Key Lime Pie with Maya Corrigan

Val Deniston loves the historic Chesapeake Bay town where she lives with her grandfather and runs a café at an athletic club. She makes a Key lime pie as the perfect end to Granddad’s chowder dinner for his retired friends. Unfortunately, dinner ends abruptly before the dessert course. When a man suspected of running financial scams against seniors goes facedown in the chowder, Val and Granddad are left with a lot of pie to eat and a murder to solve.

Scam Chowder is the second book in Maya Corrigan’s Five-Ingredient Mystery series. Each book includes five-ingredient recipes that even Granddad, the Codger Cook, can’t mess up.


1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened

½ cup (4 ounces) of fresh or bottled Key lime juice or other lime juice

Optional toppings: whipped cream and lime zest


1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter and mix until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan.

Bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees until lightly browned.

Cool the crust before adding the filling. You can cool and chill it in the refrigerator.

Notes: For a no-bake version of the crust, chill the mixture for an hour before filling it. When you cut the pie, the crust will not come out as cleanly as the baked one, but it still tastes good. Alternately, you can use a ready made pie shell, which does not taste as good, but works if you’re pressed for time.


Combine the sweetened condensed milk and the softened cream cheese.

Use an electric mixer, starting on a low speed and increasing the speed, to blend the filling until it is smooth.

Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting and add the lime juice slowly. Taste the mixture periodically and adjust the amount of lime juice to suit your preferences. Adding a half cup of bottled Key lime juice results in a tart-sweet pie. You will need to adjust the amount of lime juice if you use a different type of lime or prefer a sweeter filling.

Pour the lime mixture into the shell. Garnish with the optional lime zest.

Refrigerate the pie for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

Before serving, add a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Store any leftover pie in the refrigerator.

Note from Granddad: I don’t like recipes with more than five ingredients. If I buy a prepared crust from the supermarket, I can turn this into a five-ingredient recipe. The pie still tastes good, but not as good as when Val makes it with this homemade crust.