Tuesday, June 12, 2018

No-Bake Key Lime Cheesecake Pie by Cleo Coyle

This cross between a no-bake cheesecake and a Key lime pie is a beautiful, light dessert for the lazy days of summer. Despite the dessert's title, don't feel you must use Key limes, which aren't always easy to find. The larger, more common Persian limes will do a fine job on the flavor, and no one is likely to notice the difference. So what is the difference? See my note at the end of this post. And now...

Let's get our lazy cheesecake going!

Sweet and dreamy. Tart and creamy.

A Note from Cleo 
Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

The no-bake cheesecake has been around for years. Where did it come from? Best guess, it originated on product packaging or in a newspaper's recipe section. This particular recipe came from my husband's mother, who spent many years living and working in Florida. In a little tribute to her, Marc and I sent our amateur sleuth (Clare) to Florida in our 13th Coffeehouse Mystery, Billioniare Blend, where she blissed-out at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival on her way to resolving a series of suspicious crimes, including a car bombing outside her Greenwich Village coffeehouse. And on that note, I'd like to reiterate...
Billionaire Blend:
A Coffeehouse Mystery
Using the more common Persian limes in this dessert (instead of Key limes) would be no crime. :) However using bottled juice for this recipe absolutely would be. For best results, use freshly squeezed lime juice. Do not use bottled, even bottled "Key lime" juice, which will impart a sourness to your pie. Freshly squeezed juice is what you want. 

Other than squeezing that fresh juice, this is an insanely easy dessert recipe. Marc and I always enjoy it. We hope you do, too...


To download a free PDF
of this recipe that you can
print, save, or share,
click here.

Cleo Coyle's
No-Bake Key Lime
Cheesecake Pie

Makes one 8-inch pie


1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (Key or Persian can be used)

2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened

1 graham cracker pie crust (pre-made is fine)

(optional) sweetened whipped cream


(1) Place the sweetened condensed milk, freshly squeezed lime juice, and softened cream cheese in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. If you have a low-power blender, you may need to stop the blender and give the mixture a stir. You want the cheese to be completely whipped into the other ingredients, no clumps or lumps. Blend until smooth, about the consistency of a thick milk shake.

(2) Pour the mixture into an 8-inch graham cracker crust. A pre-made crust is fine to use. On a lazy day, I'll use one to save time and drop the foil pan into a glass pie plate for stability (as you can see in my photos). Use a spoon to smooth and even out the top.

(3) Chill for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better. Slice, garnish with whipped cream. Try a sprinkling of lime zest for a bit of color, or a few mint leaves, and...eat with summertime joy!

Lime Time: Key vs. Persian

Key limes are smaller, rounder, more aromatic, and have a thinner rind than our more common Persian limes, the ones we're more likely to see in US grocery stores. 

The Key lime is picked green and turns yellowish as it ripens. Of course, the fruit’s association is with the Florida Keys, but today most Key limes are cultivated in Mexico. Around the world it's more commonly known by other names: the West Indian lime, the Omani lime, the Mexican lime, and the Bartender’s lime. 

What about the taste difference? Is there one? 

Yes. The larger, Persian limes were created in 1895 by a California man who wanted to develop a lime that was milder than the Key lime, and it is. But, as I said, it will still do a fine job providing the lime flavor in this recipe.


Lime Juicer. To learn more or buy, click here.
If you're new to juicing Key limes, a hand press is what we use, as you can see in my photo above. It makes quick work of juicing the little orbs. Of course, there are other methods and devices that will help you with the task of juicing Key or Persian limes. If you have trouble finding such kitchen tools at your local store, try an online vendor. Click here to see a selection.

Click for the Free Recipe PDF.

Eat (and read) with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author
The Coffeehouse Mysteries 

Alice and Marc in Central Park. 
Together we write as Cleo Coyle. 

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  1. Thank you for the recipe! I love your books!

    1. Cheers, Deb, that's very sweet of you. Marc and I truly appreciate your kindness. Enjoy the summer, may it bring you good eating and good reading!

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter
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  2. It is SO tempting to use the bottled juice, but the difference between it and fresh juice is huge.
    I can almost taste this melting on my tongue!

    1. Libby - Thank you for "testifying" to the crime of using bottled juice in recipes. I once did a blind taste test and the difference was alarming. As with all things in cooking, fresh is best. Cheers for stopping by today. It's always a pleasure to see you in the Kitchen!

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter
      Friend or Follow Cleo Coyle on Facebook

  3. Perfect for those hot summer days!

    1. Indeed it is, Sharon, thanks for dropping in today. May your summer be filled with good eats and unexpected treats.

      ~ Cleo
      Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter<