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DIY Disney Recipe: Key Lime Pie from Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort

DFB guest chef Carol E. returns today with a traditional recipe for the Key Lime Pie from Olivia’s Café at Disney’s Old Key West Resort. Get your baking supplies ready!

Being a Florida native (Yes, native!! I was one of about 7 people actually born here…everyone else is a transplant. Ha!), I was excited to dive into this recipe!

Key Lime pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts! Did you know that Key lime pie is the official pie of the state of Florida? That’s right, not only are we awesome because we have Walt Disney World in our state, but we also have our own official pie! Florida rocks! :-)

Even better, you can get our official state pie at Walt Disney World — and this is one of the best versions of it on property! This Florida tradition is served perfectly chilled every day at Olivia’s Café!

Olivia's Cafe.

Olivia Cafe's Dining Room.

Key Lime Pie Recipe

While there are a lot of different recipes for Key lime pie, the traditional one is the best! It only takes three ingredients to make the pie filling. If you make it right, it will be pale yellow in color and it will have the perfect balance of creamy sweet and tart goodness.

Key Lime Pie at Olivia's Cafe.

I was excited to find the traditional Key lime pie recipe from Olivia’s Café in the Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook to share with you!

While Olivia’s Café has taken the pie to the gourmet side now by making it in an individual “tart” style and adding a meringue topping with dollops of raspberry and mango purees, we’ll be sticking to their original recipe from the cookbook — topped off with whipped cream.

Key Lime Pie Cross-Section.

So let’s get baking! But before we get started, I do want to warn you that this is a plan ahead recipe. You need at least 3-4 hours in the fridge, but better if left in overnight before serving!

It’s actually a super quick and easy recipe to make. It will take you more time to cool and chill the pie than it will to actually make it!

Ingredients.

Ingredients

-5 large egg yolks

-1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

-2/3 cup Key lime juice

-1 prepared 9-inch graham cracker pie crust (be fancy and make your own, or pick one up at the store)

-1 can of whipped cream

-1 lime to use as garnish

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: The Filling

- Separate egg yolks into a mixing bowl. (Save the whites to use later… like in a dreamy egg white omelet. Yum! Or, if you feel like getting a little bit more gourmet, make a meringue for the top like Olivia’s Café now serves it!)

Starting to separate egg yolks.

Egg yolks separated.

-Now it’s time to make the filling. I found it easier to use a hand mixer on low to mix the ingredients for the filling, but you can also use a whisk if you don’t have a hand mixer. Just get ready to work those biceps!

Hey, a workout isn’t such a bad idea before enjoying a piece of this pie! ;-)

Filling Ingredients.

- Gently whisk the yolks together in a bowl; do not let them foam.

Mixing eggs.

- Stirring constantly, slowly blend in the sweetened condensed milk.

Mixing eggs with sweetened condensed milk.

- Keep stirring as you add the Key lime juice.

Pouring in key lime juice.

Step 3: Assemble the Pie

- Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust. The filling is already super thick and creamy thanks to your egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk! You might want to use a spatula to scrape the bowl…you won’t want to miss an ounce of this pie filling!

Filling in mixing bowl next to empty crust.

Uncooked filling in crust.

- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until set.

Step 4: Chilling the Pie

- Remove the pie from the oven. It will look golden and yummy, but it’s not quite ready, yet! Trust me, it’s way worth the wait!

Cooked Pie.

- Cool to room temperature on a wire rack. This part is really important! If you don’t let the pie completely cool to room temperature before you refrigerate, your pie will crack! Think of it this way, if you take a burning hot glass dish and throw it under cold water, what will it do? Yep, it will crack. The same thing will happen to your pie if you don’t let it cool before putting it in the fridge.

-Chill, covered, until very cold. You can use the plastic cover that your pie crust came with to cover for the fridge!

Cooked pie -- covered and in fridge.

Step 5: Serve!

-Serve chilled, cut into wedges. Cut up cute lil pieces of lime and place them on top of the whipped cream for an ooh la la presentation!

Perfect slice of pie!

Key Lime pie slice.

