Key lime pie is a delightful dessert known for its tangy and sweet flavor. It is a quintessential treat that embodies the essence of the Florida Keys.
Made with a creamy lime filling and a graham cracker crust, this pie has a devoted following of food enthusiasts who savor its unique combination of flavors.
However, to fully enjoy this mouthwatering creation, it is essential to understand how to preserve its freshness. One common question that arises among key lime pie lovers is, “How long does key lime pie last in the fridge?”
In this article, we will explore the shelf life of this beloved dessert, offer tips for extending its freshness, and discuss the option of freezing to enjoy key lime pie even longer.
So, if you are a key lime pie aficionado or simply a dessert enthusiast, read on to discover the secrets of keeping your key lime pie at its best.
How to make key lime pie at home?
Making key lime pie at home is a breeze. To make a delicious key lime pie at home, here is a quick and easy method;
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest (optional)
- Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar. Mix until the crumbs are evenly coated with butter.
- Press the graham cracker mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish to form the crust.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they become slightly thickened.
- Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk while continuing to whisk the egg yolks.
- Stir in the freshly squeezed key lime juice and key lime zest if using. The mixture will thicken slightly.
- Pour the lime filling into the prepared graham cracker crust.
- Bake the pie in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly.
- Allow the pie to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate it for at least 2-3 hours to set.
- Once the pie is chilled and set, you can garnish it with whipped cream and extra key lime zest if desired.
- Slice and serve your homemade key lime pie.
Key lime pie variations
Key lime pie is a classic dessert loved for its zesty and sweet flavor but there are several delightful variations that offer unique twists on this iconic treat. Here are some popular key lime pie variations:
- Frozen Key Lime Pie: This variation is perfect for hot summer days. It is essentially a key lime pie that is frozen, creating a refreshing and ice cream-like texture.
- Mini Key Lime Pies: Make adorable individual servings by using small tartlet or muffin tins. Mini key lime pies are perfect for parties and gatherings.
- Coconut Key Lime Pie: Add shredded coconut to the graham cracker crust or sprinkle it on top of the pie for a tropical twist. Some recipes also incorporate coconut milk for extra flavor.
- Key Lime Cheesecake: This variation combines the creaminess of cheesecake with the tangy key lime flavor which results in a rich and decadent dessert.
- Chocolate Key Lime Pie: For a chocolate lover’s twist, drizzle chocolate sauce over your key lime pie or add a chocolate cookie crust.
- Swirled Key Lime Pie: Create an eye-catching design by swirling raspberry, blueberry, or strawberry compote into the key lime filling for a burst of fruity flavor.
How long does key lime pie last in the fridge?
Key lime pie, whether it is store-bought or homemade can be stored in the fridge for only a limited period of time.
When it comes to store-bought key lime pies, they are typically prepared with preservatives and follow strict quality control which can extend their shelf life. On average, an unopened store-bought key lime pie will stay fresh in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.
In contrast, homemade key lime pies, while being incredibly delicious, may have a slightly shorter shelf life due to the absence of preservatives.
When properly stored in an airtight container, a homemade key lime pie can maintain its quality for approximately 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. It is best to have key lime pie within this period for optimal taste and texture.
How to keep key lime pie?
To store a key lime pie, follow these quick and super simple steps written below:
- Cover: Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to tightly cover the pie, ensuring it’s airtight to prevent moisture loss and odors from affecting the flavor.
- Label: Label the container with the date to help you keep track of its freshness.
- Refrigerate: Place the covered key lime pie in the refrigerator ideally on a shelf where it won’t be crushed or bumped.
- For Longer Storage: If you need to store it longer, consider freezing the pie slices or the whole pie.
Can you freeze key lime pie?
Yes, of course you can freeze key lime pie to extend its shelf life. Freezing is indeed the most effective way to preserve the pie for longer periods, making it a convenient option for enjoying this delicious dessert at your convenience.
If handled properly, frozen key lime pie can last for up to three months without a slightest change in texture and flavor.
How to freeze key lime pie?
To freeze key lime pie quickly and effectively, follow these steps:
- Allow the key lime pie to cool to room temperature.
- Once it Is cooled, cover the pie with plastic wrap. Make sure it is in direct contact with the pie’s surface to minimize air exposure.
- Wrap the pie again with aluminum foil, ensuring it is tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn.
- Label the pie with the date so you can keep track of its freshness.
- Place the wrapped pie in the freezer.
