Key Lime Pie- With Graham Coconut Crust

I’ve had a lot of key lime pie in my lifetime.  Years ago, my family took a trip to the keys and were on a quest to find the best key lime pie.  We must have had at least ten different ones.  We had a ranking sheet- taste, crust, appearance, texture…needless to say, it was serious business.  So when I set out to make my very first key lime pie last night, I had a tough time figuring out how to go about it.  My standards are high when it comes to key lime pie.

My first decision was that the crust needed to be incredible.  I’m normally not a crust eater.  I hand crushed graham crackers and made an addition of sweetened shredded coconut for a tropical flair.  I also decided I wouldn’t settle for anything less than real fresh squeezed key lime juice.  And of course, something so delectable would need vanilla bean whipped cream.

“This sounds like a lot of work,” you say.  Oh, I know.  It seems like a lot of effort, huh?  I promise you, it is one of the tastiest I’ve ever had.  If you’re up for the challenge, keep reading.


The Crust:
-1-¼ Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
-⅓ Cup Sweetened Coconut
-2 Tablespoons Sugar
-6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted

The Filling:
-1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
-4 Large Egg Yolks
-½ Cup Fresh Key Lime Juice

The Whipped Cream:
-1 Cup Heavy Cream
-2 teaspoons Powdered Sugar
-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Use a 9 inch pie pan, but not a deep dish pan.  I used a 9 inch tart pan and it worked well.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, coconut, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl.  Use a fork to mix.  Press mixture down into a lightly greased pie pan, being sure to be as even as possible.  Bake crust in oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden.  Allow to cool.

Next, prepare your filling.  Whisk condensed milk with egg yolks until creamy and combined.  Add key lime juice and whisk again.  Pour filling into crust- but be sure you have given it adequate time to cool, first!

Bake for 15 minutes, allow to cool in fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

To make whipped cream, pour chilled heavy cream in a large bowl with vanilla bean paste and powdered sugar.  Beat with a mixer on high until soft peaks form.  Only prepare the whipped cream right before serving.

20 thoughts on “Key Lime Pie- With Graham Coconut Crust

  1. Debbie Pollack (Mom)

    31 Jul on 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Yes, we had a lot of fun on our quest to find the best Key lime pie in the Keys!! The winner was the Blonde Giraffe. Good memories! And we had an extra special treat of being in town last night and trying your pie! Yummy!

  2. Karen

    31 Jul on 2011 at 5:32 pm

    My husband and I lived in Key Largo for some years. We have had key lime pie so many ways all over the state of Florida and yours sounds wonderful.

    • thedrivencook

      31 Jul on 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks, Karen! Do you have any special key lime recipes? :)

    • Karen

      04 Aug on 2011 at 8:39 am

      The recipe I have uses the egg whites to make a meringue. I was told this was the original way the pie was prepared. Eggs were expensive in the Keys and the locals didn’t want to waste the white. I think now it is mostly made without meringue and usually served with whipped cream. I think yours is a stand out.

  3. joshuafagans

    01 Aug on 2011 at 12:24 am

    Don’t see key lime pie out here on the left coast very often. This is a great reminder. May be time to introduce the locals to an East coast specialty.

  4. rsmacaalay

    01 Aug on 2011 at 4:19 am

    Never had tried key lime pie but it looks like a citrusy flan with a graham crust. Yum!

  5. Judy

    01 Aug on 2011 at 9:34 am

    I like that the list of ingredients is short. Over the weekend I was making a grilled peach dessert and my husband encouraged me to use vanilla bean in the whipped cream, I resisted because I had already used it with the peaches. I regret that now seeing this recipe, he was right. Thanks for doing all the research, we’ll enjoy trying this!

  6. tinkerbelle86

    01 Aug on 2011 at 12:21 pm

    love key lime pie what an interesting twist. bookmarked for trying at the weekend!

  7. thefooddoctor

    01 Aug on 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Oh my! that sounds SO good
    I loved the addition of coconut to the crust
    In one word YUM

    P.S. thank you for stopping by chef in disguise :)

  8. Caroline

    01 Aug on 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Key lime pie is the best, especially during summer! Love the addition of coconut in the graham cracker crust.

  9. sportsglutton

    01 Aug on 2011 at 4:39 pm

    The last thing I need to be eating right now is pie, but this sounds soooo tempting to make. Great job!

  10. TasteFood

    02 Aug on 2011 at 11:12 am

    This sounds incredible with the coconut in the crust!

  11. jenniebites

    02 Aug on 2011 at 6:11 pm

    i have been looking for the perfect key lime pie recipe for ever, and i just so happen to have graham crackers in the pantry right now…it’s a sign!

  12. Tanvi

    03 Aug on 2011 at 10:53 pm

    You know where I m right now? I m in Key West! and eating key lime pie slices after every dinner :)Love the stuff, the tang & your coconut graham crust wud be to die for ..i m sure!

  13. Joanne

    07 Aug on 2011 at 2:44 pm

    That is SO brilliant to put coconut flakes in the graham cracker crust!!! I have never heard of that. Awesome!

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