This is a great dessert to make in bulk! Make 2 or 3 at a time. That way you have a pie for your family, one to win brownie points with the boss at the office, and one to show a friend how much you love them! Or feel free to enjoy them all yourself as you dream about your next trip to Florida.

Aw, can’t you just picture the palm trees at your favorite Disney resort pool and Cinderella Castle calling your name? ;-)

Now it’s time to enjoy a little slice of Florida! You’ve earned it!

A Few Lessons I Learned…

As with all recipes, you usually find helpful ways to make it easier to make them during the process. This section is filled with helpful hints that I learned while making this recipe and doing research on some of the ingredients! I hope they help you, too!

-Key lime juice can usually be found in the juice aisle of your local grocery store. Look for a plastic bottle of it close to the bottles of lemon and lime juices.

-Do not substitute regular lime juice for this recipe. It is not the same thing! You want to make sure you are using Key lime juice!

-Make sure you are buying a 9 inch pre-made crust. Keebler has been making a larger crust giving you 2 extra servings. Your filling from this recipe won’t be enough to fill this extra-large crust. If it’s the only thing you can find, no worries, just plan to fill the difference with more whipped cream when you are ready to serve!

-Do not spray whipped cream over the whole pie to serve. It gets messy when trying to cut and doesn’t hold together long. While you’re at it, don’t do the whipped cream ahead of time! Only put whipped cream on individual slices as you are ready to serve them. Trust me, you’ll have a better presentation!:)

Check out even more DIY Disney Recipes here!

Have you tried the Key Lime Pie at Olivia’s Cafe? If you make this traditional recipe, let us know!

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16 Comments

  1. Nicola says:

    hmmmm, so whats the difference between regular lime juice and key lime juice? We dont have key lime in the UK. :-(

  2. Prof. Brainard says:

    Nicola, a key lime is a different fruit from a regular lime; it has a yellower rind when ripe, is smaller and more acidic, and its flavor is more tart than a usual lime. Never having made a key lime pie (though having eaten many), I’ll defer to A.J. on the subject of whether regular lime juice might be substituted in the recipe. (Also, I’m guessing that you can probably order key lime juice online.)

  3. Olivia says:

    It sure looks nice in the photos Key Lime Pie..but can you please tell how long it takes for the pie to be made and ready to serve? What’s the approximate time frame. Thanks

  4. John Grigas says:

    This is a terrific recipe, and the photo makes me want to try it “tart style.” Do you think a muffin pan would work for this?

    Also, if don’t have a pie shell, don’t be afraid to make your own graham cracker crust. It’s easy in a pinch, again with 3 ingredients – crushed graham cracker, butter, and sugar. (Which works for us, ’cause we think that more crust = better pie!)

  5. Beth in MI says:

    Where did you get your egg separator? I love it.

  6. Dani says:

    I am a Florida Native too!!! I just love my state, which is why I started my blog and jumping into the blogosphere. It is great to hear from other Natives. I LOVE key lime anything. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your experience.

  7. CanadiansLoveWDW says:

    i have a graham cracker crust at home.. just need to stop and get some key lime juice.. yummmmmy

  8. Essie says:

    I’m going to make dinner for my brother’s b-day and he doesn’t want a cake, but he likes key lime pie. This is perfect and I can’t wait to make it for him. Thank you so much!

  9. Tracy says:

    Oh yum!!! I wonder, can you find the recipe for the grits served at Goods to Go? I’m assuming they’re probably the same as the Olivia’s Cafe grits!

  10. Carol E. says:

    Thanks for all of your fantastic comments:

    Nicola-Do not use regular lime juice. True Florida people will just die:) Out West, they go by the name Mexican limes. Key limes are rounder and much smaller than regular Parisian limes, turning yellow sometimes when very ripe. They have a fruitier more tropical flavor than regular limes. You can use regular limes if you have to, but seriously, lime juice isn’t as tart and changes the flavor of the pie. They are also less acidic, so it might not create the reaction that’s needed to thicken the pie. You can order key lime juice here: http://www.keylimejuice.com/ This is one of the brands I use. The other brand I use is: http://www.keylimeshop.com/

    Olivia- it only takes about 5-10 minutes max to create the filling. Then it will take 12-15 minutes to bake. Let it cool on the counter for about 30 minutes before putting it in the fridge. Then chill for about 3-4 hours. For best results, chill over night. If you are in a hurry, try putting it in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour. Just make sure you let it cool on the counter for about 30 minutes before chilling, or your filling will crack.

