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It has been quite a few years since I last ate Key lime pie.  A couple years ago I found Key lime trees at a local nursery and took a couple home with me for The Potted Kitchen Garden.  I have tended these lime trees for a while now and finally had a crop large enough to make a pie.  I figured it would be worth the wait…

I am fortunate to have Key limes growing in the garden, as they are not readily available here in NZ.  I love the flavour of Key limes, but if you cannot find Key limes, you can certainly use the more common available limes.  Key lime food purists can go suck a lime!  If you do purchase limes at a supermarket or farmer’s market, please do search for organic limes, as you need to use the zest of the limes in this recipe.

As the limes from my Key lime tree are quite small, I had to pick all 12 limes on the tree, and there still was not enough juice, so I made up the difference with the juice of three Kaffir limes, also from The Potted Kitchen garden.

I substituted McVitie’s Digestives for Graham Crackers in the original recipe.

This recipe is based on the recipe for Key Lime Pie from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami, Florida.


Key Lime Pie

Serves 8



1 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp. Digestive crumbs

1/3 cup sugar

70g unsalted butter, melted


1 1/2 tbsp. lime zest (about 2 limes worth)

3 egg yolks

One 395g can sweetened condensed milk

2/3 cup fresh lime juice, preferably from Key limes


250 mL heavy cream, chilled

1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar)


Heat oven to 175 Celsius.

Place digestives in ziplock bag and crush with rolling pin or pulse in food processor.  Combine digestive crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Press evenly into bottom and sides of a 22 cm loose bottomed tarte tin.  Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Let cool.

In a medium bowl, beat lime zest and egg yolks with a hand mixer until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.  Add milk and beat until thickened, 3-4 minutes more.  Add lime juice, mix until smooth.  Pour filling into pie crust; bake until filling is just set in the middle, 8-10 minutes.  Let pie cool.  Chill pie at least 2-3 hours before serving.

In a medium bowl, whisk cream and confectioner’s sugar into stiff peaks.  Plate slice of pie with a healthy dollup of whipped cream.

Alternatively… Instead of whipped cream, try topping the pie with crème fraîche mixed with 1 tbsp. of confectioner’s sugar – rather like the topping on a New York style cheesecake.

Enjoy a well deserved blast of lime!

A blast of lime well balanced by crust and cream

Delicious and definitely worth the wait for a good crop of Key limes from The Potted Kitchen Garden.