Key lime Tart Recipe for those who Really love lime

The idea of a Florida vacation brings with it visions of sitting on the beach sipping a cocktail while the kids play in the water. You think of fresh fish caught right off the pier, and gorgeous sunrises on the Atlantic or sunsets on the Gulf. Most of all, you think of key lime pie and key lime tarts that still make your mouth water just thinking about them.

I may not be able to help you with that Florida vacation right now, but if you love lime like I do, I have the perfect key lime tart recipe for you.

Key Lime Tart Recipe

When I took my boys to Kissimmee, Florida a few years back to visit the Kennedy Space Center, I also introduced them to the delicious flavors of key lime pie.

We popped over to Columbia Restaurant in Celebration, FL for dinner. Their key lime pie had just the right amount of tart and sweet. My youngest loved it so much, I had to order myself a second slice. I barely got a taste of the first one!

Needless to say, this kicked off an obsession, one we have indulged at every restaurant we see key lime pie at on the menu.

Nothing beats homemade, although in a pinch I’ve been known to grab a Trader Joe’s Key Lime pie. Mine is better, but sometimes mama is tired and the kids need their lime fix.

Love Key Lime? Try our other Key Lime recipes!

Key Lime Pie

Quick History of Key Lime Pie

Believe it or not, there is huge debate over whether key lime pie was invented in Florida or New York City.

Floridians believe that a woman named “Aunt Sally” came up with the recipe, probably making a lemon custard pie, but swapping out the lemon for key lime. However, there is no documentation to really back up this story.

According to an article in Southern Living magazine, documents do show that in the early 1930s Borden condensed milk company in New York City published a Magic Lemon Cream pie recipe. Many believe this recipe made its way down to Florida and locals used key limes instead of lemons.

No matter the origins, key lime pie is now the official Florida state pie as of July 1, 2006. Whoever came up with it, we thank you.

Key Lime Tart Recipe

Key Lime Tart Recipe

If you love key lime pie as much as my family, you will love this key lime tart recipe. It has the perfect balance of crust and custard, making it a great recipe for lime lovers who need an easy dessert.

I’ve wowed more than one neighbor with this key lime recipe, and trust me, I made them taste a lot. I think I went through at least 10 variations before I settled on this graham cracker crust and custard combo.

What’s the secret to the best key lime pie recipe (or in our case, tart)? Using a mix of sugars in the crust, and a whole lot of lime zest in the custard. Fresh lime juice is always best, and if you have key limes available, use them.

As a last resort, I use bottled key lime juice available in most grocery stores and online.

Key Lime Tart Recipe

Key Lime Tart Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 cans of condensed milk (14 ounce cans)
  • 3/4 cup of fresh lime juice (8-10 regular limes) or bottled Key Lime juice (store bought lime juice will also work, but fresh is always better).
Key Lime Tart Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (about 12 graham crackers crumbled in a food processor)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar + 2 tbsp brown sugar (alternative: 1/3 cup brown or white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt
Key Lime Tart Recipe

How to make A Key Lime Tart

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Set your 9- inch tart tin (or pie pan) aside (do not grease it!).
  3. Make Your Graham Cracker Crust:
    • Combine graham crackers, sugars, salt and melted butter in a medium bowl.
    • Stir with a fork or mix together by hand.
    • Pour mixture into your tart pan.
    • Start pressing the graham cracker mix into the bottom and sides of your tart or pie pan with your hands.
    • Next, using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or metal spoon), press the graham cracker mix into the bottom and sides, being careful not to have any holes.
    • Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
    • Take out of the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  4. Make your key lime tart filling
    • Whisk together your lime zest and egg yolks in a large bowl, either by hand or using an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes.
    • Add the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice.
    • Set aside while you wait for your pie crust to cool.
  5. Pour your key lime filling into the cooled graham cracker tart tin. It should reach the top.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes (the center will still wiggle and not be baked through. That is OK)
  7. Put cooked key lime tart on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
  8. Transfer to the refrigerator, allowing to completely cool down and set, about 3 hours.
  9. Cover with non-stick plastic wrap or reusable bees wrap (we use this one).
  10. Sprinkle with a little lime zest to finish it off when ready to serve.

