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A Tale of Two Lime Pies

ok, it's a little smushy, but the key west lime pie on the left is my favorite...the firmer key lime pie with condensed milk on the right is the kids' favorite

ok, it’s a little smushy, and not so photogenic, but the key west lime pie on the left is my favorite…
the firmer key lime pie with condensed milk on the right is the kids’ favorite


Don’t you love a good lime pie? Every bite is like a little burst of tangy sunshine in your mouth. I decided to try out a couple of versions not too long ago for my pie of the month auction winners, the amazing McDaniel family. Neither of these these lime pies has a graham cracker crust; I’ll save that version for another day.

The first pie we’ll call key west lime pie I found in my treasured 1965 Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook. Imagine a lemon meringue pie with a lime filling instead of lemon- that’s this pie. Of course, I didn’t feel like making a meringue, so I just used fresh whipped cream as the topping. I had never had a lime pie made without condensed milk before…I really, really, really like this pie.

The second pie we’ll call key lime pie, the condensed milk version. The filling is pretty much the standard condensed milk version. The crust is a Pate Sucree which is  a little sweet, light and crisp….a little bit like a cookie. The children really, really like this pie.

Let me know which one you like.

Key West Lime Pie

from the 1965 Farm Journals Complete Pie Book


  • 1 baked 9 inch pie shell
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 1 /2 cup water
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. lime peel, grated
  • few drops of green food color if desired
  • 1 pint whipping cream (or make a meringue of the 3 egg whites)
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 T. vanilla

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt in a saucepan; gradually add water, stirring until smooth.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and boil for a minute.
  3. Remove from heat and quickly add one half the hot mixture to the egg yolks, mixing well. Return to the hot mixture, blending thoroughly.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, over medium heat. Boil 1 minute longer.
  5. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice and peel and food color if using. Pour into cool pie shell at once.
  6. If doing a whipped cream topping, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until stiff. Cover the cooled pie completely with the cream. Refrigerate the pie.
  7. If doing a meringue topping, beat the egg whites with 1/4 t. cream of tartar, 1/4 t. of salt and 1/2 t. vanilla until frothy. Add 6 T. sugar a little at a time; beating well after each addition. Beat until stiff , pointed peaks form when you lift your beaters slowly. Spread meringue over pie filling; make sure you go to inner edge of crust to seal all around. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until the meringue is golden brown.


Key Lime Pie (the condensed milk version)


  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1 t. lime peel, freshly grated
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 recipe of pate sucree (or graham cracker)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Roll out and place pate sucree pastry in 9 inch pie pan, flute the edges. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, juice, peel, yolks and vanilla. Pour into the pie shell and bake at 325 degrees until set - about 15 minutes.
  3. Cool completely.

Pate Sucree


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 8 oz. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 -4 T. cold heavy cream or water

Cooking Directions:

  1. Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor until combined, about 4 times. Add butter, and process until mixture resemble coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With processor running, add yolks. Gradually pour in cream; process until dough begins to come together, no more than 30 seconds. Pat dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at leas 1 hour and up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month.

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