Family fresh key lime pie


By Donna Erickson

Signal Contributing Writer

It’s been a long winter, and now it’s time to celebrate a new season! Nothing says spring like the zingy taste of citrus, and that’s when my favorite Key lime pie recipe takes center stage at our dessert table.

It has all the “key” ingredients for togetherness, too, making it a winner all the way around. There’s something for everyone to do. Yes, there is mixing and stirring, but also letting out the wiggles when pounding graham crackers and squeezing lots of limes. And for the steady hand, there’s separating egg yolks from whites. When it’s time for the grand finale, someone else gets to whip the luscious cream and spoon the tempting dollops on each piece. Make that my job.

Sound like fun? You bet! Here’s how to get started.

Here’s what you’ll need:

11 cinnamon honey or regular graham crackers crumbled to a pie-crust consistency

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter

1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (use Key limes, if available) from about 1 pound of limes

2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

4 large egg yolks

Topping for the pie

Whipped cream

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

Fresh mango slices (optional)

Here’s the fun:

After you have set the oven to 325 F, here’s how to get the kids involved:

Step 1 et one child count 11 graham crackers from the box and break them into pieces in a sturdy plastic bag. Show him how to pound the crackers with a lightweight hammer until they are a pie-crust consistency. Dump into a mixing bowl and mix with the melted butter, then press evenly against the bottom and side of a pie pan.

An adult should bake the crust in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 350 F.

Step 2 hile one child crushes the graham crackers, let another child squeeze the fresh limes to yield about 1 cup of lime juice. An adult should reduce the lime juice in a saucepan to 1/4 cup at a slow simmer over medium heat. Cool to room temperature.

Step 3 hisk egg yolks together in a bowl. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and cooled juice. Pour filling into the pie shell and bake 7-10 minutes or until the middle is firm but able to jiggle. Cool, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Top with dollops of whipping cream sprinkled with lemon zest and fresh mango slices. Delicious!

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” 

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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