Recipe | Key Lime Pie

I have not had many key lime pies in my life, but I have to say this one is yummy, refreshing, and doesn’t involve many ingredients….key limes, graham crackers, sugar and whipping cream. Ms. Ina Garten says it all, “Fabulous flavor, from simple ingredients.” The added bonus to making this…the arm work out you get from zesting and squeezing all of those limes! Hello, Giselle arms (I mean, lets be serious here, we all know she obtains that body from eating zesting limes for pies).


For the CRUST:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (20-ish key limes)

For the decoration:

  • 2 cup (1 pint) cold heavy cream
  • 1/2cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Thin lime wedges


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pyrex pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. Bake for 10 minutes until firm and golden. Allow to cool completely.

For the filling, beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 5 minutes, until thick. With the mixer on medium speed, add the condensed milk, lime zest, and lime juice. Pour into the baked pie shell and freeze (preferably overnight).

For the decoration, beat the heavy cream on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime. Serve immediately (the way I like it) or put back in freezer to freeze whipped cream.

– Make sure to zest the limes prior to squeezing the lime juice
– Leave enough time (at least 12 hours) to freeze the filling before adding the whipped cream decoration
– This whipped cream recipe has been doubled from the original because I loooove whipped cream and never want to skimp on that, so you may have a bit extra leftover.
– Recipe calls for refreezing the whipped cream once placed on top, but I prefer to serve it right after I place whipped cream on top (but if serving at dinner party you can place finished pie (whipped cream and all) in the freezer until ready to serve).
– Once frozen, pie filling will melt quickly like ice cream
– I have made it once with key limes and once with regular limes and I don’t think I could tell a difference (Note: Ina used regular limes)

lemon and lime of a good time.

Since my little brother, Nick, was a little boy, he has been nothing but all boy. Growing up, Nick dreamed of  growing up and becoming an Army Bomb Detonator. I don’t even know how he knew what this was, but somehow he knew that is what he wanted to be. After a few years it changed to becoming a Fire Storm jumper – yes, he wanted to be the guy to jump out of an airplane and into a raging forest fire. I am not sure if it was the influence of my parents or him coming to his own senses, but somewhere along the way he settled with becoming a firefighter. There is nothing that gets him more excited than to talk about the fire calls he goes on or teach us the lingo (“Code 3” or  “frequent flyers”).  All of the sleepless nights don’t bother him because he gets to do what he loves. Nick has never been one to love school or frankly even understand why he needed to go to college. But, my parents never stopped encouraging him.  So, on Saturday, my baby brother actually did it and graduated from California State University of Sacramento (Sac State) with a degree in Fire Service Management.

So, what does this mean? PARTY!

We decided that a  lemon and lime theme would go nicley with the party venue and as a bonus green and yellow are Sac State’s colors. Since we plan most all family events from different locations, I love to get everyone on the same page with an inspiration board.

I saw the tissue pomanders a few months ago in Martha Stewart and have been looking for a reason to make them! Like most things Martha does, they look beautiful in the magazine, but in real life they turn out looking a bit to DIY-ish to actually use. So, intially I was a bit skeptical of this project. I followed the instructions from her website and 12 minutes later I had my first pom-pom completed! While mine didn’t look 100% as good as Ms. Martha’s I was happy enough with the outcome!!

After making 20 or so of these things I learned:

1. Do not tie the wire too tight because it makes it impossible to actually seperate the tissue paper.

2. Make sure your wire is centered before you start to pull the tissue apart or else you end of with an oval pom-pom.

3. Cutting through all those layers is rough, so just take a few at a time.

As for drinks, we wanted to offer guests something other than beer and wine, but it also had to be easy for them to take and drink. The solution was to use canning jars and fill them with homeade,  “Hard Lemonade”. For this, I mixed 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate, 2 cans of water, 1  can of vodka, and 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. We poured the mix into the canning jars and added fresh lemon wedges.

For budget friendly centerpieces, my mom bought 6 bags of lemons which we used to fill various sized vases and glass containers. These were left over from my wedding so we didn’t have any added cost there.

And to put the finishing touch on the lemon and lime theme party, my Mom made a 3-tier cake with each layer a different flavor. The bottom was the secret family favorite carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, the middle tier was lime with whipped cream frosting, and the top was lemon.  As it turns out, the middle layer was a bit too soft to hold the weight of the top tier, so we ended up with only a 2-tier cake (at least for decoration purposes)! The cake was a major hit and tasted fabulous too!

We have plenty more pictures of our time up there, but these were just the first few to get out for now!