Dessert/ Desserts

Pistachio Key Lime Parfaits

Finally getting around to making this.

There are millions or maybe even a gazillion key lime pie lovers and recipes. Anyone who has ever made it, I’m sure, has been tempted to add a drop or two of green food coloring.  — STOP. It isn’t that easy to fight the temptation to get out that little bottle of artificial color and give a squeeze to make your pie a beautiful green color. Only thing is that a key lime pie should never be green. It should be more of a yellowish color and you should really try to find key limes and not the large green Persian limes we use in our margaritas or mojitos.

Key Lime pie is probably one of the easiest pies to make but I’ve never seen one look any prettier than the other, that is, until I made the White Chocolate Key Lime Pie and that was a cross between a white chocolate pie I had in Panama City Beach a few years ago and a key lime pie. I’ve been trying to prettify the regular key lime pie recipe so I decided to turn it into a Parfait and add some beautiful shredded edible flowers for a garnish and some ground pistachios to give it at least a little green color.

I started planning this recipe about three years ago and just haven’t got around to making the dessert.  I’d planning on doing it for St. Patrick’s Day but then the virus hit and the recipe was forgotten again. Easter was the perfect time to make this little dessert because I had some edible flowers growing outside that I’d planned on using for a garnish.  I’d made some masks for some friends and  told them the mask came with some little parfaits. Can’t have one without the other since I did not want to be responsible for eating the whole recipe. (I hope they liked them.)

I’m using key limes for the juice and used the zest also. Why not use regular limes? (you can)  I wanted to call it Key Lime and couldn’t do that (who would know anyway) if I didn’t really use key limes. I’m also adding some ground raw pistachios to the filling to add a little green. The graham cracker crumbs were mixed with a little butter and sugar and baked in the oven for a few minutes and used as a layer in the filling. I had an assortment of glasses I wanted to try; some parfaits I’ve been hanging onto for almost 50 years; but in the end I thought they were too big for this dessert and opted for some small cordial type glasses. 

BLAST FROM THE PAST: I have reposted this several times and since it is getting close to St. Patrick’s Day again, my Chocolate Mint Brownie Dessert is beautiful to celebrate the day.

Press the crumb mixture onto a small sheet pan and bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes. Cool and break or crumble into pieces.

These are some of the glasses I would use for this dessert.  The far right parfait glass is one I’ve had since the 70’s and though it would work for this dessert. But, this is a really rich dessert and that would be too big of a serving.  I think a martini glass might be perfect size.

Mix the cream cheese, yogurt (sour cream) and lime juice together until there are no lumps. I added in some zest for extra lime taste.

Start by layering some of the graham pieces in bottom then add some of the filling, then pistachios and keep layering.  After last layer of filling, top with whipped cream, some crumbs, pistachios and a few flower petals if you have them.

These are the ones I made for “curb side” pickup for friends whom I also made masks.


Pistachio Key Lime Parfaits

Servings 6


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 c. key lime juice
  • zest from 2-3 limes
  • 14 oz. an sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c. raw pistachios
  • Whipped cream for topping.
  • 2-3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the sugar, graham cracker crumbs and butter together and press onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool and then try to break into little chunks or you can just use the crumbs. (I think a little more butter might make them hold together better.)

  2. Mix the cream cheese, lime juice, zest and the condensed milk with an electric mixer until blended and then add the sour cream (or yogurt) and combined until you have no lumps.

  3. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla and set back in the refrigerator until ready to put parfaits together.

  4. To assemble the parfaits, sprinkle a little crumb mixture on the bottom of the glass. Top this with a spoonful or two of the key lime mixture. Sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of chopped pistachios, then more crumbs, more key lime mixture and then finish top with a sprinkle of crumbs, a dollop of whipped cream and a few pistachios. If you have extra lime zest sprinkle the tops with this also. Top with shredded flowers.

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