Key lime pie recipe

by John
(Miami, Florida)

Problem with the meringue. As a novice baker, I recently discovered how easy it is to make key lime pie, however, I can't get the meringue on top to turn out right. When I bake the pie by itself, it comes out perfect. When I try adding a meringue the pie turns out thin and watery.

The pie recipe calls for the pie to bake at 450 for 20 minutes; The meringue recipe says to bake the meringue at 450 for 10 minutes.

Should I try to bake the pie and the meringue together? Should I let the pie cool completely and then add the meringue? Should I adjust baking times for each?

What is the best way to do this? THANKS!!!


Yummy! Key lime pie is one of my favorite desserts.
It has been a while since I have made one, but I encountered the same problem.

I actually prefer it with a whipped cream, so I bake the pie off and then when cooled decorate it with a whipped cream border a rosette in the center and some grated lime rind.

But if you want to do the meringue, I would suggest cooking the pie completely or at least almost until it is done and then cooling it halfway. Add the meringue and cook the meringue for the additional 10 minutes called for or until it browns up a little.

Key Lime Pie Recipe

Here is the recipe which I use. It is from Louise Tennent Smith of Columbus, Ga.

She claims it is the true recipe for Key Lime Pie/
It is made in a pastry crust, never a graham cracker crust. (I still prefer a graham cracker crust) and it is topped with meringue, never whipped cream. Well as I said before, I still prefer the whipped cream. So I basically only follow the custard part of the recipe.

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated.

  • 6 eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup lime juice

  • 1 deep dish pie crust

  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar and 1 cup of granulated sugar

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks until light and creamy (about 8 minutes) Add lime juice; let bowl rotate on low speed of mixer for 1 second. Fold mixture a few times with a rubber spatula to be sure juice is thoroughly blended. Pour mixture into baked pie crust. Let stand.
(I then bake the pie off) I skip the meringue. Interestingly your recipe calls for had a 100 degree temperature difference.


With electric mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar for 5 minutes. Add sugar; beat 5 minutes more. Cover pie with meringue, being sure to seal meringue to edge of crust.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Note: Use real Key lime juice, if available.

Well I hope that helps with your Key lime pie recipe question. Thanks for visiting and feel free to ask more questions if needed. I will also inquire at my Facebook Wedding Cakes For You page and see if anyone can help out by commenting on this post.

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Sep 26, 2011
meringue help
by: Anonymous

No don't cool the pie, make sure you are also bringing the meringue to the crust to seal it up then do not put it in the fridge until it cools completely. Go on you tube and look up Alton Browns "Good Eats" episode called Pie, it is split into two segments. The reason you should watch this is because it helps you understand the proper science behind what makes it work. Hope this helps you! =D

Sep 26, 2011
by: Lorelie

Hi anonymous visitor, thanks for the comments. Alton Brown of course. Thank you. While searching pies most the ones I found were with whipped cream. I found a key lime pie recipe with the meringue on the food network site and it called for baking the custard at 350 for 30 minutes in the graham cracker crust, making the meringue and putting it onto the hot filling and either torching it to get the golden color or baking it for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.

Sep 26, 2011
by: Anonymous

THANKS, Lorelie and Anonymous! Lots of good information including the Alton Brown video! I will put all of this into practice on my next KL pie with meringue!

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