Key Lime Pie to Celebrate Spring!

Key Lime Pie to Celebrate Spring!

I do think that Spring has finally sprung (at least for most of the country) and that it is here to stay! Yay! Here in Atlanta, the flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing and the pollen is everywhere!

I don’t know how you feel about it, but I find that pollen is aggravating. My back deck is covered in the stuff, our cars are a putrid yellowish-green color and my eyes itch like crazy whenever I walk outside. Other than that, I do think that Spring (this year in particular) is welcomed by all. The Winter seemed endless. The soups and pots of heavy foods kept showing up in my kitchen, the Vitamin D exposure was next to nothing and I was personally beginning to think about moving further south to the Sunshine State. Luckily, this all has passed because now are experiencing temps in the 80’s and Florida is probably in the 90’s!

Anyway, I think it is now very appropriate to do some blog posts about dishes and desserts that are easy to prepare and will get you back out in the sunshine instead of slaving in the kitchen! I thought one way to kick this off was to squeeze some of these little buggars Key Limes for a MARGARITA Key Lime Pie!

I suppose the last time I made this pie (which was a really long time ago), I bought Key Lime juice to make it. I am certain that I never tried to juice a 1-inch in diameter lime with a citrus reamer at any other point in my life, so I was in for a real surprise when I decided to make this pie with fresh limes! The entire time I was involved in this juicing process (which was at least an hour!), I was wondering how on earth all these bottles of Key Lime juice are produced?! There is no juice in some of these little limes! I even put gloves on (because my hands were starting to shrivel up like prunes!) and tried squeezing the insides with my fingers…still no juice!

Then I started to think that maybe there are little people that have mini juicers and that they do all the juicing for these bottles of Key Lime juice and Key Lime pies! Of course, there is this Mexican Key Lime Juicer that you can purchase if you think you will be doing this enough in your life to justify spending the extra $7.85 (plus shipping). Then you have to find a spot to store this thing until you are crazy enough to do this again!

I will say that the fresh lime juice in the pie truly made a difference. The tart and the sweet flavors are really nice with the coconut that I added to the pie crust. I also made some stabilized whipped cream to pipe on the pie which was a nice addition. I would add more whipped cream for serving because it really was tasty, but I didn’t want to fuss up the pics too much (the recipe makes plenty of extra whipped cream)!

So, just because it is Friday and I am insane excited, I have to share this song with you because I have been hearing voices! singing this song since I decided to make this pie! If you are brave enough and ready to have this song stay in your head for the next few days, then you should click on Put the lime in the coconut!…

Have a great weekend!

Key Lime Pie

8 servings


1 1/4 graham cracker crumbs (if you crush your own, this will take one wrapped package of graham crackers)
1/3 cup sweetened coconut (you could add up to 1/2 cup if you like a stronger coconut flavor)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh Key Lime juice (or bottled juice)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon plain gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
2 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar and butter with a fork in a medium sized bowl. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch glass pie pan (not deep dish). Make sure the mixture covers the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes (mine took 8 minutes). Remove to a wire rack and cool.

Mix together sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks with a whisk until combined. Add in lime juice and whisk again until thoroughly combined. Pour filling mixture into cooled crust. Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Cool pie on a wire rack and then chill for at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

About an hour before serving the pie, put heavy cream in a large bowl. Place gelatin and water in a small dish in the microwave. Heat 5-10 seconds or just until gelatin is melted. Add this mixture to the heavy cream and whip just until combined. Refrigerate this mixture for about an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream mixture with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla until stiff. Place into a pastry bag and pipe onto pie as desired.

60 Responses to “Key Lime Pie to Celebrate Spring!”

  1. 1

    deeba — April 16, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    A fitting celebration indeed. A pie that is calling my name. Pretty as it is perfect!

  2. 2

    bunkycooks — April 16, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    Thank you, Deeba! I haven’t made this pie in years. I had forgotten how good simple things can be!

  3. 3

    Julie M. — April 16, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

    Oh my that looks amazingly delicious!! I LOVE key lime pie but my husband isn’t a big fan of citrus desserts. Maybe I just need to make it for myself. 😀 Your pictures are amazing and I’ve added you to my blogroll so I can look at them on a regular basis. Have a great weekend!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 7:55 am

      Thank you so much, Julie!

      Maybe you can convert your hubby if he has one citrus dessert that he finds he likes. Mine has converted his tastes on several things over the years, so don’t give up!

  4. 4

    MaryMoh — April 16, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

    Wow….a perfect dessert! That looks so neat and delicious. I love it.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 7:56 am

      Thank you!

      It’s really quick to make once you have the juice!

  5. 5

    Cookin' Canuck — April 16, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

    That is the most perfect piece of pie! What a lovely dessert for spring.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 7:58 am

      Thanks so much, Dara!

      I like that it is so simple, but so good.

  6. 6

    redkathy — April 17, 2010 @ 1:00 am

    Key lime pie is the bomb! You are a genius, adding that coconut to the crust. I’ll bet it tasted wonderful, I’m drooling!

    BTW – temperatures here in Florida have been fantastic, 75-80 and a nice breeze all week, praise God!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 7:59 am

      The coconut was great in the crust. I would even add as much as 1/2 cup next time.

      I am glad to hear that your temps are pleasant in FL. We have been having great weather here in ATL after a really dreary Winter!

  7. 7

    Memoria — April 17, 2010 @ 2:11 am

    Your key lime pie is lovely! I love your reamer!!

  8. 8

    Caveman Cooking — April 17, 2010 @ 4:45 am

    Wow, Gwen! That may be the best looking Key Lime Pie I’ve ever seen. I want a piece!! 😉

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 8:04 am

      Thanks, Memoria!

      I think I purchased the reamer at Sur La Table.

  9. 9

    Linda — April 17, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    What a way to begin my day! Loved how this looked and cannot wait to make it!!!

  10. 10

    bunkycooks — April 17, 2010 @ 8:05 am

    Thanks Caveman!

    I hope all is well at the new cave! :)

  11. 11

    Drick — April 17, 2010 @ 8:24 am

    absolutely perfect – can just look at it and tell it taste good, nothing like homemade. The coconut in the crust is awesome, how clever. thanks for giving us this one

  12. 12

    Sarah — April 17, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    I’ve found that if you get the key limes when they’re yellow instead of green, they give a LOT more juice and they’re a lot easier to squeeze. My grandma says to soak them in warm water for a little while before juicing, but I haven’t found that to work.

    I’ve never thought of using coconut in the crust. Can’t wait to try that on my next one.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

      @Drick – The coconut really makes the pie!

      @Sarah – Great suggestion! I have not seen limes that are yellow, but I bet that could be true. It just takes a lot of squeezing, but they eventually yield enough juice to make a pie or margaritas, etc. !

  13. 13

    Jenn @ Defunkt Gourmet — April 17, 2010 @ 10:23 am

    Hi! First visit to your site and it did not disappoint with this key lime pie!!!!!! Votre tarte est tres belle! (Your pie is beautiful! For some reason I had to say it in French because it was the first thing to come out of my head). I’ve always wanted to make this but I’ve always opted for purchasing. *bookmarked*. Thanks for sharing :)

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

      Thanks, Jenn!

      Compliments always sound prettier in French! :) I am glad that you stopped by and hope you will return! You should definitely make this pie…it is so good!

  14. 14

    Elaine — April 17, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

    key limes ARE a pain to juice, but I’ve found that a garlic press works really well.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

      That is a great idea, Elaine!

      I did not think of that one and we have a really awesome old garlic press. Next time I will give it a try!

  15. 15

    Pete — April 17, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    The pie looks fantastic!!!! I’ve been exploring your blog and I love your photography!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

      Thank you, Pete!

      I appreciate your nice comments and I hope that you will keep checking in with my blog.

  16. 16

    Chef Dennis — April 17, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    what a refreshing treat this must be……..just beautiful!!! I could sure use a piece right now…

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 17th, 2010 @ 9:57 pm

      Hi Chef,

      I know your girls could prepare this one! It is so eays and so good. Me and the hubby just shared the last slice! :)

  17. 17

    Katie @ Cozydelicious — April 17, 2010 @ 11:05 pm

    I love your shot of the key limes in the margarita glass! Reminds me that key limes aren’t just for baking, but make a great cocktail too. Thanks for the tip about the garlic press to juice them. Sadly I made a key lime cheesecake yesterday ( and juiced all of them by hand! What a pain!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 18th, 2010 @ 8:01 am

      Thank you, Katie!

      Your cheesecake sounds pretty awesome! Elaine’s suggestion about the garlic press was a good one. I guess you can also purchase the key lime juicer that I mentioned in the post. Seems silly unless you make lots of desserts or drinks with key limes, but I bet it is much easier!

  18. 18

    Devaki — April 17, 2010 @ 11:27 pm

    Dear Gwen – How gorgeous. The coconut is genius and you have the most wonderful pics here as usual. Congrats on being chosen by taste spotting …you go girl!

    You might find this strange…the best key lime pie I’ve ever had was on the river front in Savannah, GA & yours looks like it could give that one a run for its money!

    Thanks for all the tips as well. Will use this recipe (pruned fingers and all)

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 18th, 2010 @ 8:03 am

      Hi Devaki,

      Maybe you had Key Lime Pie at Paula Deen’s! I don’t know if it’s on the riverfront, but her restaurant is in Savannah.

      Thanks for your comments. I guess I’ll have to make pies more often! :)

      • Devaki replied: — April 18th, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

        No Gwen, definitely not Paula Deen’s. I actually didn’t care for her place much. Mrs Wilkes Boardinghouse is my choice for southern food any day! :)

        Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  19. 19

    pegasuslegend — April 18, 2010 @ 6:42 am

    This is a work of art, very popular pie in Keywest, amazingly enough never tried this until seeing your recipe. Can’t wait to taste this. Being from Upstate NY we didnt eat much keylime pie, then moving to Florida I need this one! Thanks for sharing and also great job on Top 9 on Foodbuzz your number one Today!!!!!!! 4/16/10 awesome job :)

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 18th, 2010 @ 8:04 am

      Thank you so much!

      I never had Key Lime Pie in Philly either. It is definitely a southern dessert, but it sure it a good one!

  20. 20

    Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — April 18, 2010 @ 7:54 am

    Congrats on Top 9 – this looks exquisite!

  21. 21

    bunkycooks — April 18, 2010 @ 8:04 am

    Thanks, Mardi!

  22. 22

    Joan Nova — April 18, 2010 @ 9:12 am

    Redesign really looks great. I’m not a big dessert eater but Key Lime is one of my occasional indulgences. Yours looks beautiful.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:00 am

      Hi Joan,

      Thank you! I like the new site, too! :) I try to avoid desserts unless we have guests and I can serve most everything so that we do not have leftovers. I was glad to have most of this pie for us…it was really good!

  23. 23

    Linn @ Swedish home cooking — April 18, 2010 @ 9:44 am

    What a super fresh and tasty pie it looks like! I’m in Paris for the spring and the sun is shining, you pie would make the perfect accompany a day like this.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:01 am

      Hi Linn,

      Can I come visit you in Paris??! I will bring this pie with me!

  24. 24

    Stella — April 18, 2010 @ 10:19 am

    Hi Bunky, this pie looks great-congratulations on being #1 on the FB Top 9! I love that you actually used the proper type of lime. I think most people just use a Persian lime.
    By the way, I’m from Atlanta. I was born at Northside Hospital and lived in either Atlanta or right near downtown Decatur most of my life. I’ve worked at like every restaurant in that town, and I went to Emory…
    Hope your’e doing well with all that pollen. Oh, and glad to have found you here in the blogosphere.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:11 am

      Hi Stella,

      Thank you for your comments! Where do you live now? Is the pollen crazy there, too?

      I saw that you are a Libra, so you are my kind of gal! Thanks for checking in.


  25. 25

    Nancy aka Spicie Foodie — April 18, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    Congrats on the Foodbuzz top 9 , #1 !!!! Great photos and recipe :))

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:11 am

      Thank you, Nancy!

  26. 26

    Cherine — April 18, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    A mouth-watering pie!! Great photos!

