One of my fondest memories is of when I took my niece, 13 at the time, to Florida. (This was nearly nine years ago. Where does the time go?)
We went to Disneyworld. We saw the sweet manatees at Homosassa Springs.
And we picnicked at one of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever visited, just north of Clearwater. We took a picnic – a “meal” of exactly one whole key lime pie that we picked up along the way. We dug our toes into the soft sugary sand and scooped bites of pie directly out of the tin with plastic spoons, us rebels us. Quite possibly one of the best dinners ever, if not exactly the healthiest.
I still view key lime pie as perfect picnic fare, but I’ve decided that individual servings in individual-sized jars is totally where it’s at.
As if creamy, cool key lime pie wasn’t delicious enough in itself – especially during these last hot days of summer – there’s just something about individual servings in jars that send it over the top. With each bite, the whipped cream mellows the tart, zesty lime filling, and then you reach that buttery graham cracker layer.
They’re so easy to put together – seriously, 10 minutes, if that. Plus, hello, portable. Perfect for picnics, and a little more classy (if less memorable) than eating your key lime pie with plastic spoons straight from the tin.
Key Lime Pie in a Jar
- Crust layer
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (18 crackers, or 2/3 of a sleeve)
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- Pie filling
- 1 – 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (juiced key limes [you will need several], bottled key lime juice, or standard (Persian limes [about three or four] all work)
- 3 egg yolks
- Whipped cream
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Also needed
- Four half-pint (8-ounce mason jars)
- Four canning lids and rings
- Baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Set jars onto a jelly roll pan or baking sheet.
- Place graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and smash to crumbs with a rolling pin. Add to a medium bowl along with the sugar and pinch of salt. Stir with a fork until incorporated. Drizzle melted butter into the crumb and sugar mixture; stir with a fork until blended.
- Spoon graham cracker crumb mixture into each of the four jars, dividing evenly among the jars. Press very slightly into the bottom and up the sides, but don’t compact the crumbs like you would a normal graham cracker crumb crust, or the crust will compact too much in the bottom of the jar and won’t come up easily with a spoon.
- Zest one of the limes. Add sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, egg yolks, and lime zest to a medium bowl. Stir with a whisk until all ingredients are well-combined. Dividing the mixture evenly, filling into the jars.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the filling no longer jiggles.
- Let cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then cover with lids and bands and refrigerate for at least two hours, until chilled.
- To serve, top with whipped cream, a lime slice, and tall parfait spoons.
- Keeps for up to three days in the refrigerator (add whipped cream and garnish right before serving).
Um, delicious… Key lime pie is pretty much my favorite thing on earth. And now it’s in a jar…it doesn’t get better than this! Yum!
This is a great idea but I was wondering how long will this keep with the seals in place and should it be stored in the refrigerator or could you store it in the cupboard?
Hi Deb! I’d say store for no more than three days in the fridge (though ours have only lasted as long as two before needing to be eaten!) Definitely refrigerate – the mason jars are just a container. Thank you for the reminder to include that information in the recipe. Adding now!
I can’t see them lasting at my house very long either but I thought I’d get the information for my files. Thanks for a great site.
Pies look delicious, could they be frozen without the whipped cream?
Thanks for the recipe!
I’ve never tried freezing them, but honestly I’m not sure the delicious creamy consistency would hold up. If you try it out though, please come back and let me know how it worked!
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I can’t wait to make these for my friend! She loooves key lime pie! One question though: would this recipe still work if I cut it in half? And if so, how much butter and egg should I use?
I made this earlier in the week to take to a fancy dinner party. I was in charge of dessert. Yikes! They were a huge hit. Delicious and very fun to eat. Thanks for the recipe my husband is now calling “jar pie”.
I made this recipe into a pie today since I didn’t have the jars, and it was sooooo good! I had to make a pic of it before it was devoured. First time, I’ve ever made Key Lime Pie, too! Maybe, I will invest in some of these cute little jars. Thanks for sharing.
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Simply delish! The crust is perfectly sweet (not too sweet) and buttery, and the filling wonderfully tart. Whip cream a perfect balance at top. The jars add a really great touch. I multiplied quantities by four for a party dessert, and all came out smoothly. (Side note: I was anxious to try one fresh out of the oven, and turns out it’s a really great warm dessert, too! Very comforting.) Thanks for this recipe!
Made these for tonight’s low country boil. Had to bust into one and try before our guests. Delicious summer treat!!