    John- Yes, a muffin pan works just fine to create tarts. I’ve also made mini tarts in a mini muffin pan before. I love making my own crust. This recipe calls for a premade crust, but a homemade buttery crust is always better! Just remember, you have to cook it first, then put it in the oven again with the filling. It doubles your prep and baking time. For anyone wanting to make one, here’s a link to a great recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/336402/graham-cracker-crust

    Beth- I LOVE LOVE LOVE my egg separator! It’s from Pampered Chef!

    Dani- thanks for sharing! It’s nice to meet another Florida native! Let us know how it turns out for you!

    CanadiansLoveWDW-how did it turn out? What part of Canada are you from? Did you have trouble finding the key lime juice?

    Essie-Tell him we said happy birthday!!! Enjoy this recipe, it’s definitely a favorite! Let us know how it turns out!

    Tracy- Here’s the recipe:
    OLIVIA’S CREAMY GRITS
    Ingredients:
    5 ½ cups Grits
    3 qts Water
    3 qts Heavy Cream
    2 sticks Butter
    Salt and Pepper (To Taste)

    Directions:
    Add all ingredients to a heavy bottomed sauce pot.
    Bring to a boil and turn down to a low simmer.
    Cook very slowly for 45 minutes and stir very often.

  11. W.D. says:

    Key Limes are very thin skinned and hate even a frost. In Tampa, you have to protect them from the cold. The easiest way to grow them — other than going to the Florida Keys (the reason for the Key in the name) — is to get a dwarf, put it in a container you can move, and plan to move the compact tree inside when the weather is cold.

    And don’t miss this point: Key Lime trees are thorny. If thorns are not your thing, then Key Limes are not for you.

    When asked to contrast the store (Persian) lime from a Key, I usually mention the Persian lime has few seeds (and can be seedless), grows on a tree without thorns, and produces larger fruit that is easier to use in the kitchen (because of the thick skin and lack of seeds). The Key has a great aroma, is extremely juicy (I usually cut it on a plate so I can slide the juice on the plate into what I am making), and has a unique taste.

    I have grown both. It is nice to pick a fresh lime when you need one. If I only had room for one plant it would be a Key. The seeds are a mess, and you want to avoid metal strainers for separating out the seeds, but that aroma and flavor is the best. Some people like to put a lemon into the disposal to freshen the aroma. I prefer a Key Lime.

    W.D.

  12. Jen says:

    While living in Florida I fell in love with Key Lime Pie. I’m definitely going to try this recipe…maybe even tart style like at Olivia’s Café! Yum!

  13. Alan says:

    This is a great pie for beginning bakers or those who don’t like to bake. I’ve made dozens of these and they always work out. The recipe is simple and the results are eye and taste bud catching. The tart lime and sweet whipped cream are perfect.

  14. Noerdax says:

    I live in Canada and couldn’t find Key lime juice but I did find Fresh Key Lime
    20 minutes to press 4 dozens Key lime, there isn’t much juice in one.
    It only took 10-15 minutes to make the filling after that.

    It’s currently in the oven…

  15. Carol E. says:

    WD- thanks for the info!!

    Jen-both are fantastic! Enjoy making it!!

    Alan- very true about being a great pie for beginners. I love making this pie, so easy, but great feedback from everyone who gets to try it!!!

    Noerdax- I’m so glad you took the time to juice them!!! How did it turn out??

  16. Barb says:

    My family prefers the Keebler Shortbread crust to the traditional graham cracker crust. It has a more neutral flavor so the key lime flavor really shines. I also won’t use the canned whipped cream, I make my own whip cream since it’s so easy to do and tastes so much better than the canned stuff for this pie.

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