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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.

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.

Key Lime Pie--Ready to eat

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 jiggle–like 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 my 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.”

How long does key lime pie last?

When refrigerated, key lime pie will last 2-3 days.

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 inside the recipe below. No comments are required.

Hope to see you again soon!

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

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

Baked Key Lime Pie Recipe

Baked Key Lime Pie

A baked dessert made with sweetened condensed milk and key limes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 20 squares)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 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



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


  1. Beat 3 egg whites in a small bowl until stiff. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Add milk to egg yolks and mix well. Add juice and continue to beat until thick.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
  6. When cooled, refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  7. Garnish with whipped cream when serving.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 485Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 7g

Did you make this recipe?

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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!!! :)


Tuesday 15th of January 2013

Can't wait to try the recipe but was surprised to see that I've been using my citrus press incorrectly. The cut side should be facing down so the juice goes out the holes and doesn't squirt upwards. Plus, it turns the peel inside out, extracting every bit of juice. Youtube doesn't lie:

Henrietta Lala (Granny Lala)

Thursday 29th of March 2012

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.

Henrietta Lala (Granny Lala)

Thursday 29th of March 2012

I vote for cut-side down because if you do it the other way it blocks the holes which are there for a reason-to let the juice drain out. Sometimes, depending on the size of the fruit, I will do it one way, flip it and do it again the other way just to get more juice. I even quarter grapefruit and squeeze it rather than drag out my electric juicer which would make me have an entire machine to wash.


Thursday 29th of March 2012

Henrietta, Grapefruit??? Why haven't I thought of quartering them like that? You are a genius. Can't wait to try it. pr


Saturday 17th of March 2012

As for the lime, I've always done it with the face up like on the right but on food network I've always seen them place them face down like on the left.

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