Classic Key lime pie

Whip up this amazing summer dessert and the citrus tang will have everyone back for more!
Classic Key lime pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • sweet tart pastry

Lime filling

  • 4 eggs, seperated
  • 1 X 400 g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp grated lime zest
  • 150 ml freshly squeezed lime juice, (from 5-6 limes)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Cream topping

  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla sugar, (make by burying 2-3 vanilla pods in sugar and leave for 1 week)
  • zest of 1 limes, pared into fine shreds

Tips and Suggestions

The name of this classic American dessert comes from the Florida Keys where limes grew in abundance until a hurricane destroyed many of the orchards


1. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23 cm tart tin.

2. Take long thin strips of foil and fold them over the edge of the tart, to protect ad support the sides. Prick the base all over with a fork. Chill for 30 - 40 mins.

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 190C (375F) Gas 5 for 8-10 mins until lightly coloured.

4. Beat 1 large egg white with a fork to break it up.

5. Remove the foil and brush the inside of the case with the egg white.

6. Return to the oven for another 8-10 mins, or until the pastry is brown and crisp.

7. To make the lime filling, put 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks in a bowl and beat until blended. Whisk in the condensed milk and the lime zest. Gradually whisk in the lime juice.

8. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar in a separate, grease free bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry.

9. Beat 2 tablespoons of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remainder with a spatula. Scrape into the pastry case and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 minutes or until it has risen and just firm in the centre. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. It will deflate as it cools.

10. When cool, make the topping. Put the cream and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl, whip until soft, then spread over the lime filling.

11. Toss the shreds of lime zest in the remaining sugar and use to decorate the tart. Serve cold but not chilled.

From Easy Desserts, published by Ryland, Peters and Small

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