- When you are ready to enjoy it, allow the frozen key lime pie to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Can you reheat key lime pie?
Yes, you can reheat the key lime pie. Key lime pie is typically enjoyed chilled, so reheating is not a common practice. However, if you prefer a warm pie, you can gently reheat the slices in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or warm them in a preheated oven at a low temperature for a few minutes.
How to repurpose leftover key lime pie?
Leftover key lime pie can be creatively repurposed into numerous new and delicious treats. Here are some most common ideas that you can give a try:
- Key Lime Pie Parfait: Crumble leftover pie into small pieces and layer them with whipped cream and fresh fruit in a glass to create a delightful parfait.
- Key Lime Pie Milkshake: Making a yummy milkshake is also a great idea. Blend a slice of key lime pie with vanilla ice cream and a bit of milk to make a creamy key lime pie milkshake.
- Key Lime Pie Trifle: Layer chunks of key lime pie with whipped cream or custard in a trifle dish, and top it off with fresh fruit or nuts.
- Key Lime Pie Ice Cream: Another good option is making an ice cream. Crumble the pie into softened vanilla ice cream and mix it well. Refreeze the mixture for a unique key lime pie ice cream.
- Key Lime Pie Pancakes: Create a breakfast twist by adding crumbled key lime pie into your pancake or waffle batter for a sweet and tangy morning treat.
- Key Lime Pie Bars: Lastly, key lime pie bars can be a great snack. Repurpose the pie into bite-sized bars by cutting it into squares, dipping them in melted chocolate, and allowing them to set.
How to tell if key lime pie has gone bad?
Like any other food, key lime pie can go bad if not stored or handled properly. Here are some signs that will help you determine if a key lime pie has gone bad:
- Off Odor: If the pie emits an unusual or sour odor, it is a strong indicator that it has gone bad. Key lime pie should have a fresh and citrusy scent.
- Mold Growth: Visible mold on the surface of the pie is a clear sign that it is no longer safe to eat. Discard the pie immediately if you see any mold.
- Texture Changes: If the pie’s texture has significantly changed with the filling becoming excessively watery, curdled, or separated, it’s a sign of spoilage.
- Color Alterations: A key lime pie’s color may darken over time but any unusual or drastic color changes such as browning or discoloration can indicate spoilage.
- Unusual Taste: If the pie tastes rancid, sour, or has a strange off-flavor, it is best to discard it.
Tips to prolong shelf life of key lime pie
To prolong the shelf life of your key lime pie, follow these concise and helpful tips:
- Store the pie in the refrigerator as soon as possible after serving or making it to slow down the growth of bacteria.
- Place the pie in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air which can lead to spoilage.
- Keep the pie away from excess moisture or condensation. Place a paper towel on top before sealing to absorb any moisture.
- Label the pie with the date it was made or stored to help you keep track of its freshness.
- Avoid placing the pie near strong-smelling foods in the fridge as it can absorb their odors.
- Maintain a steady refrigerator temperature ideally around 34-38°F to ensure the pie stays fresh.
- If you won’t consume the pie within a few days, freezing is a great option.
Is key lime pie healthy?
Key lime pie is a delicious treat but not considered a healthy dessert. It typically contains high levels of sugar and saturated fats from ingredients like sweetened condensed milk and buttery crust. So, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
How do you know key lime pie is done?
To determine if a key lime pie is done, gently shake the pie or tap the side of the pie dish. It should have a slight jiggle in the center which is quite similar to gelatin while the edges should be set.
How do you thicken a key lime pie?
To thicken a key lime pie filling, make sure you have properly combined the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk, creating a creamy base. Additionally, using freshly squeezed key lime juice and not overmixing the filling will help prevent excessive liquid content.
Can you fix a runny pie?
Fixing a runny key lime pie can be challenging but there are some simple options. You can try refrigerating the pie to allow it to set further or you might gently reheat it in the oven for a short time to help the filling thicken.
Key lime pie is a delectable dessert that can be enjoyed for 5-7 days when stored and handled correctly.
Whether you opt to refrigerate or freeze it, knowing how to handle it and consistent temperature maintenance is key to preserving its freshness.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can savor the delightful flavors of key lime pie well beyond its initial serving.
Patti began her writing career as a staff writer for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Still based in Florida, Patti serves as editor for Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap. She regularly writes about environmental, home improvement, education, recycling, art, architecture, wildlife, travel and pet topics.