What to do with the leftover egg whites? Make some of our favorite meringue recipes!

Key Lime Pie

Best Deep Dish Key Lime Pie Recipe

If you prefer to make a deep dish key lime pie, you will need to increase your ingredients by just a bit. The key lime pie instructions are still the same though.

We LOVE this recipe in my house. The more key lime the better we say.

TIP: Don’t over bake your key lime pie! The custard will set in the refrigerator, so it’s ok if the center is very jiggly. My first deep dish I kept adding time to the bake, so the crust got really hard.

Deep Dish Key Lime Pie measurements

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 cans of condensed milk (28 ounce)
  • 1 cup of fresh lime juice (about 10 limes) or Key West Lime juice

Deep Dish Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tbsp white sugar + 2 tbsp brown sugar (or 1/3 cup brown or white sugar)
  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Deep Dish Key Lime Pie Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions for the key lime tart up until you bake it.
  2. Bake your deep dish key lime pie in a pie plate for 25 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  4. Once at room temperature, cover with non-stick plastic wrap or reusable bee’s wrap and stick it in the refrigerator.
  5. Allow key lime custard to set for at least 4 hours.

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Yield: 8

Key Lime Tart Recipe

Key Lime Tart Recipe

If you love key lime pie as much as my family, you will love this key lime tart recipe. It has the perfect balance of crust and custard, making it a great recipe for lime lovers who need an easy dessert.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 cans of condensed milk (14 ounce cans)
  • 3/4 cup of fresh lime juice (8-10 regular limes) or bottled Key Lime juice (store bought lime juice will also work, but fresh is always better).
  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (about 12 graham crackers crumbled in a food processor)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar + 2 tbsp brown sugar (alternative: 1/3 cup brown or white sugar)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

How to make A Key Lime Tart

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Set your 9- inch tart tin (or pie pan) aside (do not grease it!).

Make Your Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Combine graham crackers, sugars, salt and melted butter in a medium bowl.
  • Stir with a fork or mix together by hand.
  • Pour mixture into your tart pan.
  • Start pressing the graham cracker mix into the bottom and sides of your tart or pie pan with your hands.
  • Next, using a 1/4 cup measuring cup (or metal spoon), press the graham cracker mix into the bottom and sides, being careful not to have any holes.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  • Take out of the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  • Make your key lime tart filling

  • Whisk together your lime zest and egg yolks in a large bowl, either by hand or using an electric mixer, for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice.
  • Set aside while you wait for your pie crust to cool.
  • Key Lime Tart Assembly

    1. Pour your key lime filling into the cooled graham cracker tart tin. It should reach the top.
    2. Bake for 15 minutes (the center will still wiggle and not be baked through. That is OK)
    3. Put cooked key lime tart on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
    4. Transfer to the refrigerator, allowing to completely cool down and set, about 3 hours.
    5. Cover with non-stick plastic wrap or reusable bees wrap (we use this one).
    6. Sprinkle with a little lime zest to finish it off when ready to serve.

    Notes

    How to make a DEEP DISH Key Lime Pie

    Deep Dish Key Lime Pie measurements

    • 6 egg yolks
    • 3 tbsp lime zest
    • 2 cans of condensed milk (28 ounce)
    • 1 cup of fresh lime juice (about 10 limes) or Key West Lime juice

    Deep Dish Graham Cracker Crust

    • 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
    • 1 tbsp white sugar + 2 tbsp brown sugar (or 1/3 cup brown or white sugar)
    • 1 cup salted butter, melted
    • Pinch of salt

    Deep Dish Key Lime Pie Instructions

    1. Follow the instructions for the key lime tart up until you bake it.
    2. Bake your deep dish key lime pie for 25 minutes.
    3. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
    4. Once at room temperature, cover with non-stick plastic wrap or reusable bee's wrap and stick it in the refrigerator.
    5. Allow key lime custard to set for at least 4 hours.

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