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Is Publix key lime pie real?

That is, does it contain 100% key lime juice and not regular lime juice? It's not terrible but it's not nearly as over the top in flavor as the key lime pies I tried in Key West, and I know it's very common for piemakers to use regular lime juice in "key lime" pies.

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  1. It's Publix... NOTHING is real!

    3 Replies
    1. re: mialebven

      That sure seems like a cheap shot to me. I realize it is Publix but unless you know that they don't use key lime juice in their pies, you comment is uncalled for.


      1. re: RibDog

        yeah I think Publix has a pretty decent bakery for a chain grocery store. Their key lime pie is pretty good.

      2. re: mialebven

        The Publix bakery is a thousand times better than Albertsons (which in turn is better than Winn-dixie!) Publix actually produces very edible bakery goods made using recognisable ingredients - our SIL got all the food for our wedding party from Publix including the (very pretty but buttercream-standard) cake, and we certainly didn't feel slighted. I wouldn't put them down... I adore Publix's custardy desserts and I'm sure their key lime pie would be good too.

        1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

          this somehow sounds like Terry Hatcher on Seinfeld lol....

        2. I was told years ago that they use one of those cheap liquid egg products in them.

          1. Publix key lime pie is about the only Publix bakery product I don't like. My local store does "artisanal" breads such as rosemary black pepper or asiago or cranberry walnut that are wonderful. They do a creditable seeded rye, their English muffin bread makes great toast. But their key lime pie, like all bakery key lime pies tastes fake. I can make a decent key lime pie using key limes, persian limes or even that bottled Nellie andJoe stuff. I don't know what Publix uses, but it doesn't cut it in my house.

            10 Replies
            1. re: eimac

              I make my own KL pies from scratch also using the juice from Nellie and Joe. In fact, Publix carries this brand. Then with a few other items, it takes me about ten minutes, at the most, to put together and stick it in the oven. Easy, peasy. And the guests think you went to all kinds of trouble.


              1. re: RibDog

                I totally agree with you, Ribdog...a very good KL pie is about the easiest pie in the world to make yourself, maybe second easiest is pecan pie.

                1. re: Val

                  I previously confessed here how I screwed up apple pie, but I have screwed up pecan pie as well- way too heavy on the molasses. So after two ignominious defeats on the battlefield of pies, I surrender unconditionally.
                  I bought a Key Lime pie at Publix today for a dinner tomorrow and I had a chance to grill those in aprons in the bakery section about the integrity of the ingredients. They confessed that they no longer prepare them on site; they arrive from some mysterious central commissary they know nothing about. It looks pretty. If it's either really good or really bad, I'll report back.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    All four of us, after a huge dinner last night of lobster bisque, shrimp scampi, and chili rellenos, thought it was quite passable.

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Some day, Veggo, you might just take the plunge and post Your recipe for chili rellenos. Some day.

                2. re: RibDog

                  Ahhhh, Ribdog, I do the same thing but Nellie and Joe is not real key lime juice - check the lable!

                  1. re: sunsuze

                    My label says key lime juice concentrate, and sodium benozate as a preservative, so not sure what you mean...

                    Anyway, you can all come over to my house, because I have a key lime tree that has many many fruits on it right now, and we already have four frozen homegrown key lime pies in the freezer. :)

                    1. re: joan

                      If I come over, it will be for the seafood at Mid-Peninsula. Yum!!!

                      BTW Joan, congratulations on the marriage of your daughter recently.


                      1. re: RibDog

                        Thanks so much! She was truly beautiful, and the happiest bride I've ever seen. We now have a wonderful Son too!.
                        Oh, and if you ever need a caterer, we loved the one we chose, Delectables. They are out of Palm Harbor. Can't recommend them enough!

                        Also, John could you Pretty Please email me your pie recipe? Don the Pie Man has tried many recipes, the egg ones we've tried all come out runny...so he defaulted to the cream cheese/freeze variety.
                        joan leak atttt hotmail dot com. Thanks!

                3. I have to agree with other posters that Publix's key lime pie falls short. It just doesn't have the tart, saliva-inducing kick that I expect from a good key lime pie. The crust is pretty ho-hum, as well.

                  1. I don't know about their Key Lime Pie, but they have a darn good bakery for a supermarket. I make a wonderful key Lime Pie, and I use regular limes, not Key limes!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Mother of four

                      Then its not a Key Lime Pie Mother of Four................its a lime pie.

                      1. re: Suzie

                        Could be, but it's sure good!! Better then many!!

