HOME > Chowhound > Texas >


key lime pie help

  • s

Needs some help from my fellow Hounds. I was looking at some key lime pie recipes (never made one) and noticed that they called for "Key" limes. I'm assuming these are limes from the Florida Keys (Yes, I know what happens when one AssUMes). I live in southeast Texas and I'm not sure that the limes at the local markets are Key limes. Most likely from the Valley. Does it matter much?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Key limes are different from "standard" (Persian) limes, in the same way that a Meyer lemon is different from a "standard" lemon. You can probably find them in a Whole Foods market, and definitely at a Central Market.

    The link below tells you everything you might want to know about the little buggers.

    Link: http://www.keylime.com/index.html

    1. I've been told that the wild Mexican limes are the same thing. You should be able to buy them in the stores where you are. They are usually available at Central Market in Austin & Houston. They are small and do have a different flavor from the larger greener limes. You can substitute the others in a pinch, but the flavor is different, and you'll probably need to adjust the amount of sugar you add.

      You can buy bottled Key Lime Juice as well, but I'd think that somewhere down there where you are, you should be able to find the Mexican limes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChrissieH
        Howard Coone

        You are correct, "Key" limes really come from Mexico mostly. One place they DON'T come from is the Florida Keys. We found this out on a recent trip to the Keys. Other Florida Keys "lies/misrepresentations: (1)The "Conch" that is served everywhere down there DOES NOT come from local waters, it comes from the Bahamas. (2) The "southernmost point in the continental U.S." marker ISN'T. The real spot is a little farther south on a military base. Trust those folks as far as you can throw them...

        1. re: Howard Coone

          Key limes are also called "Cruzan limes" in the Caribbean.
          We lived in St. Croix, U.S.V.I. and they were abundant down there!
          Our H.E.B. market in College Station, sells them in little net bags, and there is a difference between the regular limes and key limes. I made a pie with regular limes once, and while it was great, it was no key lime pie!

      2. Thank you all for your advice. I couldn't find actual Key Limes here, but I did find some Key Lime Juice. I used that and I and the family were pleased.
        Again, thanks,

        1. I don't know where you are, but most Fiesta Marts (especially the ones in Houston) generally have "Key limes" (usually @ 20 for $1). Central Markup and Whole Foods are significantly more.

          1. matter a great deal. you can find key limes sometimes in the major supermarkets. If not, you can order key lime juice online. There are several websites that sell it. Fresh is best. I find it often at Kroger and HEB. Key Limes are small, and have yellow flesh inside, not green.

            1. I just want to say that the bottled Key Lime Juice is just fine.

              My mother, who was in the final stages of Alzheimer's, wouldn't eat much, but she loved Key Lime Pies, so on toward the end, I was making one per week for her and my father. For months, I'd squeeze all those seedy little limes. But finally, it got so tedious, and there was so much else to do to care for my mother, that I broke down and bought a bottle of the juice. I made two pies - one with the fresh key limes, and one with Nellie & Joe's bottled juice.

              Nobody, and I mean nobody, could tell the difference.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Jaymes

                I'm told that Blue Bell has just released some Key Lime ice cream. I'm also told that it is delicious and that it is the rare occasion when BB produces it. Think I'll try to find some.

                1. re: Lambowner

                  Wow. Great info, Lambowner. Thanks. I, too, am heading out right away to my local super to find some.

                  1. re: Jaymes

                    Not successful so far! Let me know if you find some!

                    1. re: Lambowner

                      Found a few 1/2 gallons at HEB Bunker Hill next to the new mango flavor, which presented a dilemma. But I stuck with the original plan and it is delicious, like a lime dreamsicle with pie crust all in it. This is the first ice cream I've purchase this year, just don't eat sweets that much. Still trying to figure out what to do with all the Girl Scout cookies in the freezer.

                      1. re: Lambowner

                        You are a bad influence. My first frozen desert in almost a year. Off to Publix.