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Key Lime Pie with a Salty Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust

Key Lime Pie with a Salty Macadamia-Graham Cracker Crust

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An upgraded version of a traditional Key Lime Pie, this pie recipe starts with a pie crust layered with salty, roasted macadamia nuts and tops it with an ethereal version of key lime filling. It's reprinted from Eat Cake Naked: aphrodisiac desserts to heat up your love life by Amy Reiley and Delahna Flagg.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Dish Type pie
Cooking Style Baking
Seasonal Easter, Father's Day, Fourth of July, Holiday season, Mother's Day, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day
Ingredient Key Lime
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling 1 hr
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 8 servings
Author Amy Reiley


For the crust:

  • 9 graham crackers—full bars not broken into squares (approximately 4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted salted macadamia nuts
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter melted

For the pie filling:

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 14- oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup key lime juice*

For the topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream cold


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a standard (not deep-dish) 9-inch pie plate.
  • Put the graham crackers and macadamia nuts in a food processor and process until you have crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor--or if you have aggression issues you need to work out--first finely chop the macadamia nuts. Break the graham crackers into smaller pieces then zip into a large plastic bag with the chopped nuts and crush with a rolling pin.)
  • Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and mix in the sugar before pouring in the butter. Stir until the entire mixture is moistened by the butter and crumbly in texture. (You can do this in the food processor if you prefer.)
  • Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate, forming a neat edge.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is set and has turned slightly darker gold.
  • Set the crust aside to cool on a wire rack. Keep the oven set to 350 degrees.
  • While the crust is cooling, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks have formed. (It is important to ensure that all the eggs are whipped. Try to double-check the bottom of the bowl. If any of the egg isn’t whipped, it can cause your crust to go limp once the cake is baked. And limp crust is the culinary equivalent of… well, it’s bad.) Set the whites aside.
  • Using the mixer, beat the egg yolks until fluffy, about 5 minutes at a medium speed. Slowly pour in the condensed milk, beating at a medium speed for an additional 3 minutes.
  • 10. Slowly, with the mixer on the lowest speed, add the lime juice, mixing until combined.
  • 11. Carefully fold in the egg whites by hand. Do not overmix. Then carefully pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust.
  • 12. Bake for 10 minutes or until filling sets.
  • 13. Cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes and then an additional 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.
  • 14. While the pie is cooling, whip the cold cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • 15. To serve, smooth a layer of whipped cream over the top of the pie or spoon a generous dollop onto each slice.


*Fresh key lime juice will make the most vibrant, citrusy cake. But when fresh limes are unavailable, bottled key lime juice is a suitable substitute. It’s available from many grocers or on Amazon.com. We’ve also tried the cake with fresh limequats, which make a brilliantly tart variation.