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Kermit’s Key Lime Pie


Another heavy hitter in the Florida Keys Key lime pie ring is Kermit of Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. He also has a recipe for coconut topping that we’re dying to try with his base recipe, which you can find here.

Notes

Serving suggestions: Traditionally, Key lime pie is enjoyed plain, with a whipped cream topping, or with a meringue topping. For an interesting variation, drizzle chocolate sauce, mango sauce, and/or raspberry sauce over a slice of Key lime pie. The complementary flavors are sure to please.

Ingredients

  • 9 -inch graham cracker piecrust
  • Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 -cup Kermit’s Key Lime Juice

Servings8

Calories Per Serving1501

Folate equivalent (total)122µg31%

Riboflavin (B2)0.6mg35.4%


Recipe: Key Lime Pie

In April, my dad and I embarked on a road trip through the Florida Keys. What started out as a good old-fashioned drive from Key Largo to Key West turned into a quest to find the best slice of key lime pie.

We ate a lot of key lime pie. We ate it as pie and on sticks. We tried it in jars and covered in syrup. We tried it with meringue and without. We ate it outside and inside. We even tried a gluten-free version. We ate it every which way and, while each had their own distinct flavor and texture, there was one that stole our hearts.

The Best Key Lime Pie in the Florida Keys

The final stop on our key lime pie quest was Kermit’s, which is said to be the holy grail of key lime pie. We tried blueberry, strawberry, gluten-free, Belgian chocolate-dipped, and of course good-old fashioned traditional served up with a dab of homemade whipped cream. No meringue here!

Here is the recipe for their classic key lime pie. Try it and let us know what you think. Do you agree that it is the best?


Key Lime Pie

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe ships its famous Key Lime Pie nationwide on Goldbelly! Located on the historic Key West Bight, Kermit’s Key lime pies are the real deal. Made with their in-house key lime juice and topped with fluffy whipped cream, this classic Key lime pie features a traditional graham-cracker crust and a rich, tart filling that is just scrumptious.

When Kermit Carpenter opened his namesake Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe in 1993, he was on a mission to serve the best Key lime pie in Key West. Located near Mallory Square (where you can often find Kermit jokingly pretending to toss pies at tourists), Kermit’s Key lime pies and Key lime pie on a stick are the real deal.

Each pie is 9" and serves 8-10 people

Filling: Kermit’s Key Lime Juice, sweetened condensed milk, (concentrated whole milk and sugar), and egg yolks
Crust: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, monoitrate (vitamin B1, riboflavin (Vitamin B2), folic acid, vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated soybean and or cottonseed oils, sugar, graham flour, corn syrup, salt, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, monocalcium phosphate), molasses, hydrogenated vegetable fat, sugar, milk, proteins, stabilizers, sorbitol syrup (E420ii), hydroxypropyl, cellulose, sodium alginate, emulsifiers, mono and diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides of fatty acids, soy lecithin, salt, flavoring, color: beta carotene.

Our Products are produced on equipment that also make products containing tree nuts, soy, eggs, milks and wheats

  • This pie is made fresh, frozen and then carefully packaged with dry ice. It may thaw partially during transit
  • Upon arrival, place the pie in the freezer. It can be kept frozen for up to 60 days
  • To serve, thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes
  • Once thawed, this pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
  • Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe ships Tuesday through Thursday of each week
  • Orders cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes
  • Orders cannot be shipped to Alaska or Hawaii. Sorry guys!
  • Have more questions about Shipping? Read our Shipping FAQ page.

You can send this item to up to 15 different addresses using our regular checkout. Looking to send this item to more than 15 people? Have our Corporate Gifting Team assist you.


We’ve seen it all … Frozen. Dipped in chocolate. We have tasted vegan key lime pies using sour cream, vegan cream cheese, and additions such as mango, peanut butter, Nutella, avocados, and ice cream. Some crusts are made of all kinds of nuts, oreo cookies, cheerios, ginger snaps, pretzels, and animal crackers. We have seen elaborate toppings using fruit – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and everything in between. We’ve seen sauces made of honey, caramel, blueberry, fudge, or just cream Anglaise sauce. Whatever your fancy, you can usually do it with key lime pie.

Based on our tastings, here are our findings as we searched for the best key lime pie in the Florida Keys:

Mrs. Macs Kitchen, MM 99.4

Mrs. Macs Kitchen, Key Largo

Key Largo’s Mrs. Macs Kitchen is our first stop when we reach the Keys. You’ll love the vibe of tourists and locals, surrounded by the down-home décor of license plates hanging on the walls along with historical mementos and pictures. Mrs. Macs, which boasts “world-famous key lime pie” has a secret recipe. Everything is homemade – graham cracker crust and a good balance of tart and sweet filling, except the whipped cream.

The Green Turtle Inn, MM 81.2

Green Turtle Key Lime Pie, Islamorada

The Green Turtle, a long time Islamorada landmark, is a restaurant where turtle soup and steaks were legendary before the endangered species was banned from commercial fishing. Still a well-known island hangout, the Green Turtle has a key lime pie that we consider a “chef’s special” on the fancier side. The macadamia nut crust is covered with a denser style filling topped with coconut whipped cream, berry syrup, and sprinkled with fruit.

