I seriously love this pie! Love! It’s super easy to make, tastes so so good, and it’s a showstopper! People will think you spent hours making this dessert. Little do they know, it was a cinch to put together. And once you taste it, wow. You will love it as much as as I do.
The buttery graham cracker crust pairs so well with the ultra creamy not too tart filling. If you notice in the recipe, I do bake my graham cracker crust for 10-15 minutes. I find that this little step really helps set the crust enough so it doesn’t crumble when slicing. Just be sure to cool your crust before filling. So while it may not be completely a no-bake recipe, it’s practically no-bake!
You can find graham cracker crumbs in your grocery store. They are super convenient to use, but I like crushing my own graham crackers. I just grab a gallon size freezer bag and my rolling pin and crush away! I find it’s a great stress reliever, especially when your teen daughter, who shall remain nameless, gets into her second car accident in four months!! Grrrr… yes I am grateful she is ok, but two accidents?!!! Mother of pearl, I might need to crush up some more graham crackers just thinking about it.
Ok enough of that, back to the pie! Keys limes are much smaller than the typical limes we find in the grocery store. The flavor can be quite tart and while you can find bottled key lime juice it’s just not the same as fresh. My local grocery store sells organic key limes in one pound bags, and that amount was plenty for this recipe. You will also notice some key limes look yellow, that is a good thing! Yellow key limes are ripe key limes!
Key lime zest is a thing of beauty, it adds so much flavor to the pie filling. I know zesting and juicing those tiny little limes seems like a giant pain in the you know what, but it’s worth the extra effort! Plus your kitchen will smell great; these little guys are super aromatic. You can use your typical citrus juicer for these limes but I find since they are so small, a fork works perfectly. I cut the key limes in half and grab a fork and just twist away over my measuring cup. Just make sure to strain your juice before you add it to the filling, you don’t want any seeds finding their way into your pie!
Another important step is to try to be patient and let the pie setup long enough in the refrigerator. This is always the hardest part for me to do! I can never wait to eat it! But if you give your pie a good 4-6 hours or even overnight to chill and firm up, it will make for easy slicing when serving. I always top my pie with some freshly made sweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of key lime zest, it jazzes it up and makes it look so pretty!
No-Bake Key Lime Cream Pie Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C melted butter
1 tsp sugar
Key Lime Pie Filling
1 8ounce pkg. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp key lime zest
3/4 C heavy cream
1/2 C fresh key lime juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (for crust)
In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until combined and graham cracker crumbs are moistened.
Spread the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of a 8 inch springform pan. Using your hands or the back of a measuring cup press crumb mixture firmly and evenly into pan.
Bake crust for 10-15 minutes until crust is just slightly browned around edges.
While crust is baking, zest and juice your key limes.
Remove crust from oven and let cool completely. You can place crust in the fridge to speed up cooling.
While crust is cooling prepare the pie filling.
In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth and combined.
And the heavy cream and mix until incorporated
Add the key lime juice into the mixture and mix well until combined. Mixture will thicken and become smooth and creamy.
Pour filling into springform pan on top of the cooled graham cracker crust and spread evenly.
Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight until firm
Top with lime zest and sweetened whipped cream if desired. Slice and serve.