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Key Lime Pie With Blackberry Jam: My Interpretation of Independence

Well, kind of…. as you know, today is #FlanFridays. I’ve come to love #FlanFridays and it’s extremely satisfying when a Twitter follower, regular reader or Facebook fan tells me they’re looking forward to that week’s flan.

I hate to disappoint when I can’t make a flan post happen. It’s always justified by travel or something so dire that prevented me from taking time to come up with a flavor and actually make it. It’s never intentional.

But today it totally is. I wanted to make something completely different and nothing I’ve ever really liked to eat. Something quintessential American.

Since we all will be celebrating Independence Day this weekend and just about every other food blogger is paying homage to our liberties through traditional foods enjoyed on the 4th, I figured I’d play along. I usually don’t plan enough in advance to write about feature holidays and events.

And today was no exception. This all happened very fast and within the last few hours.

(Brookgreen Gardens, Myrtle Beach, SC)

So, key lime pie. Why key lime pie? Well, for starters, I’ve never been a fan. Its texture doesn’t tickle me in the least.  Ironically, it has a similar consistency to flan, which I need not tell I love. Secondly, the amount of lime is overbearing and just plain ol’ unnecessary. But the irony in that is that lemons and limes are the basis for seasoning a lot of our Latin foods;  and just as important, I love any kind of drink that involves any of the citrus fruit.

The single thing I have enjoyed about the pie when I’ve nibbled on it is the graham cracker crust. The few times I’ve been enticed to make another attempt at liking it, I’ve scooped out the filling and simply eaten the crust. For me it’s all about the graham cracker! *belly expands*

But, I thought I’d give it a try for myself. Not because I was anxious to dig into it, rather because just two weeks ago a good friend ordered one from me and I took it as an opportunity to understand the fuss over its alleged goodness. Everyone in my family likes it, most of my friends order it when we’re out and I see it on just about every menu in Middle America.

I made my friend’s pie with no inhibition. Oddly enough, as I had to taste along the way, I kinda took a liking to it. Individually incorporating the ingredients gave me new appreciation for what I know now is the simplest dessert to make.

And I had a euphoric moment. I realized why I has this inexplicable disdain for the pie. It was the sour cream. This girl here hates sour cream! Oh my goodness… I borderline abhor it!

But, after her pie was said and done, I was kinda giddy… with a new found sweet love.

Key lime pie is a simple and lack luster sweet piece of dairy. Its history is quite interesting. Named after the smaller and more acidic key lime harvested in the Florida Keys, the pie originally didn’t require any baking. The chemical reaction between the key limes and the sweetened condensed milk causes the filling to thicken enough to be stable. But as the recipe evolved and eggs were added, baking was required to reduce food born illnesses from raw foods.

That’s pretty much it.

In making it just a few hours ago, I wanted to free myself from not liking something for logical reason. As a professional in the food business I need to be somewhat open minded to trying foods I can eat and give their flavor a try on my palate.

And it worked today my friends… I made this pie in no time, omitted the whip cream because I’m also not a huge fan unless it’s homemade and I didn’t feel like whipping some up. Hence, the blackberry jam sweetly lacing the edge of the crust.

Not to digress, but the jam was the icing on this cake with every pun intended! OM! OM! Perhaps nothing novel, but because I made it from scratch and tweaked it exactly how I wanted it taste, it made the pie something I now adore. It was creamy, silky smooth, luscious and way too easy to make. Clearly I’ve been missing out!

The Florida Keys is 90 miles from my home island… and one day my people will be FREE!

Freedom. A human right not to be taken for granted.

Enjoy your 4th in a lovely and super delicious way.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Key Lime Pie With BlackBerry Jam


  • 1-9″ graham cracker crust (you can make your own but I cheated this time and bought one)
  • 3 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 5 key limes or 1 cup key lime juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. key lime zest, parted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. key lime zest for garnish

For Blackberry Jam 

  • 6 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup good quality Merlot or Port
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt


In medium saucepan, cook blueberries in water. Break down using wooden spoon. Stir in sugar. Boil for 10 minutes. Lower heat. Add alcohols and salt. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and allow to set.  (you will have more than enough jam leftover. Store in Mason jar and chill)

For Pie

Pre-heat oven to 350F. In medium mixing bowl, whisk sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and key lime juice. Add vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of lime zest and pinch of salt. Combine and blend well until sour cream has broken down and mixture is silky smooth. Pour mixture into graham cracker pie mold and smoothen out with rubber spatula if necessary. Bake for 8 minutes. Chill for 5 hours or until firm. Lace pie crust with chilled jam, about 1″ thick. Garnish with lime zest and whip cream (optional).