  27. 27

    Anna — April 18, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

    I know what you are talking about; here in LA the flowers are amazing, they are everywhere. The pollen is killing me but I can’t help loving them. They look so pretty.
    You should move to California, to be more specific to Santa Monica. So we could be BFFs and I would sample your delicious treats. LOL. Your key lime looks delicious I love tart desserts.

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:14 am

      @Cherine – Thanks! I appreciate your comment.

      @Anna – I would love to move to LA (minus the earthquakes and the taxes!). I know we would love the weather and it would be really cool to have Meyer lemons growing in my backyard…maybe someday…and then we could be BFF! :)

  28. 28

    Mary — April 18, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    This is a stunner! Your pie looks and sounds delicious and has universal appeal to boot. I hope to try it soon. I found your blog by chance and had intended to stop by and say hello. Instead I found myself lured to some of your other posts. I really like the food you feature here. I’ll be back often. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:16 am

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind words.

      I stopped by your site as well and enjoyed your posts. I hope to keep in touch!


  29. 29

    5 Star Foodie — April 18, 2010 @ 3:21 pm

    wow, what a gorgeous key lime pie! Perfection!

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 19th, 2010 @ 12:18 am

      Thank you! It was so good…I wish I had some right now!

  30. 30

    Anne — April 19, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious, and your pictures are so beautiful!

  31. 31

    sweetlife — April 19, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

    what a lovely pie..I love key limes and I have that squeezer..I use it almost daily..great gadget..


  32. 32

    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — April 19, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

    Wow…this pie looks lovely. Being from South Florida, I’m pretty adamant about a good key lime pie. This one looks absolutely heavenly! Oh and that key lime squeezer is a good find! I need one of those. :)

  33. 33

    Angie — April 20, 2010 @ 8:51 am

    Those little key limes are alot of work to juice but so worth it. We’re covered in pollen too, thankfully I’m not too allergic!

  34. 34

    bunkycooks — April 22, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

    @Anne – Thank you for the comment!

    @sweetlife – Thank you for the comment! I am sure that Key Limes are great in lots of things if you have the juicer! 😉

    @Adrianna – Key Lime Pie is definitely a favorite in South Florida. It is a perfect dessert for the hot days! The Key Lime squeezer is pretty nifty. I may have to break down and get one myself!

    @Angie – Yes, the limes are worth all the squeezing! They have a very different flavor than the regular limes.

  35. 35

    socoda — April 24, 2010 @ 1:35 am

    Wow, your pie looks incredible! Am definately going to have to give it a try. Love lemon based pies and tarts but haven’t tried a lime one yet and with the cream piped around it – it looks absolutely pristine and stunning! Thanks!!! Have found myself returning to your blog quite often lately.

    You probably already know this but if you cut your citrus in half and then microwave it for a short time it makes it sooooo much easier to juice :)

    • bunkycooks replied: — April 24th, 2010 @ 7:38 am

      Thank you so much for your comment! I am glad that you enjoy reading my blog.

      I hope that you do use my recipe and make Key Lime Pie. It really has a nice blend of sweet and tart flavors and the whipped cream is a great addition (besides it looks pretty!).

      I did not know about the microwave trick. I do roll my citrus fruits on a cutting board to soften them and release the juices. That also helps make the task of juicing a bit easier. It “warms” them up a bit, so I am sure it does somewhat of the same things that the microwave would do. Gotta be careful with the microwave…don’t want a citrus explosion! 😉

  36. 36

    Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro — May 8, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    Ahh…. you just made Mr. RGBistro’s all-time favorite dessert!!!

    Our “Fred and Ethel” neighbors (and long-time friends) have a Mexican Lime tree in their backyard (that Mr. RGBistro gifted THEM about 20 years ago). Anytime we come home to a basket of gifted limes at our front door, we make up this pie. Now that’s a lot of gifts!!!

    • bunkycooks replied: — May 8th, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

      You Southern CA folks are sooo lucky with all of your citrus trees. I may go to Camp Blogaway and have to send for my dog and just stay out there! :)

  37. 37

    Lael Hazan @educatedpalate — May 24, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    My neighbor’s tree is prolific and she just gave me a bag of key limes. I NEED this recipe. Thank you. I’m looking forward to making it this weekend.

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