Lazy Days Restaurant MM 79.9

Lazy Days Restaurant Key Lime Pie, Islamorada, (courtesy Lazy Days)

Considered one of the best restaurants in the Keys, Lazy Days is known especially for fresh fish. This Islamorada oceanfront restaurant specializes in cooking your “catch of the day” if you have been out fishing or diving for lobster. The key lime pies are all made on the property, serving a huge slice with graham cracker crust topped with creamy, sweet, filling, and medium tartness. It makes an ideal dessert after fresh seafood.

Mangrove Mamas, MM 20

Mangrove Mamma’s Key Lime Pie, Sugarloaf Key

Another favorite, Mangrove Mama’s on Sugarloaf Key serves quite a tasty pie. The crust is homemade. (The chef uses vanilla and cinnamon in the crust.) The pie filling is creamy, thick, sweet, and medium tart. The chef told me he also uses honey and vanilla in the pie filling. The whipped cream is not homemade.

Blue Heaven, Key West

Blue Heaven’s Key Lime Pie, Key West (photo, Aphelix Langston)

Found in Key West’s Bahamian Village, Blue Heaven was recommended to us more than any single eatery, especially for the key lime pie. It’s 100% homemade with a graham cracker crust, the filling is light and piled high with fresh meringue, not an easy topping to find in Key West where it seems most pies have whipped cream.

Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop, Key West

Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop, Key West (courtesy, Kermit’s)

Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop, owned by Kermit Carpenter, is a Key West institution. He is known to stand outside his brightly painted yellow and green store (which has key lime products such as pies, jellies, salsas, and soaps) throwing pies at people for fun. His pies are light, fluffy, and creamy. The recipe is heavy on the egg yolks, which makes it very light. He tries to source fresh key limes from throughout the state and while the crust is not homemade, the whipped cream is. He also features key lime pie on a stick dipped in chocolate.

(NOTE: There are two Kermit locations in Key West: the “Original” is in Old Town at the corner of Greene & Elizabeth and the other is on Duval Street near Mallory Square at the corner of Front & Duval … BONUS: there is Kermit’s Production Facility and Showroom in DeLand, Florida in West Volusia County – 30 minutes northeast of Orlando).

Hog Fish Grill, Stock Island

Hogfish Bar & Grill Key Lime Pie, Stock Island

The Hogfish Bar & Grill is a funky tiki-hut restaurant found just north of Key West on Stock Island. Situated near the boat docks, they have very fresh fish and outdoor dining. They get their pies from the Key West Key Lime Pie Company. The pie is huge and the filling stands several inches tall. It has a homemade crust with a good balance of sweet and tart … loaded with whipped cream on top.

So after this exhaustive trip (ha, ha), we have some recommendations for you for making your own best key lime pie.


The Best Key Lime Pie

Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen served an almost frozen version with whipped cream topping.

This past year Jack and I have been traveling throughout the state of Florida searching for the best sweets in the state for my upcoming book Florida Sweets.

Meringue topped pastry crust from the Key Fish House. MM102.4

One of the sweetest road trips we took was tasting our way through the Florida Keys looking for the best Key Lime Pie.

For all things Key lime in Key West try Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.

No one can say for sure when the very first Key lime pie was made, but one theory puts it in the late 1800s with Miss Sally, a cook for an early Key West millionaire, William Curry. She used her culinary knowhow to create a dessert using a lemon pie recipe as a guide. Or did she get the idea from the sponge divers long at sea, with a list of rations including crackers for a crust, eggs, sweetened condensed milk and Key limes for the filling? Most likely a combination of the two led to the early popularity of Key lime pie. The high acid content in the Key lime helps to “cook” the yolks in a classic yet nontraditional manner through chemical reactions that change the texture of the yolk. This would work well while at sea, without any heat for cooking the custard-like filling. Canned milk eliminated the need for refrigeration or ice on the boat. Graham crackers, created by Sylvester Graham in the 1880s, are commonly used today for the crust, but crushed soda crackers or any cracker on board may have been used for the crust in the pie made on the open waters. Rolling out a pie crust, whipping up a meringue topping and baking the pie would most likely occur in a home kitchen. With Miss Sally’s knowledge of cooking, she could have heard about the combination from the sponge divers or just tinkered with pie recipes to develop the famous Key lime pie. But one thing is for sure: it is the unique combination of egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk and Key lime juice that has the culinary lock on one of the most perfect sweets in Florida, possibly the most popular authentic American dessert. Florida Sweets


Effortless Key Lime Pie Recipe

This simple recipe makes a 9-inch pie and requires no baking.

Ingredients:

9-inch graham cracker piecrust
11-ounce jar Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Filling
12-ounce container Cool Whip

Preparation:

Fold one room temperature jar of pie filling into a 12-ounce container of Cool Whip. Using mixer, whip to a smooth consistency.

