Get the tangy zing of key lime pie in a small hand held dessert! Mini Key Lime Pie Bites are a fun and easy dessert appetizer perfect for a dinner party or any get together! They are a perfect balance of sweet and tangy in a bite-sized dessert.
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Why this key lime appetizer is the best!
It's so much easier to eat bite sized party food that doesn’t require any silverware. These individual key lime pies are the perfect size to pop in your mouth while mingling at a dinner party. The tangy filling ingredients just melt in your mouth.
I never had key lime pie myself until I moved to Florida. Here in central Florida key lime desserts are on just about every menu with many different variations. I have even deviated from the traditional graham cracker crust with my Key Lime Pie with Chocolate Crust and Raspberry Sauce recipe.
I love these mini tarts because the tangy filling ingredients just melt in your mouth plus you get a nice crunch from the phyllo shell. My favorite thing is how easy mini key lime pies are to make and that they can be made ahead for your get-together!
key lime juice- because it is difficult to find fresh key limes even in Florida, I always use Nellie and Joe's Key Lime Juice in my key lime recipe.
condensed milk- is thick and sugary milk that is sold in a can. It is milk that has been reduced to remove the water content and then has sugar added. It can not be substituted for evaporated milk!
sour cream- full fat is the best choice in this mini key lime pie recipe.
phyllo shells- these frozen tartlet shells can be found in the frozen section at your local grocery store. We are using this in place of a traditional graham cracker crust that is used for true key lime pie. They make this recipe so easy to put together!
lime zest- If you are lucky enough to find true key limes great, but you can zest any lime to substitute for the key lime zest in this recipe.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add the key lime juice, condensed milk, sour cream and lime zest to a large bowl. Use a spatula or a hand mixer to mix until mixture is smooth.
Use a spoon to fill the small phyllo shells with the key lime pie filling. Each mini tart will hold about a tablespoon, but this does not have to be exact just divide mixture out and there should be plenty for 30 pastry shells.
Bake for 5 minutes then allow to cool. At this point you can chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 hours if your making ahead for a party.
Decorate right before serving. I highly recommend making a stabilized whipped cream recipe. I make mine by adding a little cornstarch to the heavy cream and it’s amazing how well it holds with out the cream running. This will ensure your mini desserts look amazing even after a couple hours sitting at room temperature.
In a chilled medium sized bowl use a hand mixer to beat the heavy cream, cornstarch, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. It will take a few minutes for stiff peaks to form. Then add the whipped cream to a pastry bag and decorate the mini pies.
To decorate I place a very small lime wedge with a little lime zest scattered over the tops of the individual pies. If I have graham crackers on hand I'll crush a few of those and sprinkle on top because key lime pies are traditionally made with a graham cracker crust.
- I have had several ask what is stabilized whipped cream? It's adding either cornstarch, gelatin, instant pudding or cream of tarter to your cream as you whip it. I always have cornstarch in my pantry so this is always my go to. Simply add the cornstarch to the heavy cream and mix with a hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. This little trick will keep your whipped cream from running into a sad puddle on even a warm day!
- These are best made the day of the party and refrigerated for up to 5 hours before serving.
- Decorate right before serving.
Why is key lime pie famous in Florida?
Key limes are only grown in warm climates that never go below freezing. Because of the warm weather in South Florida it was very common to grow a key lime tree although they are no longer commercially grown there. While the true origin of the key lime pie is unknown the belief is that the key lime pie was created in the Florida Keys.
Are key limes more tart than regular limes?
No, small key limes are actually a little less tart than regular limes which is why they are preferred in this recipe.
Can I use regular lime juice in this recipe?
Yes! If you can not find key limes or the bottled juice by Nellie and Joe's then squeeze a few regular limes instead. The flavor may be a little different but still delicious.
Looking For Other Mini Desserts? Try These Next!
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Mini Key Lime Bites
Key Lime Pie Bites
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons key lime juice (I use Nellie and Joe’s)
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 2 packages mini phyllo shells
- 1 cup stabilized cream
- 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
- 1 lime cut into small pieces for garnish, optional
- lime zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Set phyllo cups on a baking tray, preferably with sides so they do not slide off.
- In a medium sized bowl using a spoon or spatula mix together sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and zest. Stir until no lumps remain.
- Carefully spoon key lime mixture into the phyllo cups. Each one will hold about a tablespoon allowing enough for 30 individual cups.
- Bake for 5 minutes remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Move key lime bites to a serving platter and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 5 hours when ready to decorate.
- Optional garnishes: Using stabilized cream in a pastry bag add a dollop of cream to each dessert. Decorate with crushed graham crackers, lime zest and small lime wedges.