Foodie Friday: Key Limes & Key Lime Tarts

As I was walking the aisles of the grocery store this big bag of key limes was calling my name for $1.29 

Who could pass that up?

Here is what I know about these little puppies:

Foodie Friday: Key Limes

Large lime, common lime & key lime

New Food: Key Limes

Category: Citrus

Ideal season to purchase: Summer!

How to select: Look for smooth skinned key limes and some say that the yellow key limes are actually sweeter than the green ones. Often you will find them in a bag or container in the produce section so you may not have to choose each individual lime. 

Where to buy: Regular, specialty or Mexican supermarket. Additionally, you can use bottled key lime juice during off seasons and they are supposed to be pretty comparable. Fresh is always better though! 

Fun facts:
  • Key limes get their name from the Florida Keys where they flourish, although most of today's key limes come from Mexico
  • Key limes give an acidic kick to drinks like limeades
  • Key limes are ripe when yellow but usually sold commercially when green. This is true of all limes and it was originally done for marketing so limes wouldn't be confused with lemons!
  • Key limes are also called Mexican limes
Stronger, more acidic, and more tart than the average Persian lime [the regular kind].

How to prepare:
Same as any lime but beware since key limes have more seeds than regular limes and they are very small!

Storage: One week on your counter or several weeks in the fridge

Recipe suggestions:

Homemade limeades, regular or slushy style. Key lime cupcakes, key lime pies or tarts. 

I made key lime tarts because I think anything mini is cuter!

Start by making a homemade graham cracker crust. I usually use premade crusts but this was so much more flavorful and fun to try. It also saved money since I already graham crackers, butter and sugar at home. 

Crush the graham crackers in a bag with rolling pin or meat tenderizer. You can also use a food processor. Directions call for crusts to be into real small crumbs but mine had some chunks and I liked it that way!

Then add your butter and sugar. Stir together and then press into your pan. Bake and your done!

To make the filling:

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so it is easier to mix together. If it's not you can carefully try softening in microwave or stove but watch it every second so it doesn't burn! 

Juice about 8 key limes for their juice. Be sure to do it in a bowl first so that no little seeds make it into the pies. 8 is a nice tart but still mild flavor. That is how my family likes it. More tart recipes might be more like 12 limes. I estimate each of my key limes made about 1 tablespoon of lime juice. 

Mix cream cheese with sugar, lime juice, green food coloring and at the very end, cool whip. 

Pour over prebaked crust. Let set in fridge for at least 2 hours. Grate lime peel over top and place key lime for decoration! **Note, make sure to grate your lime peel right before you serve it, I did mine before and some of the peel turned brown. 

These made 8 quiche/tart pans full or you could probably make 1 regular pie pan size. [The mini are so much cuter though! It lets everyone have their own] You could even go mini on these and make twice as many.

These honestly melt in your mouth they are so good! And very refreshing for a summer treat!

Key Lime Tarts
The Apron Gal


Graham Cracker Crust:

-1 package graham crackers [about 8-10 crackers]
-6 TBS butter, melted
-1/3 cup sugar


-1.5 pound cream cheese or 3 bars /24 oz
-8-10 key limes or 7-8 TBS key lime juice
-1/4 cup sugar
-green food coloring
-1 container Cool Whip, softened


Crush graham crackers. Mix together with melted butter and sugar. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes. 

Mix room temperature cream cheese with key lime juice, sugar and green food coloring. You want a nice light green color so 1-3 drops will do it. Fold in Cool Whip. Add more sugar/lime juice/coloring if desired. 

Pour filling into prebaked crusts. Refrigerate to set about 2 hours. 

Serve with lime slice on top and grated lime peel. 

Makes 8 small tarts. 



  1. These are making my mouth water, I love anything key lime. I'm making these as soon as I get back to UT. And it's funny that you posted this cause just the other day at the store, P asked me what the difference was in limes vs. key limes (or if there was a difference). I had no clue, but now I know!

  2. I just found your site and I LOVE it!! These Key Lime tarts look amazing!!!


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