                    2. Publix has an excellent bakery for a supermarket chain,the key lime pie is quite good, but i gotta go with you on better in the keys, my fave is Blonde Giraffe, second is an Orlando based chain,Bahama breeze,also has killer Key Lime pie, that brown sugar grahm cracker crust is obscenely good!...oh if you ever get by a Bruster's ice cream, try the Key Lime ice cream...better than most pies!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jword2001

                        While not the best there is nothing wrong with grabbing one when betteris not readily available ore you dont feel like cooking.

                      2. original key lime pie used pastry crust -- not graham cracker crust, fyi.

                        1. forget the pie, I love their onion rye!

                          1. I have no problems with the Publix bakery - they have some really nice breads now and their pies have always been pretty (supermarket) good. I'm in Fort Myers, Florida, so don't know whether this is true anywhere else - but yesterday the Fresh Market here had bags of some really nice key limes. Yup. Gonna haf ta make a pie...

                            Side note- we used to have the scraggliest looking key lime tree that my father planted when I was a kid. It looked terrible, but produced more delicious limes than you can imagine. My husband re-landscaped and while I was out, you guessed it, the tree guys chopped it down. Many tears. Very sad...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Mothership

                              It was probably grown from seed which would make it a natural tree. Almost all citrus trees now are grafted. The old natural trees bore some of the best fruit. I have an old nongrafted Meyer lemon tree and it is great.

                              Too bad they cut it down.


                              1. re: RibDog

                                Ooooh - your own source for fresh Meyer lemons! That sounds absolutely wonderful.
                                Be sure to do your own landscaping:)

                                1. re: RibDog

                                  Now my question is, are the Meyer Lemons in season now? I keep asking for them, and I'm told there is a season for them and it's not now!

                                2. re: Mothership

                                  Ohhhh, how very sad! We have an old key lime tree in our yard that produces hundreds if not thousands of fruits every year that we just adore. I would be very, very sad to lose our amazing old tree.

                                3. I don't know anything about Publix, but I have experimented pretty thoroughly with key lime pie. Whether the juice is "real" key lime or "standard" Persian lime makes no difference. You just get to squeeze a great many more key limes to get your juice.

                                  I've made the traditional (unbaked) filling and several kinds of custard. Whether the pie tastes good or not has little to do with the variety of lime. Artificial lime flavour with sodium benzoate and citric acid is another matter.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: embee

                                    key lime juice tastes different than persian lime juice.

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      Agreed, but not to my palate when used in a key lime pie. While you could never interchange a meyer lemon with a "standard" one, I've found key and Persian limes to work equally well in pie fillings. If you're sufficiently curious, experiment and post your results. (Unlike some others, I can't stand the bottled stuff.)

                                      1. re: embee

                                        maybe you are right embee, but such an experiment path would have to be quite wide! ;-)

                                  2. Have never tried a key lime pie from Publix but like others here I do have to defend their breads and other baked items. I have had blueberry and apple pies as well as some pastries from their bakery that were quite good.

                                    Also, I have heard that they pay/treat their employees well, so that's always a good thing to hear about a company you like to frequent. I just wish their prices weren't so high. I usually end up shopping at the Uber-Center because their stuff is significantly cheaper.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: MysticYoYo

                                      I agree that they do a good job with their bakery section overall. My favorite is their sunflower seed bread--really good stuff.

                                      However, there has been some controversy over the treatment of their employees. I read recently in the St. Pete Times that if they don't get a certain score on their performance reviews, their hourly wage is actually cut instead of increased, and depending on the position, some even well-performing employees can't score high enough on the arbitrary-sounding review form. Hopefully their HR department has fixed this apparent inequity since it was reported by the media.

                                      1. re: laurie

                                        (as my other more detailed post was deleted):

                                        publix (employee-owned , btw) treats its workers well. the very few sub-pars get 6 months to get their game on before any 25ยข cut.

                                        the people are friendly at publix and they have reliably good baked goods. it is my favorite place for shopping in sw florida -- variety and quality of all groceries and fresh food (love their boiled peanuts near the fresh collards, etc. in the hancock bridge pkwy store in n. ft. myers, fl)

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          No kidding - I always shop at the Publix on Colonial and Summerlin in Fort Myers - other than farm markets, they have the freshest produce in the area. Didn't know they were employee owned - and yes, the workers there are always friendly and helpful.

                                    2. I'll just say this. I don't know if it's key lime or not. We have been living in Florida for (6-years, today as a matter of fact) and to me it's as good as any key lime pie we've had here and the price is good.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: JimPeluso

                                        I'll second that. Also, their mango-key lime pie.

                                        1. re: JimPeluso

                                          When my son was in college in Florida we ate their KL pie all the time. The best I ever had.

                                        2. i have been told that i am a very good baker,that said, i use only limes, butter, ect. i have had this pie and can say , it is great. nothing false in it. the lime and mango is in there.