54 thoughts on “Key Lime Pie With Blackberry Jam: My Interpretation of Independence

  1. I must be a flan snob b/c it depends who makes it and where I get it from. I like my flan smooth in texture and not “eggy” at all. I love key lime pie so this recipe sounds delish! Thx for sharing!

  2. Yum! Yum! YUM!!! I have a weakness for all things lemon. (Including my Hubby, whose last name is Limón.) And Key Lime Pie is my absolute favorite of all lemon desserts. So good! The addition of sour cream sounds like it would go great with the flavor and texture of Key Lime Pie. I will have to add some next time I bake one. 🙂

  3. I have never had key lime pie can you bel;eieve it but if asked onb my birthday what I would love to have I would say lemon meringue so I am assuming they are similar.

  4. OM B I love the way you explain the “mechanics” of the pie, it really adds a new dimension to a favorite flavor of mine, I will try to recipe, it sounds fantastic!!

  5. I stop with the first four… I never could manage to get the zest so fine that I don’t notice it in the pie. And I don’t recall ever adding vanilla. Might be interesting.

    And SOUR CREAM? Who uses that with a key lime pie? eww…. The *right* topping is meringue, but that’s too difficult for such an easy pie. You have to make the meringue separately and place it on top afterwards, otherwise the limes’ acid will keep the bottom of the meringue liquid. I like the blackberry jam idea.

  6. Maria Amelia: i was going to do meringue but I liked much more the idea of a blackberry jam. it was soo good. better than eggy or cream based topping I could have added.

    Lisa: Girl don’t feel bad. I’m a flan snob, too! I only eat mine and my mom’s… 🙂 but now I like key lime pie. I guess it took for me to make it!

    Chris: Go!

    Leslie: I love your husband’s yummy last name! I loooove it. Hate sour cream but it makes so smoooth!

    Val: lemon meringue is soooo good—-love! But this didn’t blackberry jam didn’t hurt the key lime pie!

    Silvia: oh wonderful! I think it’s great you can appreciate it! If you make it, let me know.

    Rosa: Me, too. What’s not to love.

    Jason: the zest in the mixture was great and minimal enough not to see it, but the dusting a little more over top makes it pop. I know there are egg recipes but I’m not crazy about that b/c then it’s like making flan all over again! The vanilla was b/c I like adding it to most of my baked goods and honestly, it worked well! Again, gives it a nice pop. Meringue is in fact a great topping but I agree with you–too complicated for such an easy pie. The bb jam worked entirely too well: two elements to it: the syrup drizzle and the chunkier jam on top… perfect!

  7. Key Lime hasn’t been a all time fav, but I do like it from time to time . The blackberry Jam was a fun twist…never had that with Key Lime before….and I actually have some on hand…all of the ingredients….wow….didn’t know how simple this actually is. Oh…no, out of graham crackers…boo…I knew that and meant to pick some up yesterday…when I first read your post. Planning on making this today…for tomorrow.

  8. Ooh!! I just brought back fresh key limes and key lime juice from The Keys this week!!!! Had awesome key lime pie in Key West and look forward to trying this recipe at home. Thanks!

  9. Love key lime pie, and now I’ve got another recipe to try! Per usual, fantastic pictures, Bren, and great flavor mix. I would never have thought to combine the pie with blackberry jam, but looks lovely. 🙂

  10. I am a big fan of this and I really do not eat sweets. The presentation is flawless.

    We can only hope our people will soon be free. My ass would be on the next plane over.


  11. Well, Amir and I both love a key lime pie. He has a good recipe that’s a simple 4 ingredient custard base. So good! Adding the sour cream in there is nice for a bit of tang and lift. Happy 4th!

  12. your pie looks YUM-DOGS! I would eat this key lime anywhere but the fact that you added Blackberry jam which happens to be my favorite just made it that much sweeter! Cheers to you and your yummy recipe.

  13. That’s an interesting story. I think we all have some foods that we hold a prejudice against and don’t really enjoy for whatever reason, but it’s great that you not only gave it a second chance, but made it your own. 😉 This is my first time reading your blog, and I have to add, you’re a very smooth writer. I really enjoyed the story. 🙂

  14. OMG looks so delish, not a huge fan of key lime pie, but would love to try you version. You may convert me! LOL


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