Classic Key Lime Pie Recipe with Italian Meringue

This Classic key lime pie recipe features a graham cracker crust, a creamy sweet-tart filling made with ordinary limes, and homemade Italian meringue on top. It’s so easy to make, but it looks and tastes amazing! 

I learned how to make this Classic Key Lime Pie recipe with Italian Meringue when I was a teen LOL. And it’s been one of my friends’ favorites.

Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue cover Image with Title overlay

Actually, I was honored when one of them {a special one} said that mine was the best one he had ever tried LOL. That was a great compliment since he is a huge fan of Lime pies LOL.

Anyway, I made this recipe after many years out of the baking mood and it turned out great {thankfully!}.

How to Make this Classic Key Lime Pie Recipe

This recipe is super easy to make. This time I didn’t make the crust, I just bought it and it was pretty good actually =D.

So, the whole recipe took me about 50 minutes or so to have it ready.

Classic Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue overhead view on the table

Ingredients:

Pie

  • Sweetened condensed milk – to thicken and sweeten the filling.
  • Egg yolks – this adds so much richness.
  • Limes {Finely grated zest and juice} – I recommend fresh juice but bottled key lime juice works too.
  • Extra lime zest for the decoration
  • Pre-made Pie Crust – You can me this yourself but I preferred a pre-made one

Meringue

  • Egg whites
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

You can also make your own crust if you prefer by mixing graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate, and then bake it for a few minutes to firm up. For a full crust recipe, you can check out my apple cinnamon cheesecake recipe.

The Key Lime Filling

1. In a blender, mix the egg yolks and the condensed milk for 3 minutes then add the zest and mix for 3-5 more minutes.

The mixture will turn very thick and hot {fun chemical reactions}.

view of the crust base with ingredients around on a table

2. Pour the filling into the crust base then put it in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it puffs up and becomes a bit golden.

view of crust base with filling mixture next to a plate with lime zest

3. Let it cool on a wire rack then chill for at least 6 hours or overnight {it’s even better but I couldn’t wait LOL}.

view of Key Lime Pie baked

For the meringue Topping:

4. In a bowl of an electric mixer with the wire whisk attachment, place the egg white and whip it on medium-high speed. Make sure the bowl is dry and clean.

5. In a small pan, heat the water and the regular sugar to create caramel sauce. It will gradually become thicker. You will know when it’s ready when you take some of it with a skimmer and blow softly and you see bubbles going through the holes of the skimmer. =D. Turn off the heat.

6. When the egg white is at soft peaks, add the icing sugar and mix for 3 minutes and pour the hot caramel into the beating egg white very slow and steady.

7. After the sugar mixture is added, increase the speed to high and beat until the bowl is cool to the touch. It could take about 5-10 minutes. You can check out a more detailed recipe for Italian Meringue HERE.

8. Place the meringue on top of the pie quickly. Once the meringue sets up, it’s hard to work with it. If this ever happens, you just need to put it back into the mixer and whip until stiff peaks form again.

closeup of Italian meringue on top of the classic key lime pie

9. To decorate, I used the back of a tablespoon and pressed it against the meringue and pushed it up many times all over the meringue. It forms those cute peaks.

10. The final touch was extra lime zest spread all over the pie. You can also add some lime slices around the pie or decorate to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

slice of Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue served
Classic Key Lime Pie Recipe with Italian Meringue on the table
slice of Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue served closer view

Baking Tips

  • You can also use lemon juice or lime juice if you don’t have any key limes!
  • To ensure that this pie sets up properly, it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least six hours. This pie is best made the night before and chilled overnight.
  • If you decide to cover the pie, make sure that the plastic wrap does not touch the pie directly when covering it. When you remove the plastic wrap from the pie, it tends to stick to it and pull some of it up with it.
  • If you decide to make the crust yourself, make sure you let the crust cool for at least 10 minutes before adding the filling. As a result, it will be much better able to hold together after it has firmed up.
  • Alternatively, you can replace the Italian meringue with whipping cream or stabilized whipped cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make a key lime pie with regular limes? 

