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Baked Key Lime Pie (and How To Squeeze a Lime the Right Way!)

Preview: This easy Baked Key Lime Pie Recipe contains not only sweetened condensed milk and key limes, but also egg yolks and whipped egg whites. This post includes a discussion about the correct way to use a hand-held citrus squeezer.

Key lime pie makes me think about vacations on the beach or close to the coast. Uncooked Key Lime Pie is popular, but have you ever tried a baked version? I like the baked pie better because it seems lighter in texture and not so rich.

My sister Kay was just here from Alabama for a brief visit. She’s a good southern cook, so I’m always keen on her recipes. This time, I coerced her into making her Baked Key Lime Pie while I took pictures.

Key Lime Pie--Ready to eat

Before we could get the pie into the crust, we got into a big discussion about the right way to use a citrus squeezer. Do you know which way is right? Keep reading.

What is the correct way to use a citrus squeezer?

Kay: “I’m not sure how would be the best way to juice these key limes.”

Me: “I’ve got one of those metal squeezy things…. or a reamer… or even a glass dish with a built-in reamer. Here, let’s try this metal lemon juicer.” (I pull it out of the drawer and proceed to try it.)

Me: “See? It works perfectly.”

Kay: “I see that, even though you’re doing it upside-down.”

Me: “What?!?! That’s not upside down. What do you mean? So how would you do it?”

Baked Key LIme Pie - slice on a plate

Kay: “The other way, with the lime-half flipped over.”

Me: “Hm-m-m. I don’t know about that, but I have an idea. Why don’t we ask my readers?”

Does the lime or lemon go up or down in the juicer?

The cut side goes down.

how to squeeze a lime correctly? cut side up or down?

The verdict is in…

Looks like I was wrong on this one. Although a few people agreed with me, many more went with my sister. (Her way is shown on the left in the picture above–cut side down.)

I am generally an early adopter. But on this one, it looks like I’m a little late figuring out how to squeeze a lime with a citrus squeezer. Thanks for straightening me out, Sis.

demonstrating how to mix up the filling for a Key Lime pie
My sister Kay mixes up her Baked Key Lime Pie

FAQ about Baked Key Lime Pie

How do you know when Baked Key Lime Pie is done?

When properly baked through, the pie will have a slight jiggleu002du002dlike Jello. Remember that the pie will continue to bake for a few minutes after you remove it from the oven. If you overbake it, the texture may curdle. Not good.

Can I substitute regular limes for key limes?

Yes. It takes 4-5 key limes for every regular or Persian lime.

What is the difference in the taste of key limes and Persian limes?

Key limes, also known as Mexican or West Indian limes, are more aromatic, with tarter and more floral juice. They are slightly yellow in color and contain more seeds.TastingTable

How long does key lime pie last?

When refrigerated, key lime pie will stay fresh for 2-3 days.

Can I freeze limes?

Yes. According to Leaf.TV, You can freeze limes whole, wedged or sliced, or you can just freeze the juice. You can even freeze the lime zest.

Can I use a regular pastry crust instead of a graham cracker crust?

Perhaps. I’ve never tried it. A graham cracker crust is traditionally used with a key lime pie. I can’t imagine it any other way.

Credits for Baked Key Lime Pie:

Thanks to my sister Kay for sharing this recipe.  The graham cracker crust comes from Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook.

More recipes for pie lovers:

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

Baked Key Lime Pie

Baked Key Lime Pie Recipe

A baked dessert made with sweetened condensed milk and key limes.
Paula Rhodes
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Desserts
Servings 10 slices


  • 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs - about 20 squares
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter - melted
  • 4 largeeggs - separated
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • cup fresh-squeezed key lime juice
  • 9- inch graham cracker pie crust - purchased or homemade
  • 1 cup heavy cream - whipped with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Crush crackers using food processor or blender. Add sugar and melted butter. Pulse until mixed.
  • Press into 9-inch pie shell.
  • Bake at 300˚F for 8 minutes.


  • Beat 3 egg whites in a small bowl until stiff. Set aside.
  • You can use the same beaters to beat 4 egg yolks and 1 egg white in a separate medium-sized bowl until thick and light-colored.
  • Add milk to egg yolks and mix well. Add juice and continue to beat until thick.
  • Add beaten egg whites to egg-yolk mixture and mix gently just until evenly distributed. Don’t over mix. Stop when there are no more obvious lumps of egg whites. Carefully pour into baked pie shell.
  • Bake at 325˚ for 10-15 minutes.
  • When cooled, refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  • Garnish with whipped cream when serving.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 1253kcalCarbohydrates: 136gProtein: 14gFat: 73gSaturated Fat: 25gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 40gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 1084mgPotassium: 298mgFiber: 4gSugar: 44gVitamin A: 934IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 6mg
Keyword homemade baked key lime pie recipe, how to squeeze a lime, key lime dessert, key lime pie recipe, key lime pie with sweetened condensed milk
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating

Henrietta Lala (Granny Lala)

Wednesday 27th of February 2019

I adore cooking, but detest cleaning up, so the less mess I make the better. I clean as I cook so that by the time it's in the oven or on the stove the kitchen looks like I just started. If I don't do it that way, I get depressed. That's why I try to get cooking in as early in the day as possible. By 6PM, I'm ready to call it quits, so everything gets set up and cleaned up before then. I specialize in methods and recipes that require very little kitchen disruption.


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

Correct answer is the one on the left. That is what the directions with mine said, and what the site said, when I looked it up. It sort of turns the fruit inside out and gets the most juice out. I deem it true, also, because I have tried it each way.

Mid Mod Tom

Wednesday 27th of February 2019

According to Rick Bayless citrus goes in those presses cut side down, like in the photo on the left


Wednesday 27th of February 2019

So funny! I've had this same conversation with my husband about a year ago. I conceded that he was right, the lime half needed to be facing downwards when you squeeze it That way the juice goes directly out the holes more easily, hopefully giving you more juice. I was doing it face up and squeezing and the unfortunate side affect is that the lime now sticks (suctions?) to the squeezer making it a touch more difficult to remove.

I love my squeezer so much, I bought them for all my sisters! One decided she hated it and gave it to my neice. She went back to a reamer (!!!)- which I think it just crazy. It's funny people can be so passionate about squeezing citrus, though it is pretty much the best stuff on Earth!


Tuesday 28th of January 2014

This Recipe is awesome!! This is same original recipe for key lime pie found on the the Carnation Sweetened Condensed milk can for over 40 years!! Will not find a better key lime pie recipe!!! :)