Lactose-Free Key Lime Pie


Well, I said I was going to do it and despite a long list of things I should have been doing instead, I did it.

I made a key lime pie. And I made it so that I could eat it, no less. (Since I’m lactose intolerant, key lime pie has long been off my list of Pies I Can Eat because of the sweetened condensed milk (read: more milky evil per square ounce).)

But I enjoyed every morsel of this pie. Yum, yum, extra yum.

So, without further ado, here’s a tasty recipe, good for the lactose intolerant or anyone wanting a key lime pie made without sweetened condensed milk, but also good for anyone. It honestly tastes just like a regular key lime pie.

If you’d like a printable pdf of the recipe, you can get that here.

Lactose-Free Key Lime Pie

Tastes Like Regular Pie, But Less Evil (For The Lactose Intolerant, That Is)

Prep time: about 35-40 minutes
Bake time: about 5 minutes (at 425 degrees F)

** SPECIAL NOTE: Once you start making this pie, the steps roll right along. Be sure you have everything measured and ready before you begin the first step (otherwise you might burn your filling or it might get lumpy).

Lime Filling Ingredients Meringue Ingredients
  • 3 egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice (about 8 key limes or 2-3 regular ones, or you can get key lime juice at the store)
  • zest of one lime
  • 3 egg whites (use the saved whites from the filling)
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 tbsp sugar (9 tbsp for sweeter meringue)

You’re on your own for the crust. I used a ready-made graham crust because I am lazy. You can make a pie crust and pre-bake it or make your own graham crust or whatever.


  1. Separate the eggs, beating the yolks in a medium bowl and setting aside the whites in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (about 5-6 minutes).
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the beaten egg yolks, still stirring constantly. Cook (still stirring) about two minutes then stir in the butter, lime juice, and lime zest. Once everything is nicely combined and smooth, remove from heat and let cool slightly while you prepare the meringue.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. (You can do it at the beginning but I prefer to wait until I’m about ten minutes away from needing it.)
  5. To make the meringue, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until the meringue is stiff and glossy. (When you think you’re done, give it another minute or so to really make the meringue stiff and glossy.)
  6. Pour the lime filling into your pie shell (if you’re using a pastry crust, it should be pre-baked). Top with meringue, spreading it evenly and to the edges of the pastry to prevent shrinkage.
  7. Bake pie at 425 degrees for 5 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour then chill 3-6 hours before serving. Cover for longer storage.

It’s best if you make it while wearing a key-lime apron.

I’m just saying.


9 Responses to “Lactose-Free Key Lime Pie”

  1. 1 Toni

    Key lime is my favorite but strangely enough I’ve never made it for myself. Perhaps this recipe will spur me to action.

  2. 2 Janet

    You know what? I have never eaten key lime pie. Or made it (obviously). Maybe I will try this summer.

  3. 3 hub

    Yeah, I had never tried it before the other night when my lovely, wonderful wife made it for us. WOW. WOW!! Ummm, we should add a new food group to the pyramid.

    And I hear lemon meringue is pretty damn good, too. (Sometimes pronunciation can be difficult, I know, so for those of you who care, the immediately preceding sentence reads, “Julie… I’ve never tried lemon meringue, either, will you make me some?”).

  4. 4 Julie

    It is pretty good. And by pretty good I mean I had two slices already today: one with lunch and one as an afternoon snack. Graham crusts don’t last all that long and I’d hate to see key lime pie go to waste because we didn’t eat it fast enough.

  5. 5 Tom

    This was EXCEPTIONAL!! I was stunned by how good it tasted!! And it came out looking just like yours out of the pictures! My girlfriend is lactose intolerant, and I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the lactose version. Again, kudos!

    Instructions were very easy to follow, everything was proportioned just right, really awesome!

  6. My brother recommended I may like this web site. He used to be totally right.
    This publish truly made my day. You can not imagine just how so much time I had spent for
    this information! Thank you!

  7. 7 Katherine

    I made this pie, and it was fine the first day, but the second it got soupy, even being in the fridge, just wondering if you have any idea why.

    • Hi, Katherine,

      Unfortunately, I have no idea. Sorry!


      Julie Green

      Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Letterer, and Entrepreneur at Up Up Creative

  8. 9 Alysse

    I couldn’t get my filling to thicken at all. Any tricks?

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