Easy Delia Smith Key Lime Pie Recipe

Last updated on April 10, 2024

Delia Smith Key Lime Pie Recipe
Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 35 Mins

If you’re looking for a dessert that’s both refreshing and satisfying, look no further than the Delia Smith Key Lime Pie. This classic treat is a favorite for its vibrant lime flavor paired with a rich, buttery crust. It’s a straightforward recipe that promises to deliver a deliciously tangy pie every time.

Ideal for serving 6-8 people, this recipe is a fantastic choice for any occasion, whether it’s the highlight of a dinner party or a delightful surprise for your family. It requires about 1 to 1.5 hours of preparation time, but the result is well worth the wait.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of creating Delia Smith’s Key Lime Pie from scratch, sharing insider tips and techniques to ensure you nail this recipe every time.

What is Delia Smith’s Key Lime Pie?

Delia Smith’s Key Lime Pie is a classic American dessert with a British twist. It features a rich, citrus-infused custard filled with the refreshing zest and juice of Key limes, all seated in a crunchy biscuit base. This pie is celebrated for its simple yet vibrant flavors.

Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to Make: With straightforward steps and common ingredients, this recipe is accessible to bakers of all levels.
  • Perfect Balance: It strikes the perfect balance between tart and sweet, offering a refreshing taste with every bite.
  • Versatile: Ideal for any occasion, from a summer barbecue to a festive dinner party.

Ingredients Needed for Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups digestive biscuit crumbs (or Graham cracker crumbs for a more authentic taste)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

For the Filling:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅔ cup fresh Key lime juice (approximately 20-25 Key limes or regular limes if Key limes are unavailable)
  • Zest of 2 Key limes

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Lime slices and zest, for garnish

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

Creating Delia Smith’s Key Lime Pie is straightforward and rewarding. Follow these detailed instructions closely to make a perfect pie that will surely be a hit.

Step 1. Prep the Crust

  • Mix the Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup of sugar, and ⅓ cup of melted butter. Stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Press Into the Pie Dish: Transfer the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie dish. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers to press the mixture evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the dish.
  • Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes until set and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling.

Step 2. Make the Filling

  • Zest and Juice the Limes: Zest 4-5 key limes until you have about 2 tablespoons of zest. Then, juice the limes until you have ½ cup of juice.
  • Combine Yolks and Lime Zest: In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the 4 egg yolks and lime zest together until they are fluffy and light in color, about 5 minutes.
  • Add Condensed Milk: Gradually add the 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk to the yolk mixture, beating for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Incorporate Lime Juice: Slowly mix in the ½ cup of key lime juice until just combined.

Step 3. Assemble and Bake

  • Pour Filling into Crust: Carefully pour the lime filling into the cooled crust.
  • Bake the Pie: Return the pie to the oven and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 15-17 minutes, or until the filling is just set but still slightly wobbly in the center.
  • Cool: Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, to set completely.

Step 4. Prepare the Whipped Cream Topping

  • Whip the Cream: In a mixing bowl, beat 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat.
  • Decorate the Pie: Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the chilled pie. Garnish with additional lime zest or thin lime slices if desired.

Step 5. Serving

  • Slice the chilled Key Lime Pie and serve immediately. The tangy filling, coupled with the sweet, creamy topping and crunchy crust, creates a symphony of flavors and textures in every bite.
Easy Delia Smith Key Lime Pie Recipe
Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Key Lime Pie?

  • Aromatic Coffee: Enhance the pie’s flavors with a cup of freshly brewed, aromatic coffee.
  • Sparkling Water: Offer a refreshing contrast with chilled, sparkling water.
  • Fruit Salad: Complement the tanginess with a light, fresh fruit salad featuring seasonal fruits.
  • Whipped Cream: Add an extra dollop of whipped cream for those who love a creamier texture.
  • Mint Tea: Serve with mint tea for a refreshing herbal note that cleanses the palate.

Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

Here are some expert tips to ensure your pie is flawless every time:

  • Quality Ingredients: Always opt for fresh Key limes for the most authentic flavor.
  • Room Temperature Eggs: Use eggs at room temperature to ensure a smoother filling.
  • Gradual Cooling: Allow the pie to cool gradually to prevent cracks.
  • Fine Zest: Use a fine grater for the lime zest to avoid bitterness.
  • Chill Before Serving: For the best texture, chill the pie for at least 3 hours before serving.

Variations of Delia Smith Key Lime Pie

  • Coconut Crust: Swap the biscuit base for one made with coconut flakes for a tropical twist.
  • Meringue Topping: Replace whipped cream with a soft meringue topping, lightly toasted.
  • Berry Coulis: Serve with a raspberry or strawberry coulis for a fruity contrast.
  • Lime and Ginger: Add grated ginger to the filling for a spicy kick.
  • Chocolate Ganache: Drizzle with chocolate ganache for a decadent finish.

How do I Store Delia Smith Key Lime Pie Leftovers?

  • Airtight Container: Transfer the pie into an airtight container to keep it fresh.
  • Refrigerate: Always store the pie in the refrigerator to maintain its texture and flavor.
  • Plastic Wrap: If an airtight container isn’t available, tightly wrap the pie with plastic wrap.
  • Separate Layers: Use wax paper to separate layers if you must stack slices.
  • Consume Quickly: For the best quality, consume leftovers within 3 days.

How do I Reheat Delia Smith Key Lime Pie Leftovers?

When it comes to reheating Delia Smith Key Lime Pie, it’s important to note that this dessert is typically served chilled and does not usually require reheating. However, if you’ve stored your pie in the freezer or want to refresh the crust slightly, here’s what you can do:

  • Avoid Microwaving: It’s best not to microwave the pie as it can make the crust soggy.
  • Room Temperature: Simply allow the pie to sit out and come to room temperature if it has been refrigerated for a while.
  • Brief Oven Warm-up: For a slightly crispy crust, warm it in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 5 minutes. Be cautious to avoid melting the filling.
  • Direct from Fridge: Generally, Key Lime Pie is enjoyed cold, so reheating is often unnecessary.

Nutrition Value per Serving (estimates for a pie serving 8):

  • Calories: 330 kcal
  • Fat: 15g
    • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 43g
    • Sugar: 32g
    • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 180mg


Can I Use Regular Limes Instead of Key Limes?

Yes, you can use regular limes as a substitute for Key limes in this recipe. Key limes are preferred for their unique flavor, but regular limes will still produce a delicious pie. The taste will be slightly different but equally refreshing and tangy.

How Long Does Key Lime Pie Need to Chill Before Serving?

Key Lime Pie should chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. This allows the pie to set properly and makes it easier to slice. For the best texture and flavor, chilling overnight is even better.

Can Key Lime Pie Be Frozen?

Absolutely, Key Lime Pie can be frozen for up to one month. Before freezing, ensure the pie is fully set by refrigerating it as directed. Wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

What Is the Best Way to Get Juice from Key Limes?

The best way to extract juice from Key limes is by rolling them on the countertop before cutting and squeezing them. This process breaks down some of the fibers inside the lime, making it easier to squeeze out the juice. A citrus juicer or reamer can also be used to maximize juice extraction.

Final Words

The Delia Smith Key Lime Pie is more than just a dessert; it’s a slice of sunshine that promises to brighten up any meal with its zesty, creamy goodness. With this comprehensive guide, you’re well-equipped to master this delightful treat, from the crisp crust to the tangy lime filling, topped with a cloud of sweet whipped cream. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this recipe is sure to become a fast favorite, earning its place in your dessert repertoire for years to come.

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