Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe

Homemade Key Lime Pie

My little sister just turned 30 years old, and this particular birthday is happening amid some very cool events. Last weekend we celebrated on her actual birthday by spending three days in the Dolly Sods Wilderness, and I can finally say that my body has recovered. Well, mostly recovered.

This weekend we’re heading to my parents’ farm to have a birthday gathering with the whole family, and to also bid her bon voyage because she’s moving to Brooklyn in a week. As in New York, not Maryland.

You might be asking, “What is a farmer doing moving to the big city?”

And I would answer, “We grew up just outside of Washington, DC, and the ‘big city’ is not foreign to us.”

Then you could wonder, “But she and Shawn are farmers. What’s a farmer going to do in New York City?”

And I would answer, “Shawn is already up in New York. He got an amazing job working for Grow NYC, and spends his days improving New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.”

Then you’d say, “Wow! Very cool! But Josie, what about her? She currently runs the Community Farm at Sandy Spring Friends School. What’s she going to do?”

And I’d wink and whisper, “I can’t say just yet, but once she’s ready to announce her new job, you’ll think, ‘Ah-ha! That’s perfect!’ And, don’t worry, Josie will still keep making her awesome Paper & Plow soap and lip balm for her Etsy shop, as well as the boutiques that already carry it.”

So, stay tuned gang!

In the meantime, given the move’s only a week away, I decided to forgo a regular birthday present since that would mean one more thing to pack. Instead? I made this…it’s one of her very favorite desserts.

Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe

how to make homemade key lime pie

This recipe couldn’t be any easier, or any more delicious and satisfying. Simply pour a whisked filling of sweetened condensed milk, eggs, lime juice and zest into a pre-baked store bought graham cracker crust, and then bake it off for 15 minutes.

how to make homemade key lime pie

See the little flecks of lime zest here? This is where my recipe differs from Emeril’s. I add lime zest to the pie filling, because lime juice alone doesn’t make it as tart as I like!

After the pie has cooled completely and chilled for a while (I leave mine in the fridge overnight), then it’s covered with a tangy sour cream topping and sprinkled with more lime zest. Because everything’s better with more zest!

how to make homemade key lime pie

The full recipe can be found here:

Homemade Key Lime Pie Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This homemade Key Lime pie recipe won't disappoint!
Serves: 8
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust (ready-made)
  • 6 limes (zested and juiced)
  • ¾ cups lime juice
  • 28oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Large whole eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once it's ready, cook the pie crust for 6 minutes while you prepare the filling. Once the pie crust is out, turn the oven down to 325°F and let the pie crust cool in the fridge.
  2. Combine all of the fresh squeezed lime juice with enough bottled lime juice to equal 1 cup. Next, whisk together the juices, eggs, sweetened condensed milk and 1 tablespoon of the zest in a medium mixing bowl. Save the remaining zest for garnish later.
  3. Once the pie crust has finished cooling (in the fridge it shouldn't take long), pour the Key Lime pie filling into the crust and bake it for 15 minutes, or until it's just set - a little jiggle in the center is okay.
  4. Let the Key Lime pie cool for one hour, and then cover and transfer it to the fridge to continue to chill for at least 2 hours. Overnight is better.
  5. After 2 hours, or the next day, mix the sour cream with the powdered sugar and spread the topping evenly over the pie. Sprinkle with remaining lime zest.
  6. This homemade key lime pie recipe is wonderful chilled as-is, and it's excellent as a frozen dessert too!

Make Time For Pie In December

It’s hard to believe that it’s December already.
I don’t know about you, but I still have a lot of shopping to do. A LOT. Thankfully the interweb is forgiving in that respect, and most of what I still need to do can be both purchased and shipped online in time for Christmas.
December also starts the procession of holiday parties. Gatherings with friends, work parties, charity balls – it’s amazing that we have time to get anything accomplished.
Still, it’s important to stay focused on things that are meaningful this time of year.
Like the fact that December 1 is National Pie Day. That’s important and meaningful, right?

Post-Thanksgiving Recap a.k.a. Banana Custard Cream Pie Recipe

From the looks of all my friends’ posts on Facebook, it appears Thanksgiving was a raging success this year for everyone. But, then again, when is it not? Lots of family, friends and some of the best food of the year. Why we don’t roast turkeys more often is beyond me!

Anyway, my family was no different. We (all 15 of us) feasted at my parents’ farm, with turkey and all the trimmings (which includes several vegetarian favorites prepared by my herbivore sister and her boyfriend, and no green bean casserole).

Dessert included the banana cream pie I had been assigned to bring, as well as the standard pumpkin and pecan pies.

Banana Cream Pie

My dad and Cousin Kathryn nearly tacked me in the driveway for first dibs on the banana cream pie. Its reputation preceded itself, and they’ve been talking about it for days! Don’t worry – I’ll share the recipe below.

Keep going….

Chatter, laughter, screaming kids, a hot kitchen, lots of dishes, led up to an old-fashioned good time and really full bellies.



