May 13, 2021

Donna’s Day: Family fresh key lime pie

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!

Key Lime Pie


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 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)


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

While 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.

Whisk egg yolks together in a bowl. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and cooled juice. Pour filling into the pie shell and bake 7 to 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.

Donna Erickson

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