3-Ingredient Key Lime Pie, using Nellie and Joe's, is the perfect dessert for a party or a potluck or a random Tuesday.
Nellie & Joe's Famous Key West Lime Pie Recipe is my go-to, easy, no-fuss, always turns out perfectly dessert.
Make a graham cracker pie crust from scratch and it will be really amazing!
You should definitely make it this season, even if you're just hosting a party of two 😉.
If you're a fan of easy desserts, try St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (aka The Cake You Won't Stop Eating)
Or Lemon Bars with Graham Cracker Crust or Lemon Blackberry Cake (Easy).
"My recipe," which is printed on the back of Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice requires a 9-inch graham cracker pie crust and just three ingredients: a 14-ounce can of condensed milk, three egg yolks and a half cup of key lime juice.
I gild the lily by using a Microplane zester to incorporate fresh lime zest from Persian limes into the pie filling but it's not necessary.
There’s no need to squeeze a zillion tiny, fresh key limes when you can buy a bottle of Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice at the grocery.
Despite the name, key lime juice, you’re not going to find Nellie & Joe’s in the juice aisle. It will usually be in the mixer section of your grocery store liquor aisle.
You could substitute key lime juice by juicing regular persian limes but your pie won’t turn out as delicious.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a bottle of plain, old imitation lime juice in the produce section of your grocery for this pie. Your pie won't turn out that delicious.
If you’re not going to use Nellie & Joe’s, then juice persian limes, those are the limes that you’ll find at the store.
But do add regular limes to your shopping list along with the Joe’s lime juice because I recommend grating a bit of fresh lime zest into the pie mixture.
And, you’ll need to slice a few limes for garnish.
You’ll also want whipped cream for garnish along with the lime slices. I think a traditional key lime pie is best served with whipped cream.
3 Ingredient Key Lime Pie Recipe Notes
Is a homemade graham cracker crust necessary for key lime pie?
No. While I adore a homemade graham cracker crust probably even more than the next person, 9 times out of ten I use a store-bought graham cracker crust.
But here's a recipe for homemade graham cracker pie crust just in case.
You can't go wrong with a Keebler graham cracker crust.
When you make the filling, it's important to first blend the egg yolks and the condensed milk together until thick.
This will take at least two minutes.
Once the egg yolk and condensed milk has thickened, then add the key lime juice and stir to combine.
After you bake the pie, you'll want to let it cool to room temperature and then put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
A perfect key lime pie is served chilled.
Does Key Lime Pie with Condensed Milk Need to Be Baked?
Yes, bake your key lime pie or it isn't going to set up enough for you to slice it without running all over your dessert plate.
There is a ton of debate about this on the interwebs, including over at Chowhound.
If you're going to bake a key lime pie using egg yolks, condensed milk and key lime juice, the pie must be baked for at least 15 minutes at 350 F. I usually bake my pie for 20 minutes because I like a firmer filling.
Also, I have uncooked egg paranoia.
But yes, this pie, using the ingredients listed above, needs to baked or it isn't going to set up enough for you to slice it.
There are a few no-bake recipes floating around today but they require cream cheese as well as other ingredients.
There's a recipe on Food and Wine that I'm not linking to here that uses all of these same ingredients as mine plus an egg that's supposed to chill overnight in the fridge instead of being baked. However, the reviews are atrocious.
I like the Nellie and Joe's recipe for its simplicity.
Have you seen key limes? They are teeny tiny. You have to squeeze about a dozen key limes to get a half up of juice needed for this pie.
Nellie and Joe's key lime juice tastes great and it's available everywhere, even Walmart and Target.
Yes. Key Lime Pie contains egg yolks and condensed milk so I suggest storing it in your refrigerator.
Don't let the pie sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Bacteria starts to develop between 40 F and 140 F.
The pie will lose its creaminess but it will still be edible unless you burn it.
You can find Nellie and Joe's at most supermarkets as well as liquor stores. You'll usually find it in the mixers area next to the liquors.
And, there's no squeezing of limes to make the pie.
3-Ingredient Key Lime Pie Recipe
Creamy and tart, make this three-ingredient key lime pie to dazzle your next party guests or your family. If you're not an experienced pie baker, you won't believe how easy it is to make key lime pie.
- 1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
- 3 egg yolks (from large eggs)
- 1-14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Pie juice
- zest of one lime-about 1 teaspoon (optional)
- whipped cream to serve
- Preheat oven to 350 F°
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a medium size bowl with an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and the condensed milk for three minutes or until the mixture has thickened. The mix will turn a pale yellow when finished.
- Add ½ cup key lime juice and beat for another minute.
- Zest one lime over the top of the mixture and stir to combine
- Pour into prepared graham cracker crust.
- Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until center of pie is no longer wobbly.
- Let rest and cool on counter for an hour.
- Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.
- Slice into eight wedges and serve with whipped cream.
Adding lime zest isn't necessary but it imparts a freshness to the pie.
This post and/or recipe may contain affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I'll earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure policy.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 436Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 114mgSodium 245mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 1gSugar 51gProtein 9g
You could also look through this compilation of Easy Lemon Desserts.
You might also like Easy Lemon Icebox Pie or Lemon Blackberry Cake (Easy) or Butterscotch Cake.
If you're out of sweetened condensed milk, see Condensed Milk Substitute.
What's your favorite pie?