Old dishes, like my late grandmother’s staple – sweet potato casserole, NO marshmallows, lots of brown sugary caramelized goodness….


….marry with newer favorites, like my sister’s homemade baked mac ‘n cheese, with crispy buttery edges.


Great conversation, so rowdy at times that you can’t hear across the table. But that’s to be expected as part of the normal hoopla, right?


And this year? A DEEP FRIED TURKEY. And a regular roast turkey too. What a treat!




But let’s not forget the end. The end of the meal that involves dessert. AND PIE, to be exact.

Homemade Banana Custard Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

Prep: 8 hours (includes lots of fridge-time)
Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8

1 graham cracker crust for a 9″ pie plate, homemade or store-bought
2 cups (1-pint) heavy cream
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
8 ripe bananas, firm but ripe

Prepare a graham cracker crust in a 9″ pie plate, and set aside.

Combine the cream, milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod in a heavy bottomed 2-quart sauce pan. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer over medium heat, whisking often, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch and 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking to combine. Add the milk and egg mixture all at once back into the sauce pan with the hot milk, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens into a custard – about 4 to 5 minutes.

Push the custard through a fine mesh strainer and into a clean medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, taking care to press the wrap down so that it’s resting on top of the custard – this will keep the custard from developing a skin on top while it cools. Discard the vanilla bean pod.

Allow the custard to cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Banana Cream Pie
To assemble the pie:

Slice the bananas in 1/2″-thick rounds. Spread 1/2 cup of the custard in an even layer on the bottom of your cooled pie crust. Arrange banana slices on top in 1 even layer, then top them with 3/4 cup of custard and spread it out smooth. Press down gently to make the layer dense, then repeat the steps twice more. End with a smooth layer of the custard, making sure that all the bananas are covered well so that they won’t discolor. Cover with plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Before serving, coat the pie with a generous slathering of whipped cream.

PS: For all you Pinterest-lovers out there, check out these mason-jar-turned-wine-glass-turned-candle-holders on the dinner table. Fabulous!


Rustic Cardamom Vanilla Apple Pie

Rustic Cardamom Vanilla Apple Pie

Macy’s approached me last week about being included in their mBlog Recipe Showcase, in which I talk about one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. And as an added bonus, one of you have the opportunity to win a fabulous gift (more on that at the bottom of the post), perfect for using during one of you own holiday meals.

We are now less than one week away from Thanksgiving making its annual appearance in homes across the country. My family celebrates with the traditional fare: Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, cranberry sauce, and a slew of other goodies.

Even though I’d love to host Thanksgiving at our house, I can’t. I’ve got about four other people in line in front of me to take over as host once my parents decide they’ve had enough of the hosting business.

That’s okay though. We’ve evolved to a sort of “pot luck” style Thanksgiving, where all the big stuff is cooked on site at my parents’ farm, and most of the sides are brought à la carte by hungry family members. One year, before I had my kids, my sister and I baked 10 pies after scouring recipes from some of our beloved chefs. Yes, we were nuts. BUT, they were delicious, and without a couple of cute loud and obnoxious kids nipping my ankles, it was actually quite fun!

Rustic Cardamom Vanilla Apple Pie

I tend to be a Thanksgiving traditionalist, so no matter what, pumpkin pie is definitely on my plate. During the year of 10 pies, I made an apple pie with a twist – cardamom and vanilla. Warmed with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream, it was one to remember.

Rustic Cardamom Vanilla Apple Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 package refrigerated pie dough (2 dough rounds)
  • 4 Granny Smith apples (or another tart variety)
  • 4 Fuji apples (or another sweet variety)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the apples and slice them thin, then toss them in a large bowl with the lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Set aside to rest while you prepare the pie plate.
  2. Place one of the pie dough rounds into a 9″ pie plate, and then set it atop a baking sheet covered in foil. Spoon the apple mixture into the pie dough, and then dot with the butter. The apples will cook down while they’re in the oven, so don’t worry about it initially looking too full.
  3. Take the second pie dough round and place it on top. Create three small holes on top to vent, and use a fork to crimp the edges of the pie. Baste the top lightly with milk.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the juices start to bubble up. Remove from the oven and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

And now for that giveaway I promised….



Macy’s would like to give one of my readers a choice of one of the following Martha Stewart Professional Cookware items!

If you are interested in winning one of these ultra fabulous Martha Stewart Cookware items, you must:

  1. Leave a comment on this post that includes your favorite Thanksgiving dessert
  2. Have a shipping address in the United States
I’ll be using Random.org to pick a winner next Wednesday – the day before Thanksgiving!

Also, be sure to check out mBlog & Macy’s Recipe Share Facebook Contest. It’s never too early to start thinking about yummy holiday dinners! Macy’s is searching for the perfect holiday dish and asking its Facebook fans to help! Click here to visit the Recipe Share Facebook Contest and see all the details.
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