Yes! A good key lime juice substitute is an equal amount of regular lime juice or even lemon juice.

How to store a key lime pie?

It is recommended to keep the pie refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it. You can store leftover key lime pie in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Can this recipe be made ahead of time? 

Yes, absolutely! The pie will last up to 4 days in the fridge. But it’s best to wait until you serve the pie to spread the topping.

More Delicious Dessert Recipes to try

If you liked this amazing classic key lime pie recipe, you might also love these other delicious dessert recipes too:

🥘 Recipe

Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue cover

Classic Key Lime Pie Recipe with Italian Meringue

Camila Rojas
This Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue is AH-MAZING! And so super easy to make too. A perfect dessert for any get together!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine Traditional
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Pie Filling

  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 3 limes {Finely grated zest and juice}
  • Some extra lime zest for the decoration
  • 1 Pre-made Pie Crust

Italian Meringue

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC 350ºF.
  • In a blender mix the egg yolks and the condensed milk for 3 minutes then add the zest and mix for 3-5 more minutes. The mixture will turn very thick and hot {fun chemical reactions}.
  • Pour the filling into the crust base then put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it puffs up and become a bit golden.
  • Let it cool then chill for at least 3 hours or overnight {it’s even better but I couldn’t wait LOL}.

For the Meringue

  • In a bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whisk attached, place the egg white and whip it on medium-high speed. Make sure the bowl is dry and clean.
  • In a small pan, heat the water and the regular sugar to create caramel sauce. It will gradually become thicker. You will know when it’s ready when you take some of it with a skimmer and blow softly and you see bubbles going through the wholes of the skimmer. =D. Turn off the heat.
  • When the egg white is at soft peaks, add the icing sugar and mix for 3 minutes and pour the hot caramel into the beating egg white very slowly and steady. After all of the sugar mixture is added, increase the speed to high and beat until the bowl is cool to the touch. It could take about 5-10 minutes. You can check out a more detailed recipe for Italian Meringue HERE.
  • Place the meringue on top of the pie the quickly. Once the meringue sets up, it’s hard to work with it. If this ever happens, you just need to put it back into the mixer and whip until stiff peaks form again.
  • To decorate, I used the back of a tablespoon and I pressed it against the meringue and pushed it up many times all over the meringue. It forms those cute peaks. The final touch was extra lime zest spread all over the pie.
Keyword italian meringue, key lime pie, lime pie, lime pie recipe

What do you think? Have you made Lime pies before? What’s your technique???

Some other key lime desserts from my favorite bloggers:

If you enjoyed this recipe, don’t forget to PIN and Share it with friends!

Key Lime Pie with Italian Meringue Pinterest Image with Title overlay

Til' next time...

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22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Oh, how I love to make a pie! I used lemons instead of lime and it was perfect, great recipe, thanks!

  2. Oh…my…Lord, this sounds heavenly! This is my kind of dessert! :) Thanks for linking up at Sweet & Savoury Sunday, this is one of my favorites! :)

  3. Oh, I love lime pies! I will have to try this recipe – it’s making my mouth water just looking at the pictures :) Pinning!
    Visiting from Creative Geekery’s pin-it party!

  4. Oh Yum Cami! That looks amazing! I love the added lime zest on top, it really makes it pop and look so professional! Thanks for linking up to Snickerdoodle Sunday!

  5. This looks really good, and you have some fabulous photography. Thank you for sharing with us at the Weekend Block Party. I hope you’ll join us again this week!

  6. Cami, your Lime Meringue Pie is beautiful! I love pies of all kinds, and this one will go on my list to bake- I have never made meringue like yours, and I can’t wait to try. Visiting from Snickerdoodle Sunday! :)

  7. I love Key Lime pie, and would totally use the filling part of this recipe for one. I’m not a fan of meringue, but yours look delicious! This recipe totally puts me in summer mode..oh if only if would get here sooner than later.

    Tenns @ New Mama Diaries