Jessie’s Key Lime Pie [Heirloom] recipe

Way back. Way way back in Internet Years, I got a nice little newsletter about recipes. I always had a thing about cooking. When I was 11, I made my mother a nice Thanksgiving Dinner. No roast turkey but I roasted a chicken. So when this newsletter caught my eye, I subscribed. This was about 1999 or so I think. I’m not sure. It’s been a long time in Internet Years. I lost track of it when he decided that contributing was not enough and we should pay for the newsletter. Not sure why, this was when bandwidth was free and easy like a few… ahem… That’s another post, or not.

I’m Philocrates who originally posted it to the net, btw, if any of you have found this recipe before. I saved this because it was a damn good pie recipe and it, also, honored someone who had died. I am not nor was I the hospice nurse who donated the story. I lost his/her name and no one has come forward to claim his or her right to be listed. Perhaps it is just supposed to be Jessie’s’ story.

If you see this on the net without the story? Please ask them to add it or remove the recipe if they aren’t comfortable with the story. It’s not that hard to honor someone who has died. The one thing you can be sure of is, if they are aware and do not honor a simple request to honor someone, their personality might not be one you want to associate with.

So for those of you who don’t know the story, here is

Jessie’s Key Lime Pie aka Jessie’s Heirloom Key Lime Pie

Photo by Bev
Photo by Bev

Jessie’s Story from a Hospice Nurse:

Several years ago I treated a young man from Key West, Florida who was dying of AIDS. A couple of weeks before he died, he gave me his 75 year old family recipe for Key Lime Pie. He explained that most Key Lime Pie recipes use condensed milk. Even restaurants in Key West serve Key Lime Pie made with condensed milk. Jessie was disdainful of this version.

His family recipe, passed from generation to generation, does not used condensed milk. Jessie claimed it is the only authentic Key Lime Pie recipe. So in memory of Jessie, I offer it to you.

Please keep story with Jessie’s recipe. Thanks.  Recent note: IF you use it and pass it on please keep Jessie’s story with it for him and all those who have died since.

5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup sugar, for meringue
1 baked pie shell, 9 inches

This is the most important step in the whole operation: Separate eggs into three bowls
5 yolks in one bowl,
2 egg whites in another,
3 egg whites in the third.

Cream egg yolks, adding 3/4 cup sugar and lime juice until mixed thoroughly.

Cook over low heat until thick, adding the butter.
Remove from heat.
Cool slightly.

Meanwhile beat two egg whites until stiff, then fold into cooled lime mixture.
Fill baked 9 inch pie shell.

Beat other whites until stiff then beat in 1/4 cup sugar.
Pile meringue on top of lime filling and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.


Jessie’s recipe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License. 56604-060624-483177-27

It is free to share as long as you keep the story intact in honor of Jessie.