Pour into a 9-inch graham cracker crust.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve frozen. For a variation, pour the mixture into a parfait glass and freeze until firm. Enjoy the parfait as is or top with whipped cream and shavings of dark chocolate. For additional toppings for the whipped cream, try a slice on fresh mango, a fresh whole strawberry, or fresh whole red raspberries. The complimentary flavors are sure to please.

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Effortless Key Lime Pie Recipe

From Kermit’s Kitchen Serves 8 This simple recipe makes a 9-inch pie and requires no baking. Ingredients: 9-inch graham cracker piecrust 11-ounce jar Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Filling 12-ounce container Cool Whip Preparation: Fold one room temperature jar of pie filling into a 12-ounce container of Cool Whip. Using mixer, whip to a smooth consistency. [&hellip]

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Key Lime Pie

The story of Key lime pie is delightfully odd, including Cuban sponge “hookers”, mystery aunts, canned milk and curing. The classic filling: sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks & lime juice, has been around since the mid 1800s.

Key limes, those leathery little yellow-green golf balls otherwise known as Citrus aurantifolia, once thrived in the Keys as a commercial crop. That was before the local lime growers figured out they could make more money running tourist fishing boats, and sold off their groves. Key lime trees still grow in Key West backyards, but the big groves are in Mexico and other subtropical/tropical countries. (Cocktail-chat tidbit: Key limes are the most widely-grown commercial lime crop in the world, popular for their productivity and patience. The trees do very well under stress.)

According to historian Tom Hambright, the little limes’ earliest appearance in anything Key-Lime-pie-like, came by way of sponge hookers. This lot, out on small skiffs for days at a time “hooking” sponges in the waters around Key West, usually set out with provisions of canned sweetened condensed milk and Cuban bread. When the bread started to go stale, they’d soak it in the milk, adding wild bird or turtle eggs, and curing the protein as you would ceviche, by squeezing Key lime juice over the mess.

The segue to pie crust and home kitchens was helped along by an as-yet-unidentified Aunt Sally, who once worked in Key West’s William Curry Mansion. I chatted with David L. Sloan, author of “The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook,” who explained that Curry provisioned ships, and was thrilled with Borden’s invention of (non-spoilable) canned milk. Credited with being the first to bring sweetened condensed milk to the Keys, it’s likely Curry had a big store of it in his own larder for Aunt Sally to experiment with. The filling she developed with the milk, egg yolks & lime juice, endured. Here is my take on that recipe ( with permission from Sloan,) paired with a graham cracker crust and whipped cream. SOOOOOOO good!


Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Pie Shoppe

Kermit’s is a full service, 3-meal-a-day restaurant. Sandwiches, soups, salads, BBQ, fish, and breakfast all sound inviting in their menu descriptions. It’s also a market with every imaginable Key-lime product for sale, from bottles of Key lime juice to lip balm to shower gel.

I’ve never sampled any of the above. That’s because I come to this cheerful lime-green place at Key West’s historic seaport for two and only two things: Key lime pie and Key lime pie on a stick.

The pie is a Platonic ideal: Graham cracker crust supporting a satin-smooth filling that is a taste-buds thrilling harmony of tart buzz and sweet cream. There are doots of whipped cream on top, but they are pretty much irrelevant.

A simple slice of Key lime pie gets no better than this, but there is one possible way to improve it: put it on a stick, envelop it in dark chocolate, and freeze it. The result is one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten, the pie’s primal flavor mix underscored and enlivened by just enough (but not too much) chocolate. As you take a bite, the smooth, dark veil mixes with the pie’s cookie-crumble crust and sugar-citrus body, which, when frozen, attains the texture of ice cream just soft enough to blossom. The flavor mix and mouthfeel are incomparable.


Kermit's Key Lime Fudge

Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe ships its famous Key Lime Pie nationwide on Goldbelly! Rich, creamy fudge with the refreshing flavor of Key lime, made fresh in Kermit’s kitchen using their own authentic Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Juice.

Kermit Carpenter opened his eponymous Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe in 1993 with a goal to serve the best Key lime pie in Key West. Located on Duval Street (where you can often find Kermit jokingly pretending to toss pies at tourists), Kermit’s Key lime pies and Key lime pie on a stick are the real deal.

  • Choose up to 3 lbs. of Key Lime Fudge
  • Each pound of fudge comes in a Kermit’s branded box

Sugar, water, shortening, corn syrup solids, butter, cream powder, brown sugar, corn syrup, Kermit’s Key Lime Juice (from concentrate& less than 1/10% sodium benzoate as a preservative),key lime oil, food coloring, salt & potassium sorbate. Our products are produced on equipment that also makes products containing tree nuts, eggs, milk & wheat.

  • Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe ships Tuesday through Thursday of each week
  • Orders cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes
  • Orders shipped to Alaska and Hawaii will incur an additional $35 charge for shipping. Sorry guys!
  • Have more questions about Shipping? Read our Shipping FAQ page.

You can send this item to up to 15 different addresses using our regular checkout. Looking to send this item to more than 15 people? Have our Corporate Gifting Team assist you.


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