Herrera-The Key to The Perfect Lime Pie-MainPhoto

Herrera-The Key to The Perfect Lime Pie-MainPhoto
Raise your hand if you love key lime pie! I’d be able to afford a new pair of shoes once a week if I posed this question in any random space and collected $2 from each person. I don’t get it, honestly. I’ve never been a fan of the ubiquitous dessert. It’s texture doesn’t tickle me in the least. Ironically, it has a similar consistency to flan, which I need not tell I love.

The single thing I have enjoyed about key lime, when I’ve nibbled on it, is the graham cracker crust. The few times I’ve been enticed to make another attempt at liking it, I’ve scooped out the filling and simply eaten the cookie border.

But, I thought I’d give it a try for myself. Not because I was anxious to dig into it, rather because sometime last summer, a good friend ordered one from my kitchen and I took it as an opportunity to understand all the fuss over its alleged goodness. Everyone in my family likes it, most of my friends order it when we’re out, and I see it on just about every menu.

I took the order and made a few pies with no inhibition. Oddly enough, as I had to taste along the way, my palate got excited. Individually incorporating the ingredients gave me new appreciation for what I know now is the simplest dessert to make.

And, I had a euphoric moment. I realized why I’ve forever had this inexplicable disdain for the pie. It was the sour cream. We don’t really like each other. But, after my kitchen table was pie high, I was in love with a new sweet bite.

And it worked, amigas. I made the pie in no time, omitted the whipped cream because I’m also not a huge fan unless it’s homemade.

A spicy guava jam lacing the pie crust makes natural sense and marries the limes like the perfect sunny beach tryst. Its flavor will invite more afternoons of pie making. Trust me. I’m on three this spring already.

Read Related: Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’s Guava Thumbprint Cookies 


1-9″ graham cracker crust (you can make your own but I cheated this time and bought one)
3 cups sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sour cream
5 key limes or 1 cup key lime juice
1 TSP vanilla extract
2 TSP key lime zest, parted
Pinch of salt
1 TSP key lime zest for garnish

For Guava:
4 TBSP habanero peppers, seeded and minced
2 cups water
20 oz guava paste
2 TBSP pectin


  1. In small pot, melt water and guava. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add habaneros to processor and pulse for 2 minutes until mostly smooth.
  3. Add to guava mixture and stir.
  4. Add pectin and stir.
  5. Bring to boil for additional 15 minutes until guava has fully melted and it has consistency of jam. If too thick, stir in water and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. Transfer to Mason jar, close lid and process in canner for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from canner. Dry with towel and let cool.
  9. When lid makes a popping sound, jar is ready to be chilled and stored.

For Pie:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, wish sweetened condensed milk, sour cream and key lime juice.
  3. Add vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of lime zest and pinch of salt.
  4. Combine and blend well until sour cream has broken down and mixture is silky smooth.
  5. Pour mixture into graham cracker pie mold and smoothen out with rubber spatula if necessary.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes.
  7. Chill for 5 hours or until firm.
  8. Lace pie crust with chilled jam, about 1″ thick.
  9. Garnish with lime zest and whip cream (optional).