, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

        Nice! That’s awesome. It actually sounds like you guys are on my honeymoon. We went to Miami Beach and stayed at Sole on the Ocean (they upgraded to a suite for free) and we went to South Beach and down to Key West. Hope you have an amazing rest of the trip! 🙂

  5. #
    Baking Serendipity — June 4, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    I can’t decide what I like more…the pie or the hammock! Pie in the hammock maybe? 🙂 Key lime pie is one of my dad’s favorites. Thanks for the recipe and enjoy the trip!

  6. #
    yourdailygrace — June 4, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    Wow! I’m from Florida and have never been to Key West! The Popular House looks really nice…some bed and breakfasts looks so old and creepy, that one looks so bright!

  7. #
    Caroline — June 5, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    This key lime pie looks incredible. So glad you’re having a wonderful time in Florida. A few of my friends are actually visiting there right now and loving it. That bed and breakfast is adorable. 🙂

  8. #
    muppy — June 5, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    I should try this, i have never had key lime pie.

  9. #
    Tina @ vanillandspice — June 6, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    I love key lime pie, this one looks so good.
    Have a fun time in Florida!

  10. #
    The Café Sucré Farine — June 6, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Looks just delicious and the perfect way to cool off on these hot summer days! There is another fabulous dessert that they specialize in down there called “Banana Heaven” – try it if you get a chance, it’s just wonderful! Have fun!

  11. #
    Sara — June 6, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    Key lime pie is the best summer dessert! Enjoy your vacation!

  12. #
    Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide — June 7, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    Oh wow, can it possibly be that easy! It looks amazing.

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  14. #
    thedrivencook — June 7, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    The pie and the bed & breakfast look so amazing! I’ll have to try making the pie sometime soon.

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  16. #
    stefi25 — June 10, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

    Looks like you had fun! One of my good friends loves key lime pie, and I’ve tried one recipe for him but I’ll have to make sure to try this one for him too. He’ll absolutely love it!

  17. #
    Lena — June 21, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    that pork tenderloin with apple mango chutney sounds too good to miss, hope you are able to do your version soon!wow, i can see that there is really so much fruits on the table..!

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  22. #
    sally — July 3, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    Hi! I love your blog and recipes! I just wanted to say that I made your key lime pie yesterday for a get-together and it turned out beautiful and delicious!

  23. #
    Anjoli — June 14, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    I made this for a colleague’s birthday.. and everyone was raving on how wonderful this was.. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait to make it again.

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