Taking the Taste of Hawaii Home: Key Lime Pie Recipe

We are privileged to host a guest blogger today, Kendra Thornton.  Her recollection of her trip to Maui is really appealing as I stare out the window at the icy roads.  Maybe making this pie will be like a mini-vacation for my mouth.  Enjoy!

I was lucky enough to be able to vacation in Hawaii and stay in one of the top hotels in Maui and I just have to share the recipe for the Key Lime Pie I had at the Plantation House! This restaurant is located on the northwest tip of Maui in the Kapalua Resort area, overlooking Mokuleia Bay and the Plantation Golf Course, and you can also see the surrounding pineapple fields and the islands of Molokai and Lanai. The view is spectacular!

You’ll never look at a sunset the same way again after having seen it from a table in this restaurant! The decadence of the view is matched only the decadence of the menu, and the Key lime pie was by far the most delicious I’ve ever had. I just had to share it with all my East Coast friends and family!

To start, a true Key lime pie must use Key limes, not the regular big green Persian limes normally found in grocery stores. A Key lime is smaller, rounder, and more of a yellow-green color.

Key Lime Pie
1 c. key lime juice
2 14 oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, lighten beaten
lime zest, optional
graham cracker crust

  1. Squeeze enough limes to get one cup of juice (about 20-25 limes, or a 1 lb. bag), then combine the juice with two 14 oz. cans of sweetened condensed milk and three lightly beaten egg yolks. For extra lime flavor you can also add some lime zest directly to this mixture. To get the maximum amount of juice from a lime, you can microwave them for one minute on the lowest setting. Another trick is to use a garlic press to juice the limes; it’s much faster and less work than using a traditional citrus reamer.
  2. Next, it’s a good idea to strain the mixture to remove any lumps and achieve a smoother texture.
  3. After straining, refrigerate the mixture for one hour, and then pour it into a graham cracker crust. You can make your own from a combination of graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter, but a store-bought crust works just as well. If you make your own, bake it in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, and be sure to let it cool to room temperature before filling.
  4. Heat your oven to 325 degrees and bake the pie for 20-25 minutes, or until the surface is firm but wiggly (like gelatin).
  5. The pie can be cooled on a rack for 10-15 minutes or put directly into the refrigerator after cooking. Refrigerate until set and serve with whipped cream.

I am so excited to be able to share this recipe from the Plantation House with my friends and family back home on the East Coast. Every time I make it I remember my time on Maui, sitting at the Plantation House, and how the Pacific Ocean swallowed up the sun in a burst of color! For a taste of Hawaii you just won’t find anywhere else, be sure to try this pie!

Kendra Thornton is a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. She is a long-time travel expert who has been packing her bags and traveling the world since she was 3 months old! She mixes her excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to her own home with some of her unique recipes.  You can follow her on Twitter at @KendraThornton.

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  1. This sounds wonderful. I’ve never made a key lime pie with real key limes, but now that they’re available in small bags at grocery stores, I think I’ll try it.

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