These look amazing! I love Key Lime Pie and I am seriously considering these for my wedding, do you think they would fit alright in a 4 oz jar? Or is the 8 oz a better serving size?
Hi Joanne, totally try it! I think the smaller portion would be perfect for a wedding. Definitely do a test run and you may want to shorten the cooking time. Good luck and congrats!
Hello. These look adorable and sound delicious…..I have two questions that I hope you can answer.
First, I keep reading how mason jars have to be in a water bath, but your recipe doesn’t mention that. Is it just a precaution but not really necessary? I’m worried about the jars cracking, or the water bath altering the cooking time.
And second, I purchased pint jars instead of half pint. I think double the pie would be too much so do you have an idea of how I could make these look cute in the larger size?
Thank you so much for the recipe, and for answering my questions!
Hi, Just wondering why you use 3 egg yolks when most key lime pie recipes use 4. Does it have to do with the smaller serving sizes and how they cook?
This looks delicious! Great idea!
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My sister made these with low fat sweetened condensed milk. They were delicious! In case you are looking to lower the calories, fat and cholesterol..It CAN be done! I made them last night with full fat because I couldn’t remember if she actually DID use the low fat one..(I asked, She did) Cant wait to eat them today for Thanksgiving! Everyone else is excited too! Thank you for the great recipe. very cute!
Hi Therese, thanks so much to you (and your sister) for the tip! Great idea for lightening it up. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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These are delicious! I’m making them as favors for my wedding. I did a test run to see how they turn out after freezing and they were a success. I baked them, let them cool, and then froze them for a week. Still perfect and delicious!
Yay, I’m so glad to hear that! I am honored that one of my recipes made it to a wedding. 🙂 What a great idea. Congratulations!
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Can’t wait to try this recipe for our 4th of July celebration! Quick question, do I need to water bath while cooking the pies?
Hi Jennifer, I’m sorry I didn’t see your question earlier! I do not use a water bath, but some folks prefer to for safety reasons. Either way they should cook up just fine.
Made these last night for dinner with friends. Big hit. I changed it up a bit by crushing crisp ginger snap cookies instead of graham crackers for the crust and left out the granulated sugar. I wonder if one could use crushed ameretti biscuits as a crust too. This was such an easy recipe and everyone enjoyed. I used smaller jars and baked for ten minutes. Made six instead of four. Definitely a keeper.
Hi!!! I am so excited to have found your recipe. I want to make these for my son’s first fiesta (his first birthday party) … I am going to need to make at least 75 … do you have any suggestions on altering cooking times if say I baked them in 2 groups. I am beyond excited and can’t thank you enough!
Love the sound of this recipe and would like to take these to my ladies group, but unsure how to stabilize the whipped cream for any length of time. Anyone have a suggestion?
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I’m intrigued by your recipe for Key Lime Pie in a Jar! I have a key lime tree that is producing LOTS of limes. Do you think that I could actually can this recipe in the jars and store on the shelf until summer, then pop the top, add some whipped cream and take them on picnics?
Hi Sue, I wouldn’t recommend actually canning it, as awesome as that would be! Successful canning requires the food to have a particular pH level and I’m pretty sure this does not. 🙁 Sorry! Maybe freezing them would work out though?
These little pies are the best! The intensive search for a lime pie recipe is over. Yum! These are so easy to make; I may try freezing them and see how that goes. Thanks so much for posting. I will look for your other little jar desserts on this site as well.
For a large crowd, can you double or triple key lime pie in jar
Love, love, love this dessert! I get requests from my mother, mother-in-law, sister, her mother-in-law…everyone loves this recipe and it is easy to make…thanks!!!
can these be frozen?
I haven’t tried it, but I have a hunch the texture wouldn’t be the same after freezing. If you try it please report back!
Looking forward to trying this recipe. However, is it safe to bake in a mason jar?
Are these able to be frozen in jars? If so, for how long?
With these ingredients, do you think you could change this into a key lime cobbler? I picture filling on bottom, then graham cracker on top, then whipped cream. What do you think?
How can I make this into a key lime cobbler?
This was a lot of fun, pie in a jar. So convenient when I took dessert to a ladies luncheon. They were a big hit. And I was asked for a copy of the recipe. Thanks for a great dessert idea.
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I want to give these as an to go favor at the end of an event. Think I Should put a dollop of whipped cream in the jar or leave that out?