If you have ever been to Publix supermarkets, then you can relate to this… their key lime pie is wonderful. It has a very distinct taste. So, I tried several different recipes and I think this one tastes just like a Publix Key Lime Pie. It is so simple to make, that you will make this every chance you get.
Whisk sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until smooth. I use two cans of sweetened condensed milk because it will fill the pie crust nicely. If you half the recipe, it will fill the pie crust only about halfway… then you could fill the rest with whipped topping; your choice.
Pour into a store-bought graham cracker crust.
Chill for several hours until firm. It will lose its firmness if you leave it out… not like the pie won’t get eaten right away…
Once firm, toast almonds in a skillet until just toasted. Set aside to cool Then put fresh whipped cream along the outside edge of the pie. Once the almonds are cool sprinkle them on the outside edge of the whipped topping. This is what makes the Publix Key Lime Pie an original… the toasted almonds. It really adds a nice crunch to this wonderful sweet pie.
I was slightly surprised at how this pie came together. My “go-to” recipe is custard based; meaning it has eggs and then is baked in the oven. Just mixing sweetened condensed milk and lime juice I didn’t think it would firm up and have a key lime pie texture, but it worked out very well. So, in the hot summer months, we can still have key lime pie and I don’t have to turn on the oven!
2 cans (14oz each) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lime juice (I use Nellie’s & Joe’s Key Lime Juice – easy to find in most stores)
1 graham cracker crust
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Redi Whip – or any whipped topping of your choice
** Note – If you want to half the recipe then only use one can of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup lime juice.
Well, as I mentioned, I usually make a different version, so let’s explore some other classic recipes. Traveling up and down the Florida Keys you will encounter many versions of delicious Key Lime pie. The next time you visit Key West, see how hard it is to get anyone to agree on the “best Key Lime pie”.
Baked Custard Version – Traditional easy Key Lime Pie recipe
One 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
2 – 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
6 egg yolks
1 cup Key Lime Juice (store-bought or fresh squeezed)
Blend the milk and egg yolks at low speed until smooth. Add key lime juice and finish blending. If you don’t have access to key lime juice, you can use regular limes, but keep in mind the flavor profile may be slightly different.
Pour the key lime filling into the pie crust. You can opt to make the crust. Using graham cracker crumbs and butter you can pat the mixture into a pie plate. Honestly, sometimes it’s much easier to use store-bought, but I will leave that up to you.
Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven for 15 minutes. Cool for at least 15 minutes before refrigerating.
Serve your slice of Key Lime Pie with fresh whipped cream.
Sponge Fisherman “Hooker” Style Key Lime Pie
This version is likely how the original pie was prepared per Chef Paul Menta. Obviously, we can’t make it the way it was originally made, but with a few updates, it is worth a try.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 key limes
1 egg yolk (you can use the white for breakfast – don’t want to waste anything)
6 inches stale Cuban bread loaf
2 coffee cups (oven-safe ramekins will work better)
Break up some stale bread. The harder the better. Put enough in the coffee cups to cover the bottom. Pour about an ounce of the sweetened milk in the bottom of each cup. Make sure you have the lid off of the milk can. Squeeze both limes into the milk can, making sure to get all of the juice out of them. Add the egg yolk into the can and mix with the spoon. Pour equal amounts of the liquid into each cup. Top with more bread and let sit out in the sun for 5 hours. After it sets then enjoy.
Well… obviously in today’s day and age we are not going to “cook” a pie in the sun. But using oven-safe containers, cook the “pies” in the oven at 300 degrees until the pie sets – eggs need to reach 160 degrees to kill salmonella. Cool and enjoy.
Interesting Alternatives to Consider
“Traditional” Key Lime pie has a crust made from graham crackers. How about using brown sugar instead of white sugar when you make your pie crust? That would put a different spin on the traditional pie. Think outside the box… try a shortbread crust. A bit more sweet and a totally different flavor profile. Want to go way outside the box? Try a chocolate cookie crust. Now… I got you thinking!
How about adding lime zest to the key lime filling? Little specks of green lime magic sprinkled throughout the pie. Fresh key limes can be hard to find. You can use regular limes, but the pie will taste different than the ones you tried in Key West. But, most grocery stores sell key lime juice. That’s not a bad substitute for fresh key limes.
Before you head out to the grocery store to buy a key lime pie, consider making one. Use one of the recipes I’ve shared or create your own. But if you do wander into a Publix bakery, grab one of their pies. Take it home… and sit down to enjoy a very unique slice of Publix Key Lime pie.