Frozen Key Lime Pie

Frozen Key Lime Pie
Frozen Key Lime Pie
This Frozen Key Lime Pie is a sure thing. I have yet to meet a person who hasn’t died over this. It’s the perfect dessert for summer entertaining. The texture is fantastic (like soft ice cream). The cool lime custard filling is sweet, tart, and refreshing. Billowing poufs of vanilla whipped cream brings an impressive volume to the dessert. And best of all, you can make it all ahead of time.
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style, 2002).

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: (1) 9-inch pie, about 8 servings


For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (4 to 5 limes)

For the topping:
2 cups (1 pint) cold heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Thin lime wedges for garnishing


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan, making sure the sides and the bottom are an even thickness. (Note: I find that using a foil pan makes it easy to lift the pie out and cut neatly for presentation when it’s done. I’ve also made this in a springform pan before with good results.) Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. For the filling, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and lime juice until combined. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickened and frothy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Remove bowl from heat, and whisk in the condensed milk and lime zest until well combined. Pour into the cooled pie shell.
  5. For the topping, beat the heavy cream on high speed in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until firm. Spoon or pipe decoratively onto the pie and decorate with lime slices.
  6. Freeze until firm (at least 4 hours, or overnight). Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. If you used a foil pan, the pie should lift right out, or you can snip the edges of the pan with a pair of scissors to help remove it. If you used a springform pan, run a knife around the edges, then pop it open.