Key Lime Cracker Pie (aka Lime CRACK Pie)

by Dorothy Reinhold on August 11, 2011

Print This Post Print This Post Key Lime Cracker Pie

We might as well just call this Lime CRACK Pie, because that’s the way my family felt about it.

I made it.
They saw it, ate it and asked for more.
They requested…no, demanded…I make it again.

It takes about 10 minutes to assemble, but the hard part is waiting for it to coagulate overnight. Maybe coagulate isn’t the right delicious word…assimilate? Gel? Set? Clot? Stiffen? Firm? (Am I veering off into erectile dysfunction material here?) How about indurate?


Get yourself some Ritz crackers, sweetened condensed milk, cream, Key limes and a pie dish, and call it a day.

Many thanks to J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who introduced this over at Serious Eats, where I saw it.

I adapted the recipe just slightly, but he gets credit as the evil genius behind it!

Additional thanks to Nancy Eisman, who gave me a bag of Key limes from Melissa’s World Variety Produce. That was the inspiration to find a Key lime recipe! (Key limes are much smaller, rounder and more tart than the more common Persian lime.)

Bag of Key Limes from

First, buy a bag of Key limes!

Key Limes in a bowl on

Then put them in a bowl for pretty. Your work is half done!

Recipe: Key Lime Cracker Pie

Summary: This breathtakingly easy Key Lime Cracker Pie is reminiscent of a sweet-sour tangy Key Lime Pie, and uses sweetened condensed milk and Key limes to great effect. It would be a great potluck or party pie!


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup Key lime juice (will use about 12 Key limes)
  • Zest from 12 Key limes you are juicing (about 1-2 teaspoons)
  • 5 ounces (about 1 1/4 sleeves) Ritz crackers (can use reduced fat version)
  • Optional garnish: Shredded Coconut


  1. Pour cream into a 4-cup measuring cup. Add sweetened condensed milk and stir. Add lime juice and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. The consistency of the mixture will change from milky to thick.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup filling on bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. Top with a single layer of Ritz crackers. Repeat, alternating layers of filling and crackers until pie plate is full (the final layer should be filling).
  3. Sprinkle with grated lime zest.
  4. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or best is to refrigerate it overnight.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve. Sprinkle shredded coconut on the slices of those who like it.
  6. Serves 8.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 8

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Key Lime Cracker Pie from

This post is linked to

A hat for this pie?

Meringue hat for Key Lime Pie, from Lisa Cooke

Here is Lisa's meringue pie "hat."

Friend Lisa Cooke made the pie this past weekend, after drooling about it
for days. She says, “Yum! While it was chillin’, I decided it needed a little
height. So I baked up a meringue top for it. Just slid it from Silpat
to chilled pie and it was delicious. Here’s a picture of the meringue
hat baking.”

I say, “brilliant!”

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lulu November 24, 2014 at 4:21 am

I’m making this for Thanksgiving…any thoughts on how soon in advance it can be done?


Dorothy Reinhold November 24, 2014 at 5:22 am

Make it NOW! Make it a week ahead if you have the time!


Lulu November 24, 2014 at 8:22 am

Done! Thanks, Dorothy!!


Pamela August 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm

A crack meringue pie. Hilarious!


robynski August 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Oh holy hannah! You’re not kidding! This recipe is simple and it looks like one everyone would love. I was just at Nancy’s blog looking at her fish tacos and commented that this pie would be the perfect pairing!

Off to see if I can find key limes in Northern AZ!


Dorothy August 14, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Oh yeah, this one you could do in your sleep. If you can’t find Key limes, I am here to say, just use regular limes. (Food gods, do not strike me dead for that comment!)


suebaby August 11, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Oh man, every time I read your site, it seems like I gain five pounds. Pretty soon I won’t be able to fit through my front door, and I’ll have to live on the lawn. That oughta confuse the neighbors: “Man, those lawn gnomes just keep getting more and more realistic, don’t they, Edna?” And you know what? It will be WORTH it. Heh!

I just wanted to share that if your local market carries the Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice (oh, the delight at my discovery that our goofy cowtown Albertson’s actually stocks it!), that might prove to be an awesomely easy alternative for hand-squeezing those cranky little limes to the merry tune of muttered curse words. Plus, this same key lime juice makes one wicked margarita – not that I know from personal experience, cough cough ahem! – but let’s just say that I’ve heard.

Thank you, Dorothy, for generously sharing yet another scrumptious addition to my posterior global expansion!


Dorothy August 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

You crack me up! “Posterior global expansion”…I resemble that comment!
Thanks for the tip on Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice!
Agree on key limes making a wicked margarita. Oh yes.


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